How Do I Find a Unit with My Voucher?

  1. Where you can use a Section 8 voucher.
  2. Where you cannot use a Section 8 voucher
  3. Know the porting policy
  1. Search Affordable Housing Online for the city or county you will be living in.
    • While scrolling through apartment listings, look for those with the "Accepts Vouchers" tag.
    • Select the community image or link for details about the property.
    • Contact the community by using the online submission form or phone number provided on the page, and ask about applying to be a resident with your Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.

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  2. The housing authority that manages your voucher may have a list of landlords that accept vouchers. Contact the housing authority office for more information.

There are multiple HUD regulations that determine what properties may accept a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher:

  • The unit’s monthly rent must meet the housing authority’s Payment Standards. Payment Standards are the maximum monthly rent a household may pay with their voucher. To find the Payment Standards for your area, visit the housing authority’s website. If the Payment Standards are not available on the website, or the housing authority does not have a website, contact the office for this information. You can search our website for housing authority website and contact information. 
  • All units must be inspected and approved by the local housing authority to comply with HUD’s housing standards. Inspectors check for the overall condition of the unit, including its structure, mold and other possible contaminants, and animal infestations.
  • There are several areas of the country that protect Section 8 voucher holders by making it illegal for a landlord to deny a tenant solely because they have a voucher. Voucher holders not in those areas must find a landlord that agrees to accept their voucher.

Step 1: Where you can use a Section 8 voucher.

The voucher much be used for a unit located within the service area (or jurisdiction) covered by the housing authority. Some parts of the country have laws that state landlords cannot discriminate against Section 8 Voucher holders (source of income discrimination). Many areas of the country still do not have these laws. Check with your local PHA to find out what laws are in place for your area.

Units that are eligible for Housing Choice Vouchers are:

  1. Any apartments or houses owned by a private landlord in the Section 8 protected areas identified here.
  2. Apartments or houses owned by a private landlord that will accept the voucher, unless the unit is located in an area protected by source of income discrimination laws.
  3. Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units, unless the unit has an additional Rental Assistance subsidy attached to it (See Step 2 below).
  4. Most Section 515 Rural Rental Housing units, unless the unit has an additional Rental Assistance subsidy attached to it (See Step 2 below).
  5. HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) units, unless the unit has an additional Rental Assistance subsidy attached to it (See Step 2 below).
  6. Eligible units owned by the housing authority that administers assistance under an Annual Contributions Contract, as long as the following conditions are met:
  • The housing authority has informed the household orally and verbally that they have the right to select any available eligible unit, and the housing authority-owned unit is selected without influence by the housing authority.
  • The household is not benefited by an additional form of housing subsidy.
  • The housing authority uses a HUD-approved independent entity (such as the local government) to determine reasonable rent, assist the household in negotiating rent with the owner, and inspect the unit.

Step 2: Where you cannot use a Section 8 voucher

  1. College or other school dormitories.
  2. Penal, reformatory, medical, mental, or similar public or private institution units.
  3. Units that already provide a Rental Assistance subsidy, including: 
  • Public or Indian Housing
  • Section Project-Based Rental Assistance
  • Section 8 Project-Based Voucher
  • USDA Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance
  • Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly
  • Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities
  • Any other federal, state or local housing program that offers a Rental Assistance subsidy (this does not include welfare or social security).

Step 4: Know the porting policy

A Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher holder may transfer their voucher to a different area once specific conditions are met. This process is referred to as "portability."

Information on how to port your voucher can be found on the How to Port Your Section 8 Voucher Guide here.