Housing Sections

SECTION 8, Rental Voucher Program increases affordable housing choices for very low-income households by allowing families to choose from privately owned rental housing.

The public housing authority (PHA) generally pays the landlord the difference between 30 percent of the household income and the PHA-determined payment standard is about 80 to 100 percent of the fair market rent (FMR). The rent needs to be reasonable. The household may choose a unit with a higher rent than the FMR and pay the landlord the difference or choose a lower cost unit and keep the difference.



Several assistance programs comprise under Section 8. Together, the voucher and certificate programs help more than 1.4 million households in the United States. The administering PHA or governmental agency inspects the housing units to make sure they comply with HUD quality standards. The voucher program is similar to the Section 8 certificate program but gives households more choices, especially in high-demand markets where landlords may be reluctant to accept HUD's .



Through this Program, the administering housing authority issues a voucher to an income-qualified household, which then finds a unit to rent. If the unit meets the Section 8 quality criteria, the PHA then pays the landlord the amount equal to the difference between 30 percent of the tenant's adjusted income (or 10 percent of the gross income or the portion of welfare assistance designated for housing) and the PHA determined payment standard for the area. The rent should be reasonable in comparison to the similar kind of unassisted units.

Grantees Eligibility

PHA's may apply for funding to operate Section 8 programs. Since the start of the Indian Housing Block Grant program, Indian housing authorities are no longer eligible for Section 8 programs of HUD's.

Customers Eligibility

This Section 8 voucher scheme is to provide assistance to very low-income households, households that were already assisted under the Housing Act of 1937 and households with incomes up to 80 percent of area median that qualify to receive a voucher in connection with other HUD programs. HUD determines median income levels for each area annually


Housing authorities apply for funding by responding to Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) published in the Federal Register. Each NOFA identifies allocation areas, amounts of funds available per area, and the selection criteria for rating and ranking applications. Currently, HUD is not accepting new applications; it is only extending expiring commitments and vouchers dedicated for special purposes. HUD spent an estimated $15.5 billion for all Section 8 programs in fiscal year (FY) 1996 and $16.7 billion in FY 1997. This Section 8 of HUD is authorized by the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, Section 8(b) (1) for existing housing and Section 8(o) for vouchers. Regulations are found in 24 CFR Part 982. It is administered by HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 451 7th Street S.W., Washington, DC 20410 Telephone: (202) 708-1112 TTY: (202) 708-1455