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Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program was enacted in 1974 as Section 8 of the United States Housing Act. On the federal level, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers the program and locally, vouchers are administered by public housing agencies (PHAs). Congress annually appropriates funds for vouchers. PHAs are given a set number of vouchers that they are authorized to use each year.

When an applicant receives a voucher from the local PHA, the applicant must find a unit on the private market. The owner of the unit enters into a Housing Assistance Payment Contract with the PHA and signs a lease with the tenant. The key features of the HCV program are mobility portability, which permits voucher holders to move to the jurisdiction of another PHA and retain their assistance.

Statutory and Regulatory Authority


  • 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(o) (the main provisions governing the voucher program)
  • § 1437f(o)(13) (PHA project-based assistance)
  • § 1437f(o)(15) (Homeownership option)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 1437 (Declaration of policy and public housing agency organization)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 1436a (Restrictions on use of assisted housing by non-resident aliens)
  • 42 U.S.C. §§ 13661-4 (Safety and Security in Public and Assisted Housing)


  • 24 C.F.R. Part 982—Section 8 Tenant Based Assistance: Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • § 982.625 (Homeownership Option)
  • 24 C.F.R. Part 983—Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Program
  • 24 C.F.R. Part 984—Section 8 and Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency Program
  • 24 C.F.R. Part 985—Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP)
  • 24 C.F.R. Part 5—General HUD Requirements; Waivers
  • § 5.100 General Definitions
  • § 5.110 Waiver authority
  • § 5.210-18 Disclosure of Social Security Numbers
  • § 5.230-38 Procedures for Securing Wage and Income Information
  • § 5.403 Definitions for Section 8 programs
  • § 5.500-28 Restrictions on Assistance to Non-citizens
  • § 5.601, et seq Income limits, definition of income, recertification and rents,
  • § 5.615 Effect of welfare benefit reduction on family rent
  • § 5.617 Earned income disregard for disabled voucher tenants
  • § 5.630 Minimum rent
  • § 5.801 Uniform Financial Reporting Standards
  • Subpart J—Access to Criminal Records and Information (§ 5.901-5.905).