How Section 8 Vouchers Help Low-Income Families Pay Their Rent

The Section 8 Vouchers Housing Choice Program assists in making safe and quality housing in the private rental market affordable to low, and very low-income households by reducing housing costs through direct rent subsidy payments to landlords. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered locally by public housing authorities (PHAs).

Section 8 Vouchers

The Housing Choice Voucher Program allows families to choose their own housing including single family homes or townhouses, apartments, condominiums, duplexes and mobile homes anywhere within our jurisdiction that is not prohibited by the lease between WCHA and the property owner.

WCHA will pay a portion of your rent directly to your landlord each month. You are responsible for paying the difference between WCHA’s payment amount and your actual rent amount (called tenant rent). You may also be required to pay an additional deposit directly to your landlord.

What Is a Section 8 Voucher?

A housing voucher is a subsidy that allows low-earning people to rent a place in the private market. Vouchers are distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered locally by public housing agencies (PHAs).

Nearly 1 million Americans use vouchers to help afford their homes, according to the latest Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. These vouchers can be used to rent apartments, townhouses or single-family homes.

How to Accept Section 8 Vouchers?

Accepting section 8 vouchers can be a great way to help those in need and receive some government assistance in the process. In order to accept section 8 vouchers, there are a few steps that must be followed For Eligible households Or Eligible families. Learn more about getting Section 8 with a felony.

Eligibility & Criteria

To qualify for a Section 8 voucher, your household’s income must fall below 50% of the median income in your area. The exact amount of your voucher will depend on many factors, including income limits and family size.

Process for Apply

  • In order to receive a voucher, you must first submit an application.
  • You can apply through your local PHA or through HUD’s website.
  • Once you’ve submitted an application, it may take several weeks before you’re added to a waiting list.
  • The length of time you’ll wait depends on how many people are already on the waiting list ahead of you and how many vouchers are available in your area.

After the Application Is Approved:

Once you have been approved for a voucher, it is valid for up to 120 days and you may use it anywhere in the U.S., depending on whether there’s an open Section 8 program in that area. When your voucher expires, you’ll need to re-apply if you wish to continue receiving assistance.

How Much Is a Section 8 Voucher Worth?

One of the most frequent questions asked by Section 8 landlords and tenants is, “How much is a Section 8 voucher worth?” The answer is less straightforward than you might think. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The value of a Section 8 housing voucher varies depending on where you live, but it generally covers between 30% and 40% of your rent — leaving you with roughly 30% of your income left over for other expenses like food, transportation and health care.
  • Vouchers may also come with utility allowances, which are set each year based on an average heating or cooling bill for the area.
  • If you’re in a housing program for the elderly, veterans or handicapped, your voucher may be worth more than $2,000.
  • If you’re a former foster child, your voucher may be worth up to $3,000.

How Do Section 8 Vouchers Work?

Section 8 vouchers give recipients several housing options. They can rent an apartment or house in any neighborhood they choose as long as it meets minimum standards of health and safety set by HUD and the PHA.

  • A Section 8 voucher holder generally pays 30% of his or her income toward rent and utilities, while the PHA pays the difference between that amount and a local fair market rent determined by HUD.
  • The average PHA pays about $700 per month toward the cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment, according to government data from 2013.

Section 8 Voucher NYC

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) manages the Section 8 voucher program for New York City and its surrounding counties, including Nassau and Westchester. Applicants must meet income eligibility requirements and be at least 18 years old to qualify for a Section 8 voucher in New York City.


Applicants must meet certain income requirements in order to receive a Section 8 voucher. Households are considered low income if they earn no more than 80 percent of the median income in their area. For instance, households of four in New York City earning no more than $61,150 annually may qualify for a Section 8 voucher as of 2010. However, priority is given to extremely low-income families who earn no more than 30 percent of their area’s median income.

In addition to income requirements, applicants must be at least 18 years old and U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. If the head of household is not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, other family members may apply on his behalf if they are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

To gain further insights on Section 8 vouchers and eligibility you can explore more about it in the article: Who Can Live With You on Section 8.

Application Process

1. NYCHA maintains a list of all available units on its website that accept Section 8 vouchers, but you need an NYCHA account to view it. If you don’t have an account, go to and click on “Apply for Housing” in the top menu or “Create Account” in the lower right-hand corner. Complete the application; then return to the account page to log in.

2. Once you’re logged in, click on “My Applications” from the menu at the top of the page. You’ll see a link for “Public Housing.” Click on that, and then click on “Search for Openings.” You’ll see a list of available apartments.

3. Click on one of the apartments, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Apply Now.” The form has four pages: personal information, household members, income and contact information. Complete each section and hit “Save” at the bottom of each page before moving onto the next one.

4) Once you have completed all four sections, check off that you have read and understood everything, enter your name in the box below that and hit “Submit Application.” Then check your email.

Section 8 Voucher Amount

Section 8 voucher amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis, according to established Fair Market Rent guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  There are some limits as to what HUD will pay as well.  

  1. Fair Market Rent
  2. Payment Standard
  3. Tenant Portion
  4. Allowance for Utilities

Fair Market Rent:

The maximum amount of rent a landlord can charge for a unit. This is determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Fair Market Rent is different in every area and changes yearly.

