HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

What are Housing Choice Vouchers?

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, formerly "Section 8," helps individuals and families afford stable, sustainable housing across the country. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funding for the HCV Program, which public housing agencies (PHAs) run on a local level.

These PHAs:

  • Distribute vouchers to eligible renters;
  • Manage local waiting lists for housing choice vouchers;
  • Inspect rental units for health and safety; and
  • Pay landlords a portion of the rent. The voucher holder covers the remaining amount (typically about 30% of their monthly income).

Am I eligible?

Eligibility is based on family size, citizenship status, and income, but exact requirements differ by PHA. Generally, households may not make more than 50% of the county or metropolitan area’s median income. For more on eligibility, visit HUD’s fact sheet on vouchers. To find the specific requirements for your area, like income limits and family size, reach out to your local PHA through the contact information listed here.

How do I apply?

Contact your local PHA. If eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list unless the PHA has a voucher available.

What should I do if a landlord won’t accept my voucher?

In some areas, landlords are not required by law to accept housing choice vouchers as a form of payment. Other places have what are known as Source of Income (SOI) laws which do require landlords to accept housing choice vouchers as a form of rent payment. A list of jurisdictions with SOI protections is available here.

Fannie Mae’s role in affordable rental housing

Fannie Mae is the leading provider of financing to the nation’s rental housing market. It’s our mission to ensure that working families and individuals have access to quality, affordable rental housing in communities across the country.