Can You Choose Where You Live If You Get Federal Rental Assistance?


Quick Answer

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, which is part of Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937, allows low income families to receive monetary assistance for housing that they have chosen themselves. The program features specific guidelines for qualifying townhouses, apartments and single-family homes.

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Full Answer

There are two different house programs under the Section 8 housing guidelines. The Housing Choice Voucher Program affords the greatest level of agency among the applicants, as it provides a subsidy for renting any home under specific guidelines. Applicants are able to search for their own homes, instead of having a home assigned to them by the government.

When a low income family is approved for this program, they can have a portion or the entirety of their rent paid for by the government. In order to for a rental home to qualify for this program, it must have a minimum level of cleanliness and safety. The rent must also be within a certain limit, based on the income of the applicant and the typical rent of the area.

The other housing program under Section 8 involves specific housing projects built by the government. These homes are often characterized by high crime rates and low levels of cleanliness, and do not allow applicants much choice in where they live.

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