Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Guide

Photo of single family home with "For Rent" sign posted. Photo by Adobe Stock

What Is The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance is a federal program for low-income renters in the United States. It is overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Section 8 vouchers allow tenants to pay only a portion of their monthly income for rent. But that’s not the only benefit — Section 8 tenants can rent from a private landlord that they choose.

How Section 8 Vouchers Work

The landlord gets the remainder of the unit’s monthly rent paid for by the local Public Housing Agency (commonly called a housing authority). Housing authorities manage the Section 8 HCV program, and other federal housing programs for their local service area.

Section 8 vouchers are in extremely high demand, and there are a limited number of vouchers in each area. Because of this, Section 8 HCV waiting list openings are rare in most areas of the country.

So, when there’s an opportunity to apply, it’s important to know the basics to avoid getting your application denied.

Read this guide to learn all the details about applying for the Section 8 HCV program:

Part 1How To Qualify For A Section 8 Voucher
Part 2How To Apply For A Section 8 Voucher
Part 3How To Find A Section 8 Apartment

Other Voucher Programs

There are offshoots of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program that give vouchers to specific populations in need. These programs have very specific qualifications that are detailed in the guides below.

VASH Voucher Guide
The HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) program provides assistance for veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Mainstream Voucher Guide (Coming Soon)
The Mainstream Voucher program is for low-income households with any non-elderly (under 62) adult member of the household who has a documented disability. 

Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) Voucher Guide (Coming Soon)
The Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) Voucher program has vouchers for a head of household, spouse, or co-head who is under age 62 and has a disability