Where Can I Use My Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher?

There are multiple HUD regulations that determine what properties may accept a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. It is important to be aware of a few policies before beginning to look for a rental unit. First, 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. Also, 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. Additionally, 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 willing to accept their voucher.

To help voucher holders find a unit, we have provided a complete list below of places where HUD has specifically stated you can and cannot use a Section 8 voucher.

Where You Can Use A Section 8 Voucher:

  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 units, unless the unit has a Project-Based Section 8 or USDA Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance subsidy attached to it.
  4. A Section 515 Rural Rental Housing property that has units with no rental assistance, unless the property has a full Project-Based Section 8 contract on it.
  5. Eligible units owned by the housing authority that administers assistance under an Annual Contributions Contract, as long as the following conditions are met:
  6. A Section 515 Rural Rental Housing property that has units with no rental assistance, unless the property has a full Project-Based Section 8 contract on it.
    1. 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.
    2. The household is not benefited by an additional form of housing subsidy.
    3. 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.

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. Public or Indian Housing units (because by their nature, these units already come with a rental subsidy).
  4. Project-Based Section 8 properties where all of the units in the project receive the Section 8 subsidy (because by their nature, these units already come with a rental subsidy).
  5. Units subsidized by the following programs: USDA Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance, HUD Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, HUD Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities, and any other federal, state or local rent subsidy (not including welfare or social security).

How To Use Affordable Housing Online To Find A Unit With Your Voucher

Step 1: Search Affordable Housing Online for the city or county you will be living in.

Step 2. Look at the communities shown and find the program tags in the gray box, displaying which housing programs the particular property participates in. Properties that may accept vouchers participate in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and Section 115 Rural Rental Housing programs.

Step 3. Click “Learn More” for details about the property.

Step 4. Contact the property through the online submission form or phone number provided on the page, and ask if there are any units available that accept a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.

Step 5. If contact information is not provided, visit the property, and ask if there are any units available that accept a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.

Step 1. Select the button “See Affordable Housing Near You” if it appears. If you don’t see this button, skip down to Step 3.

Step 2. The browser will ask you to turn on your GPS locator so Affordable Housing Online can recognize where you are located, and bring up affordable communities and waiting lists in your area. Select “OK*,” and skip down to Step 4.

Step 3. Type your city, county, or state in the search bar and click on the options that appear.

Step 4. Look at the communities shown and find the program tags in the gray box, displaying which housing programs the particular property participates in. Properties that may accept vouchers participate in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and Section 115 Rural Rental Housing programs.

Step 5. Select “Learn More” for details about the property.

Step 6. Contact the property through the online submission form or phone number provided on the page, and ask if there are any units available that accept a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.

Step 7. If contact information is not provided, visit the property, and ask if there are any units available that accept a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.*Please read our Privacy Policy.

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