|What is the Housing Choice Voucher
Funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD), the Section 8 Program helps low-income families rent decent, safe and
sanitary housing on the open market. Families are responsible for finding
their own housing and paying a portion of their income towards rent.
Participating families pay between 30% to 40% of their annual adjusted income
The housing unit must pass an inspection to insure that the unit meets HUD
Housing Quality Standards. If an item is found to be below standard, the
owner must be willing to make the necessary repairs and to maintain the housing
in good condition.
The contract rent for units being considered for the Section 8 Program must
be within acceptable rent levels for the area. The owner must sign a
contract with the Housing Agency and a lease with the tenant for a
minimum term of one year.
Unlike the public housing program, JMHA does not do background screening on
the suitability of a family for tenancy. However, we do check criminal
records and other court records to determine if an applicant has convictions for
violent criminal activity or drug-related activity.
The Section 8 Program also has a portability component. A Section 8
voucher that is issued may be used anywhere in the United States, including
Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Families under the Section 8 Program are also eligible to participate in the
Family Self-Sufficiency Program.