3 Key Factors About How Housing Choice Vouchers Work

By Michelle K.

Often times the most worthwhile things do not come in pretty packaging. Most of the time, you have to work hard to achieve something. For parents, working eight hours or more every day may be difficult, but that is zilch compared to knowing that no matter how hard you push yourself you still might not be able to entirely give your family everything they need all at once.

A shelter that is safe and comfortable to live in is one of these basic needs. Yet, it is also one of the main things that low-income families in the US, as well as in other parts of the world, cannot meet the expense of. Paying for rent in a decent residence just seems so far-fetched – but not for long, especially if you can be at the receiving end of the housing choice voucher program of the federal government.

How Does It Work?

  • Eligibility is Fundamental. First of all, you need to validate through a local Public Housing Agency (PHA) that you are eligible for the voucher. Remember that the housing choice vouchers are for the seniors, the disabled, and the low-income people. Aside from that, they also consider the yearly gross income and the size of the family during the application process.

  • Choose A Home At Your Liberty. You may have to wait before the voucher can be released if there were other families approved ahead of you. However, what is important is that you have already saved a voucher for your family, and can start seeking your future home. While we are at it, it is best to know that it is your job to find your own place. Only, PHA has a set of requirements that the housing has to meet, and that basically includes its cleanliness, safety and reasonable pricing. When you have found one, PHA will then speak with the proprietor and settle on an arrangement.

  • Payment Goes Right to the Property Owner. It should be made clear that the program will only cover a part of your rent, and not all of it. When it is time to pay for the lease, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will transfer funds to your PHA, and the they will direct the subsidy to your property owner. The landlord or manager will then subtract that amount to your whole rental fee, and charge you of the residual, lower balance.

This, folks, is how housing choice vouchers work.