Individuals or families in the Section 8 federal housing choice voucher program find their own housing in any apartments, duplexes, townhouses or single-family homes with landlords willing to participate. Once they select an apartment, the local Public Housing Agency approves it.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 8 housing choice voucher program helps low-income disabled, elderly and families find housing in the private sector and is not tied to specific subsidized housing projects. Participants apply through the local Public Housing Agency, but once the application is approved, voucher holders can seek housing anywhere in the United States. Once voucher holders locate a unit whose landlord agrees to participate, the Public Housing Agency inspects the apartment to determine that it is healthy, safe and has reasonable rent. The voucher holder signs a lease with the landlord, and the landlord signs a contract with the Public Housing Agency for its share of the rent.
Generally, if the rent falls within acceptable limits, the voucher holder pays up to 30 percent of adjusted monthly gross income for rent and utilities, and the Public Housing Agency pays the balance in rent to the landlord. The voucher holder must pay rent on time and keep the apartment in good condition. The landlord must continue to maintain the housing quality standards required by the program. The Public Housing Agency monitors both the tenant and landlord to ensure they both meet the program's conditions.