Housing vouchers are used to afford residential properties found in the private market, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. To receive a voucher, a household usually must have an income no higher than the local poverty line or 30 percent of the local income average.
A family has 60 days to find a home once it receives a voucher, states the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In addition to new homes, a voucher can also be used to pay the rent on a current residence. To qualify for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, a residence must meet federal housing quality standards and have a rent similar to the current market rent for comparable local units.
In addition to rental units that tenants select, vouchers can also be used for subsidies linked to a specific property instead of a specific family, notes the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A project-based voucher can be used to cover housing rehabilitation or construction. There are also instances in which a voucher can be used to help take care of mortgage payments.
Funding for housing vouchers is determined by the number of authorized vouchers used in the last year and how much those vouchers cost, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Funding can be cut if Congress doesn't provide as much money as a specific agency needs.