Payment Standard:

The Payment Standard is the maximum amount of rent assistance you can get from Section 8. This is usually less than the Fair Market Rent. The Payment Standard is different in every area and changes yearly.

Tenant Portion:

The rent portion that you pay each month to your landlord. This amount will be between 30% and 40% of your income, depending on what you agreed to with your landlord. Your Tenant Portion does not include utilities or other fees, like parking fees, pet fees, etc.

Allowance for Utilities:

If your home does not have utilities included in the rent, you will get an Allowance for Utilities from Section 8 to help cover those expenses.

The most important thing to remember about this system is that you cannot get an apartment for less than the Fair Market Rent, even if your income qualifies you for a lower payment amount.

Section 8 Voucher Amount NYC:

The amount of the Section 8 voucher is determined by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and is based on household size and income. In New York City, the value of Section 8 vouchers varies widely by neighborhood.

  • The rent you are charged for the apartment is determined by NYCHA. section 8 housing choice voucher NYC.

The Housing Choice Voucher is a subsidy that allows tenants to pay 30% of their adjusted income towards rent.

  • The tenant pays the difference between 30% and the amount of their income left over after all monthly expenses. section 8 housing choice voucher NYC.
  • Each city has different maximums that are set by HUD. For example, the maximum in Baltimore is $1,900 per month. The rent you are charged for the apartment is determined by NYCHA.

Section 8 5 Bedroom Voucher Amount:

The 5-bedroom voucher holder can use their voucher at any unit where the rent charged by the landlord does not exceed $2,200. In order to receive a 5-bedroom voucher, the household’s income must be below 50% of area median income (AMI).

  • If all members of the family are non-elderly and do not have disabilities, they may only use the voucher for up to two years.
  • If one or more family members are elderly, disabled, or both, there is no time limit on how long they can use their vouchers.

Section 8 3 Bedroom Voucher Amount:

The average 3 bedroom voucher holder contributes $400 towards rent in Larimer County. The maximum amount a voucher would pay on behalf of a low income tenant in Larimer County, Colorado for a two bedroom apartment is between $1,097 and $1,344.

The average voucher holder contributes $500 towards rent in Larimer County. The maximum amount a voucher would pay on behalf of a low income tenant in Larimer County, Colorado for a one bedroom apartment is between $903 and $1,096.

In general, applicants to the Housing Choice Voucher Program can expect to wait anywhere from 3 months up to 1 year before they receive a voucher.

Section 8 Voucher Amount for a 2 Bedroom:

The amount of your voucher is based on the cost of rent in your area and based on your household size. The amount of rental assistance you receive is the difference between 30% of your adjusted monthly income and the payment standard.

  • The Estimated Voucher amount for a 2 Bedroom (Section 8) is $1060.00 The Tenant pays 30% of their income towards the rent. The remaining balance is paid by the Voucher.

Section 8 Voucher Amount for a 1 Bedroom:

The current maximum amount for a one bedroom unit is $1,099. This is the maximum you can be charged rent and utilities.

First, the Obvious Disclaimer

The amount quoted is the maximum amount you can be charged for rent and utilities. You may be charged less. The actual amount you will receive depends on a number of factors, including the size of the apartment, the number of people in your household and whether or not you have a pet.

We have never determined a maximum for rent or utilities at any given location within the building. The lease agreements we write will set a maximum amount, but it is up to you, as the tenant, to decide how much you are willing to pay.

Do Section 8 Vouchers Expire?

Yes, Section 8 vouchers do expire. Section 8 housing vouchers will expire if not used in a certain period of time. The length of time that you have to use the voucher depends on many different factors. To find out how long you have to use your voucher, it is best to contact the housing authority that gave you the voucher.

Are Section 8 Vouchers Transferable?

Yes, you can take your housing voucher with you. If you’re moving to another city or state, contact the PHA that issued your voucher to notify of your move. You will have to provide a forwarding address and contact information at your new location. Your PHA will then work with the housing agency in your new area to transfer your voucher.

However, if you’re moving to an area not covered by the Section 8 program (Alaska, Hawaii and Guam), you cannot take your voucher with you.

How Are Section 8 Vouchers Allocated?

Section 8 vouchers are allocated to local housing agencies based on the area’s median income level, poverty rate and rental costs. Local housing agencies can also request additional funds from HUD if they need more vouchers to meet demand in their area.

Can I Move While Using My Section 8 Voucher?

You can move while using your voucher, but you must notify the housing authority first. You must also move to an apartment that meets certain standards of health and safety.

You must also live in a place that is within the jurisdiction of the housing authority that issued your voucher.

Are There Income Restrictions to Get a Section 8 Voucher?

There are no income restrictions to get a Section 8 voucher, but there are income guidelines

Income is one of the factors that we use in determining eligibility for Section 8.

How Can I Use a HUD Voucher to Pay For Housing?

If you receive a Housing Choice Voucher, you will be able to rent apartments and houses in the private housing market. You may move with your voucher and use it in any community that accepts vouchers and meets program requirements.

You will pay 30% of your income toward rent and utilities, and the government pays the rest directly to your landlord. If you move from one apartment to another, you must get re-certified by your PHA.

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