How Section 8 Vouchers Help Low Income Families Pay Their Rent: NY Example

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 families 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. Section 8 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 Section 8 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.

Read also: Does Section 8 allow pets?

Process for Apply:

  • To receive a voucher, you must first apply.
  • You can apply through your local PHA or HUD’s website.
  • Once you’ve applied, 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 Section 8 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.

Section 8 Housing
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Read also: Section 8 Where To Apply?

Section 8 Voucher NYC: You must know it

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is specifically tailored to provide housing assistance to very low income families and individuals. To qualify for this program, applicants must adhere to specific income limits, which are recalibrated annually by the government and vary based on household size and location.

In the vibrant city of New York, these income limits exhibit a range from $53,900 for a single-person household to $100,600 for households comprising eight people or more. These figures underscore the program’s commitment to addressing the diverse needs of households within different economic brackets.

Notably, household size plays a crucial role in determining eligibility for Section 8 Housing. Larger households, with more members, may be eligible for higher levels of rental assistance, recognizing the increased financial challenges associated with accommodating larger families.

In addition to income and household size considerations, there are residency requirements applicants must fulfill. To qualify for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, individuals must be either U.S. citizens or legal residents, residing within the United States.

Furthermore, applicants are required to be residents of the specific state where they are applying for Section 8 Housing, ensuring that the program serves the needs of the local community effectively.

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.


  1. NYCHA maintains a list of all available units on its website that accept Section 8 voucher, but you need an NYCHA account to view it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Read also: Section 8 Bedroom Requirements: 7 Main Aspects


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). 

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

The Fair Market Rent (FMR) serves as the benchmark, established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to determine the maximum allowable rent a landlord can charge for a unit. Crucially, this figure is region-specific and undergoes annual adjustments to reflect market dynamics.

Complementing the FMR is the Payment Standard, representing the upper limit of rent assistance under Section 8. Typically, the Payment Standard is less than the Fair Market Rent and is subject to annual revisions, ensuring alignment with current economic conditions in various areas.

Your Tenant Portion, the portion of rent paid directly to your landlord, ranges between 30% and 40% of your total annual gross income. This percentage is determined through negotiations with your landlord. It’s worth noting that the Tenant Portion excludes additional expenses such as utilities, parking fees, or pet fees.

For households where utilities are not included in the rent, Section 8 provides an Allowance for Utilities, offering financial support to cover these essential costs.

A key aspect to bear in mind is that, despite income qualifications, the Fair Market Rent sets a baseline, and securing an apartment below this standard is not feasible. This underscores the importance of understanding the interplay between the Fair Market Rent, Payment Standard, and Tenant Portion in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, ensuring accurate and equitable housing assistance.

Section 8 Voucher Amount NYC

The Housing Choice Voucher Program in New York City assists very low income families by providing vouchers to secure suitable housing units in the private rental market. Administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this program considers factors like household size, income, and the Fair Market Rent for the area.

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Eligibility requires an eligible immigration status. These Section 8 vouchers bridge the financial gap, enabling families to access affordable and appropriate housing in a challenging real estate landscape.

4 Bedroom

The Housing Choice Voucher Program offers flexibility for 4-bedroom voucher holders, allowing them to use their voucher at any suitable housing unit where the landlord’s rent does not exceed $3006. To qualify for a 4-bedroom voucher, the household’s income must be below 50% of the area median income (AMI).

For families without elderly or disabled members, the voucher usage is limited to two years. However, if one or more family members are elderly, disabled, or both, there is no time constraint on their ability to utilize their housing choice vouchers.

This feature ensures that families with specific needs can secure a suitable housing unit for an extended period, emphasizing the program’s commitment to providing long-term housing assistance.

3 Bedroom

Under the Housing Choice Voucher Program in New York City, the voucher amount for a 3-bedroom unit with Fair Market Rent, set at $2,656, is determined by factors like family size, income, and local rental market conditions. This amount aims to make housing costs more manageable for eligible households, ensuring they can secure a suitable housing unit.

2 Bedroom

In the Housing Choice Voucher Program, your voucher amount, tailored to the cost of rent in your area and household size, ensures access to sanitary and suitable housing. This housing assistance payment is calculated as the difference between 30% of your adjusted monthly income and the established payment standard.

For a 2-bedroom unit the Fair Private Market Rent is $2132. Tenants contribute 10% of the rent amount, with the voucher covering the remaining balance. This structure emphasizes the program’s commitment to facilitating affordable and sanitary housing options for eligible households.

1 Bedroom

Under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, the maximum allowable amount for a one-bedroom unit is $1,745, and for a studio, it is $1,523. This encompasses both rent and utilities, ensuring a cap on your housing expenses.

It’s important to note that while these figures represent the maximum allowable, you might be charged less. The actual amount you receive is influenced by factors such as apartment size, household size, and whether you have a pet.


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?

Housing choice voucher is 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 Section 8 Vouchers to meet demand in their area.

Can I Move With 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.


The Housing Choice Voucher program stands as a vital lifeline for low-income families, providing essential support in meeting their housing needs. By offering housing assistance payments through Section 8 vouchers, this program significantly alleviates the financial burden of rent for eligible households.

The flexibility of these housing choice vouchers ensures that families can seek suitable housing units in the private rental market, fostering stability and security.

As a cornerstone of affordable housing initiatives, the Housing Choice Voucher program underscores the commitment to creating inclusive communities where every family, regardless of income, can access safe and sanitary living environments.

In navigating the complex landscape of housing affordability, Section 8 housing choice voucher emerges as a beacon of housing assistance, exemplifying the enduring impact of housing choice vouchers in transforming the lives of low-income families.

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