Section 8 Rentals and Mortgages
What is Section 8?
Section 8 housing is a program funded by the federal government intended to help low-income families in the United States pay for rent. There Section 8 program has two different branches: the Housing Choice Voucher program, also known as "tenant-based" assistance, which enables you to choose the housing location; and the "project-based" assistance, which requires that you live in a specific property.
Universal waiting list for Public Housing and Section 8
While this is a federal assistance program, each state has their own Public Housing Agencies which manage their own area. A nationwide universal waiting list does not exist. Each area usually has their own waiting list, process, requirements, and restrictions.
Moving and Your Section 8 Assistance
Applying for Section 8 can be done anywhere in the country. However, once you are notified that you will start receiving the housing assistance, you have to live within the area of jurisdiction of the Public Housing Agency (PHA) where you applied.
Taking your Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher to a different area
"Porting" is a process where Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher holders are allowed to move to a different area and still receive their housing assistance benefits. Certain conditions must be met for this to be allowed.
One of the conditions is that the Housing Choice Voucher holder may move after living for one year in the jurisdiction of the housing agency where the voucher was issued. For example, you currently live in Buffalo, New York, and you apply for a waiting list in San Francisco, California, you are required to live within the San Francisco Housing Authority's administration for 12 months with your housing voucher before porting.
Section 8 Frequently Asked Questions
Ever wonder why the housing agencies are still giving Section 8 vouchers when there are either no rentals available, or they don't take Section 8?
While it can be difficult for holders of Section 8 vouchers to find a property, there are units and landlords out there who accept Section 8 Vouchers. The housing agency where you applied may have information on property owners who accept vouchers as well. Contact the Public Housing Agency for more information.
Are tenants of Section 8 units allowed to have a roommate who is not Section 8 approved?
All the members of a household must be known on the application and lease. You cannot have other people living in the unit if they did not go thru the approval process. If you want to add household members, you must contact the housing agency that manages your housing voucher for assistance and more information.