How to Port Your Section 8 Voucher

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program allows voucher holders to transfer their voucher to pay rent in anew area, once certain conditions are met. This is called portability.

A HCV participant may only port out to a different area after one year of residency in their housing authority's jurisdiction (service area). If the voucher holder was a resident in the jurisdiction when they initially applied for the voucher, they may request to port out to a different jurisdiction at any time.

  • For example, if you live in New York City, NY, and apply for the Chicago Housing Authority's HCV waiting list in Illinois, you must live within the Chicago Housing Authority's jurisdiction with your voucher for 12 months before porting. But, if you live in Chicago, IL and apply for the Chicago Housing Authority Section 8 waiting list, you may port to a new area any time after you receive your voucher.

You can also only port your voucher to another Public Housing Agency (PHA) that also offers the HCV program. Vouchers cannot be ported to a PHA that only offers the Public Housing program.

It is important to consider any expenses involved in moving to a new location such as your current lease, rental deposit, moving and travel costs, and utility costs. Have a plan for transportation, school registration, employment, and childcare before you start the porting process to ease the transition to a new home.

Housing authorities are given a lot of leeway by HUD in their porting policy, so there may be other requirements not mentioned in this guide to port your voucher.

Start the guide at Part 1: New Admission Rules or choose a topic from the list below.

How to Port Your Section 8 Voucher Guide