Are housing authority voucher ports still happening during the coronavirus outbreak?


Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher ports are still being processed by many Public Housing Agencies (aka, housing authorities) around the country, but the decision is up to each individual office.

HUD issued coronavirus guidance about this to PHAs at the end of March, saying, “PHAs should continue to process incoming and outgoing ports similarly to how they are handling all operational issues at this time. PHAs are encouraged to consider processing portability requests through electronic communications, teleconferences, and phone communications to the extent practicable. HUD is not considering a portability waiver at this time.”

This guidance is only a recommendation, though, and PHAs are allowed to refuse voucher porting requests at this time.

Affordable Housing Online contacted a Regional HUD Specialist who stated most PHA’s have language in their Administrative Plans, that say, “at the discretion of the Executive Director”, and HUD is encouraging PHA’s to exercise good judgment without breaking fair housing or any other rules.

We also contacted a PHA Portability Specialist who noted that “Many PHAs are still processing port-ins and port-outs as they normally would and so far, HUD has not issued any guidance regarding the suspension of porting.”

Even if ports are still being processed, there may be some issues with landlords accepting vouchers until State stay-in-place orders are lifted.

More Coronavirus FAQs from Low Income Households

  • Do I have to do anything if I’m on a rental subsidy program and become unemployed or lose hours from coronavirus?
  • Are housing authorities still open during the coronavirus outbreak?
  • Can I be evicted if I can't pay rent because of coronavirus?
  • Are there coronavirus assistance programs for landlords?
  • Do I have to pay all of my back rent when the CDC moratorium ends?