are tenant-based vouchers?
Tenant-based vouchers increase affordable housing choices for very
low-income families. Families with a tenant-based voucher choose
and lease safe, decent, and affordable privately-owned rental housing.
organizations are eligible to apply for tenant-based voucher funding
PHAs authorized under State law to develop or operate housing assistance
programs may apply for funding.
How do PHAs
apply for tenant-based voucher funding?
PHAs respond to notices of funding availability (NOFAs) published
in the Federal Register. Each NOFA identifies allocation areas,
amount of funds available per area, and the selection criteria for
rating and ranking applications.
What families are eligible to apply for tenant-based
Very low-income families (i.e families with incomes below 50% of
area median income) and a few specific categories of families with
incomes up to 80% of the area median income. These include families
that are already assisted under the 1937 U.S. Housing Act, such
as families physically displaced by public housing demolition, and
owners opting out of project-based section 8 housing assistance
payments (HAP) contracts. (HUD determines median income levels for
each area annually.)
How does a PHA determine if a family is income
The PHA compares the family's annual income (gross income) with
the HUD-established very low-income limit or low-income limit for
the area. The family's gross income cannot exceed this limit.
How do families obtain tenant-based vouchers?
Families apply to a local
public housing agency (PHA) that administers this program. When
an eligible family comes to the top of the PHA's housing choice
voucher waiting list, the PHA issues a housing choice voucher to
How does a family obtain an apartment once they
have a voucher?
It is the responsibility of a family to find a unit that meets their
needs. If the family finds a unit that meets the housing quality
standards, the rent is reasonable, and the unit meets other program
requirements, the PHA executes a HAP contract with the property
owner. This contract authorizes the PHA to make subsidy payments
on behalf of the family. If the family moves out of the unit, the
contract with the owner ends and the family can move with continued
assistance to another unit.
How much rent do vouchers cover?
The PHA pays the owner the difference between 30 percent of adjusted
family income and a PHA determined payment standard or the gross
rent for the unit, whichever is lower. The family may choose a unit
with a higher rent than the payment standard and pay the owner the
Do families have to lease a unit in the jurisdiction
where the PHA issued the voucher?
No. A family may choose a unit anywhere in the United States where
there is a PHA that administers a tenant-based housing choice voucher
program. However, the family may only use the voucher to lease a
unit in an area where the family is income eligible at admission
to the program.
What regulations cover this program?
Regulations are found at 24
CFR Part 982.