Housing Choice Voucher Program - Section 8

The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides housing assistance for low-income families in the private rental market. Rental voucher holders select a unit from the private rental market. Rental assistance makes market-rate housing affordable. Program participants pay no more than 30% of their monthly adjusted income towards rent and utilities. The housing assistance payment subsidizes the balance of the rent to the property owner.

Eligibility for a rental voucher is determined by the Housing Authority of Henderson 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. The family’s income may not exceed 50% of the area median income. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location. The Housing Authority can provide you with the income limits for your area and family size. During the application process, the Housing Authority will collect information on family income, assets and family composition. The Housing Authority will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of rental assistance payment. If it is determined that your family is eligible, the Housing Authority will put your name on a waiting list. Once your name is reached, you are contacted via U.S. mail to come in for an application update and briefing.

Once your family has been issued a rental voucher, you can search the private rental market in your community for a housing unit that is decent, safe and sanitary according the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) established by HUD and the Housing Authority of Henderson. (Request a copy of the HUD booklet “A Good Place to Live!” to guide you in finding a unit that meets these standards.) When you have found a suitable unit and the owner agrees to lease the unit to your family under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, the Housing Authority will inspect the unit to assure that it is suitable. After the unit passes HQS inspection and the rent has been approved, the landlord and tenant enter into a lease for an initial term of one year. The Housing Authority and the landlord sign a Housing Assistance Payment Contract through which the rent is assisted on your behalf. You will be responsible for the monthly payment of the difference between the total rent and the housing assistance payment.

A family’s housing needs change over time with changes in family size, job locations, and for other reasons. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is designed to allow families to move without the loss of rental assistance. Moves are permissible as long as the family notifies the Housing Authority ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the appropriate provisions, and finds acceptable alternate housing. Under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, voucher holders may choose a unit anywhere in the United States if the family has lived within the jurisdiction of the current housing authority of at least 12 months while receiving assistance. A family that wishes to move to another housing authority’s jurisdiction must consult with the housing authority that currently administers its rental assistance to verify the procedures for moving.

The lease is for one year. After one year, the lease is renewed on a month-to-month basis unless landlord requires a lease for another year. You may vacate with a notice after the term of the lease expires. If you remain in the unit, you are recertified for eligibility and the unit is inspected for Housing Quality Standards annually.

If you are interested, apply at the Housing Authority of Henderson Barret Center office, located at 111 S. Adams Street. You may also download a copy of the application here on the web site, fill it out and bring it by the Barret Center office.