Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
(Section 8 Rental Assistance)
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program helps very low income tenants by providing direct monthly rental assistance payments to the landlord on behalf of the tenant(s). The tenant’s contribution to housing cost is based on the family income and is at least 30% but not more than 40% of monthly adjusted income.
Application & Certification
A family interested in participating in the Section 8 program may pick up an application at our office, download from the website or have one mailed to them. Applicants’ names are placed on a waiting list in order of date and time of application. Applicants with income at or below 30% of median income are served before those with very low income. Family income and composition determine eligibility. Current* income limits are:
|Household Size||Gross Annual Income Limit Essex County|
|30% Median||Very Low|
Once families move to the top of the waiting list and have been certified to be eligible, they receive a Housing Choice Voucher. The family then has 60 days to find a place to live or may elect to remain in its present home if the home and rent meet the program guidelines.
Most types of rental housing, including mobile homes, may be leased under the Housing Choice Voucher program. The program requires that units meet standards for decent, safe and sanitary housing and have reasonable rent. HAPEC will conduct an evaluation of the unit to ensure it meets these standards.
Once the tenant finds a unit, the program requires that the landlord and tenant agree to the terms of the lease. The lease must be for a term of at least one year. If the lease and unit are acceptable, the owner signs a Housing Assistance Payment Contract with the housing office which guarantees payments to the owner as long as the tenant lives in the unit, remains eligible and both parties comply with the program requirements as well as the lease and contract.
The tenant pays a portion of the rent to the owner and the agency pays the housing assistance payment directly to the owner. There is a waiting list for rental assistance through HAPEC which is currently about 1 year.