WHAT IS TENANT BASED (PORTABLE) SECTION 8?
The Housing Choice Voucher Program, a.k.a. Section 8 Tenant-Based Housing Assistance, is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) program for assisting very low-income individuals and families to rent housing in the private market. The Section 8 Rental Certificate Program has been discontinued, and existing certificates are being converted to vouchers. Participants are free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and are not limited to units located in a particular building. A family issued a voucher must find a suitable rental unit of their choice, which may include its present unit. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the agency issuing the voucher. A rental subsidy is paid directly to the landlord on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. The agency issuing the voucher determines a payment standard which is used to calculate the amount of rental assistance a family will receive, but does not affect the amount of rent a landlord may charge or the family may pay.
WHERE CAN YOU APPLY FOR A VOUCHER?
In Connecticut, HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program is offered through local public housing authorities and through the Connecticut Department of Social Services, which contracts with John D’Amelia & Associates to administer its program. The demand for Housing Choice Vouchers is high, and usually waiting lists are closed to new applicants. When a wait list opens, an announcement is usually placed in newspapers, on local Housing Authorities websites and on the Housing Choice Voucher Program web page: http://www.cthcvp.org/
WHAT IS THE TENANTS SHARE OF THE RENT?
Generally, renters pay between 30%-40% of household income for their rent.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Eligibility for a voucher is determined by the issuing agency based on the total annual gross income and family size, and is limited to U.S. citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. Generally, the income limit is at or under 50% of the State Area Median Income. Go to: https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/HOME_IncomeLmts_State_CT_2019.pdf to see HUD’s area median income chart for Connecticut. By law, a Public Housing Authority (PHA) must provide 75% of its vouchers to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30% of the area median income. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location. The PHA serving your community can provide you with the income limits for your area and family size. NOTE: there is no asset limit for households applying for a voucher.
WHERE CAN THE VOUCHER BE USED?
New voucher holders may choose a unit anywhere in the United States if the family lived in the jurisdiction of the PHA issuing the voucher when the family applied for assistance. Those new voucher-holders not living in the jurisdiction of the PHA at the time the family applied for housing assistance must initially lease a unit within that jurisdiction for the first twelve months of assistance. Moves are permissible as long as the family notifies the PHA ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the lease provisions, and finds acceptable alternate housing. A family that wishes to move to another PHA’s jurisdiction must consult with the PHA that currently administers its housing assistance to verify the procedures for moving.
HOW TO APPLY
Contact the Public Housing Authority in your community, or John D’Amelia and Associates, to find out if they offer Section 8 vouchers, and if they are currently accepting applications.
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
SOURCES: HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program Fact Sheet; Connecticut Department of Social Services: Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
PREPARED BY: 211/ch
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: July2022