Housing Choice Vouchers
The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.
The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.
Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies (PHAs). The PHAs receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.
A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the PHA.
A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. Under certain circumstances, if authorized by the PHA, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.
The moderate rehabilitation program provides project-based rental assistance for low income families. The program was repealed in 1991 and no new projects are authorized for development. Assistance is limited to properties previously rehabilitated pursuant to a housing assistance payments (HAP) contract between an owner and a Public Housing Agency (PHA).
Low-income families (i.e. families with incomes below 50% of the average median income) and low-income families (i.e. families with incomes below 80% of average median income).
Eligible families are placed on the PHA's housing choice voucher or separate Mod Rehab waiting list. When vacancies occur in Mod Rehab projects, the PHA refers eligible families for participation in the Mod Rehab program from its waiting list to owner. Owners select families for occupancy of a particular unit after screening each family.