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Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)

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What are Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)?

If your income is very low, Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers let you choose and lease (or sometimes purchase) housing. You can live in single-family houses, townhouses, or apartments, as long as they meet the requirements of the program.
Learn more about the different types of vouchers and programs.

How do Housing Choice Vouchers work?

The local public housing authority pays money to the landlord to cover a portion of the rent. You then pay the difference between the total amount of the rent and the amount that the housing authority gave to the landlord. In some cases, you can use your voucher to purchase a small home.

Who qualifies for Housing Choice Vouchers?

The public housing authority looks at:
  • Your annual gross income (income limits vary by location)
  • The number of people in your family
  • Your U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status (you must be a citizen or eligible immigrant)

How do you apply?

If you are interested in applying for a voucher, contact your local public housing authority.

What happens after you apply?

The housing authority will collect information on your income, your assets (possessions you own), and your family members. They will check this information with local agencies, your employer, and your bank. All of this will be used to see if you are able to receive the vouchers.
If you are eligible, your name will go on a waiting list. (Sometimes the housing authority can help you right away.) The housing authority will contact you when your name is at the top of the list and will give you a voucher.

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