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What Is the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program?

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is a federal rental assistance program that helps low-income renters pay a portion of their income for rent. 

Program participants choose their own unit to use the voucher, and pay 30% of the household’s adjusted monthly income toward rent. The rest is paid to the landlord by the Public Housing Agency (commonly referred to as a housing authority) that manages the household’s voucher.

Overseen and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there are more than 2,400 HUD Public Housing Agencies nationwide that individually manage the Section 8 HCV program.

  • Note: This program is not to be confused with the Section 8 Project-Based Voucher (PBV) program. Section 8 PBV tenants are required to live in a specific apartment community or scattered site. After one year of occupancy, a Project-Based Voucher tenant may request to be placed on a waiting list to receive the next available Housing Choice Voucher or similar tenant-based rental assistance.

Start the guide at Part 1: Who qualifies for Section 8 HCV Housing? or choose a topic from the list below.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Guide