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Contact Your Section 8 Caseworker and Landlord

Once you have decided to move away from the city or area in which you are currently using your voucher, you need to start the portability process. Let your caseworker know where and when you want to move. Doing this at least three months before you plan to move is best for your caseworker. And four or five months ahead of time is even better.

The new housing authority must either be "absorbing" or "billing" vouchers to be able to port. "Absorbing" means that the housing authority takes full control over your voucher. "Billing" means that the housing authority will take you in as a resident, but it will bill your previous housing authority for its share of your monthly rent.

If there are two different housing authorities that share jurisdiction for the same area you wish to move, your caseworker is obligated to give you the contact information for both housing authorities. You choose which Housing Authority you want the port packet to be sent. If you are not sure which one is best for your situation, you can ask your caseworker to choose for you.

Even if getting you the contact information for the new housing authority is the caseworker’s obligation, it won’t hurt to be proactive. Get the name, phone number, address and fax number of the new housing authority, on your own. And if you can, get the name and phone of the staff person handling portability at the new housing authority.  A listing of all the housing authorities in the United States can be found here.
 
Make sure you notify your landlord and your caseworker in writing of the date you plan to move out. If you get closer to that date and you need to stay longer, write to your landlord and contact your caseworker as soon as possible. The landlord might say no and make you stick to the original move date. Unless your caseworker can intervene or you can convince the landlord to let you stay, you will have to move out by that date. Give yourself plenty of time before your planned move-out date.
 
Try to avoid violating the agreements of the lease. If the end date of the lease is October 31, make sure you don’t move before that date. If you really need to move before the end of the lease, try to get written permission from the landlord and your Housing Authority.
 
If your landlord is willing to let you out of the lease agreement before the end of the lease, your Housing Authority will probably have a form your landlord must sign as proof. If you move without permission, your landlord could sue you, your credit rating could be wrecked AND you could lose your voucher for violating the lease agreements.