The Housing Choice Voucher Program is intended to help low-income persons. It began in 1974 in order to disperse poor families from public housing projects and was part of a wider shift away from large public housing projects and towards integration. Vouchers help low-income individuals and families pay their rent. Approximately two million people in the United States receive Housing Choice Voucher subsidies at any time.
Commonly called Section 8 Housing by the public, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development calls the program Housing Choice Vouchers. The voucher program allows those who qualify to find housing that suits their tastes and needs within a budget. It can be any type of housing that meets the program requirements.
The housing authority determines eligibility for housing vouchers based on the family’s size and annual gross income. The general rule is that the family income cannot exceed 50 percent of the median income for the county where the family lives. In addition, according to HUD, we must provide 75 percent of our vouchers to families whose income doesn’t exceed 30 percent of the local median income. The final eligibility requirement is that the vouchers are for U.S. citizens or non-citizens with eligible immigration status.
Tenants must sign a lease with the landlord for at least one year. If a security deposit is required, the tenant is responsible to pay for it. After the first year, the landlord can issue a new year lease or rent to the family on a month-to-month basis. The tenant family must comply with any stipulations in the lease as well as the voucher program requirements. The tenant needs to maintain the rental unit in good condition. Tenants also need to pay their rent on time and notify us of any changes in income or family composition within ten days of the occurrence.
The housing authority only verifies the tenant’s eligibility for the voucher program. The landlord is responsible for any further background checks on prospective tenants who present a Section 8 voucher and want to rent an apartment or house from them.
You can read more about this program at hud.gov.