Section 8 is a housing assistance program that offers rental subsidies to help low-income individuals and families to pay their rent. It is also known as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. Section 8 is overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If a family qualifies for the Section 8 housing program, it will receive a voucher for a rental discount.
The family will have to find a private landlord who is willing to work with the Section 8 program. Once they have found a suitable rental unit (house or apartment), the family will only have to pay 30 percent of its monthly income on rent and utilities to the landlord. The Section 8 housing program will pay the rest of the monthly rental amount.
Families must have a low income in order to qualify. However, the exact income limit will depend on the average income in the area where they live.
If a family decides to move, they will remain eligible for Section 8 and can continue to use their voucher at the new housing unit.
To apply for Section 8 housing, you will need to contact the Public Housing Authority (PHA) that administers the program in your local area. Most PHAs will allow applicants to apply in person, by mail or online. If the Section 8 program is currently full in your area, you may be placed on a Section 8 housing list.
Additionally, the Section 8 program offers a sub program that allows participants to use their voucher toward a payment on a house.