There are many different types of rental assistance that can help you find low-cost living and help you afford your rent. The Housing Choice Voucher (HVC) program, also known as Section 8, is a government-funded housing and rental assistance program that can help you afford your housing costs — and save cash while you’re at it.
Section 8 is federally funded and organized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It helps millions of families cover the costs of rent each month. This is how it works: the government provides cash assistance to local PHAs, or Public Housing Agencies, all over the country.
To enroll in the program, you apply to the local PHA that is nearest to your neighborhood. Sometimes, you may be waitlisted. Once you are accepted, you will be enrolled in the voucher program.
Once you are enrolled in the voucher program, you have the freedom to choose any available housing rental that meets the Section 8 requirements, and that agrees to work with the Section 8 program.
Once you have found a home you want to rent, your vouchers will help cover the cost of up to 70% of your rent.
Your PHA, through the payments from the HUD, will give your landlord direct payments to help cover your monthly rent. So if the vouchers are covering 70 percent of your rent, you would only have to pay your landlord the remaining 30 percent.
To qualify for Section 8, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a citizen or legal non-citizen residing in the U.S.
- Live in the same state as the PHA you are applying to.
- Meet the maximum HUD income requirements.
If you have served in a branch of the United States military and are a Veteran, then you may qualify for a government rental assistance program that is very similar to Section 8, except it is exclusive to Veterans.