Having a good place to live is important. Through your Public Housing Agency (or PHA) the Section 8 Certificate Program and the Housing Voucher Program help you to rent a good place. You are free to choose any house or apartment you like, as long as it meets certain requirements for quality. Under the Section 8 Certificate Program, the housing cannot cost more than the Fair Market Rent. However, under the Housing Voucher Program, a family may choose to rent an expensive house or apartment and pay the extra amount. Your PHA will give you other information about both programs and the way your part of the rent is determined.
Housing Quality Standards
Housing quality standards help to insure that your home will be safe, healthy, and comfortable. In the Section 8 Certificate Program and the Housing Voucher Program there are two kinds of housing quality standards.
Things that a home must have in order approved by the PHA, and additional things that you should think about for the special needs of your own family. These are items that you can decide.
The Section 8 Certificate Program and Housing Voucher Program
The Section 8 Certificate Program and Housing Voucher Program allow you to choose a house or apartment that you like. It may be where you are living now or somewhere else. The must have standards are very basic items that every apartment must have. But a home that has all of the must have standards may still not have everything you need or would like. With the help of Section 8 Certificate Program or Housing Voucher Program, you should be able to afford a good home, so you should think about what you would like your home to have. You may want a big kitchen or a lot of windows or a first floor apartment. Worn wallpaper or paint may bother you. Think of these things as you are looking for a home. Please take the time to read A Good Place to Live. If you would like to stay in your present home, use this booklet to see if your home meets the housing quality standards. If you want to move, use it each time you go to look for a new house or apartment, and good luck in finding your good place to live.
Read each section carefully. After you find a place to live, you can start the Request for Lease Approval process. You may find a place you like that has some problems with it. Check with your PHA about what to do, since it may be possible to correct the problems.
Every house or apartment must have at least a living room, kitchen, and bathroom. A one-room efficiency apartment with a kitchen area is all right. However, there must be a separate bathroom for the private use of your family. Generally there must be one living/sleeping room for every two family members.
To read more of this publication, download this PDF from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.