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Section 8 Program

Section 8 Program

Issue Overview

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program has long served as America's primary method of rental assistance. Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by local public housing authorities, the program provides subsidized rents for qualifying low-income families in private rental housing, including apartments. This public-private partnership has the potential to be one of the most effective means of addressing our nation's affordable housing needs and supporting mixed-income communities. However, the program's potential success is limited by too many inefficient and duplicative requirements, which discourage private providers from accepting vouchers. 

As an Owner or Operator, How Does this Affect My Business?

Many private owner-operators may want to participate in the Section 8 Program but a number of its requirements act as disincentives. For example, a mandatory HUD tenancy addendum that supersedes the owner's lease; repetitive unit inspections; resident eligibility certification; and other regulatory paperwork. Collectively, these make it more expensive for a private owner to rent to a Section 8 voucher holder. Moreover, in a well-intentioned, but self-defeating effort to combat local affordability challenges, some state and federal governments are enacting laws that make it illegal for a private owner to refuse to rent to a Section 8 voucher holder.