Housing Choice Voucher Program

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Housing Choice Voucher Program'

The Housing Choice Voucher Program helps families with very low incomes rent or buy safe housing. Local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) issue housing choice vouchers to qualified families who may choose to use their vouchers for dwellings including single-family houses, townhomes or apartments. They are not limited to subsidized housing projects.

BREAKING DOWN 'Housing Choice Voucher Program'

Once a family chooses a home, the landlord must agree to participate in the housing voucher program. The landlord receives a housing subsidy directly from the local PHA, which receives funding from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The tenants pay the difference to the landlord.

Families qualify for the vouchers based on income and family size compared to the median family income for the region. This information is available from the local PHA office. Usually an eligible family's income cannot exceed 50% of the region's median family income.  

Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens or fall within certain categories of non-citizens who hold eligible immigrant status. Applicants must share details of family income, assets and family composition. Eligible applicants are placed on a waiting list and contacted by their local PHA when their names are reached. Long waiting times are not unusual.

Local PHAs may create additional selection criteria to move families up a waiting list. Homelessness, substandard housing conditions or paying more than 50% of household income for rent are common reasons a family may be given preference.

PHAs calculate housing-payment standards to reflect the average rent of a moderately priced home. Once families select a home, they will pay 30% of their adjusted monthly income toward the rent. If the rent is higher than the housing-payment standard amount, they must pay the difference.

 

 

 

RELATED TERMS
  1. Home Affordable Refinance Program ...

    A mortgage refinancing program offered by the Federal Housing ...
  2. Federal Housing Administration ...

    A United States government agency that provides mortgage insurance ...
  3. Making Home Affordable

    This program was designed to aid approximately seven to nine ...
  4. Home Affordable Modification Program ...

    A loan modification program introduced in 2009 to promote stability ...
  5. Zombie Foreclosure

    A situation (or a home in this situation) that occurs when a ...
  6. Fair Housing Act

    This law (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) forbids ...
Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    A Soaring Housing Market: College Apartments

    How to play the boom in upscale student housing.
  2. Budgeting

    Take Advantage Of A Housing Crisis - Rent!

    When a housing crisis strikes, the big winners are often the renters.
  3. Home & Auto

    5 Places With Good Jobs And Cheap Housing

    Having a great job without affordable housing (or vice versa) can be a real headache. These cities offer both.
  4. Home & Auto

    Where's The Next Housing Bubble?

    Countries outside of the U.S. are showing definite signs of housing bubbles - but which will be the first to pop?
  5. Home & Auto

    5 Factors To Watch In A Housing Recovery

    What are the economic signs that will point the way to a better housing market?
  6. Home & Auto

    When Are Rent-to-Own Homes a Good Idea?

    Lease now and pay later can work – for a select few.
  7. Personal Finance

    Millennials Guide: Before You Move in with Your Partner

    Living together can be romantic. But at what point does co-habitation become a common-law marriage? It's wise to know the legalities of your relationship.
  8. Home & Auto

    The Pros and Cons of Owner Financing

    Details on the upside and risks of this type of deal for both the owner and the buyer.
  9. Home & Auto

    When Getting a Rent-to-Own Car Makes Sense

    If your credit is bad, rent-to-own may be a better way to purchase a car than taking out a subprime loan – or it may not be. Get out your calculator.
  10. Home & Auto

    Is Running a Short-Term Rental Worth the Hassle?

    The pros and cons of hosting short-term rentals in your home.
RELATED FAQS
  1. My mortgage payments are no longer affordable; is there anything that I can do to ...

    The most important thing for you to remember if you find that you may not be able to make this month's mortgage payment ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 affect ...

    The passage of the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 at the end of July 2008 made about $15 ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What do people mean when they say there is a "bubble" going on in the market, such ...

    A financial "bubble" refers to a situation where there is a relatively high level of trading activity on a particular asset ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can I take my 401(k) to buy a house?

    Once you reach 59.5, you can use the funds in your 401(k) retirement savings account to buy a house or any other expense ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can I take my 401(k) to buy a house for my children?

    Under the standard regulations for 401(k) retirement savings plans, you may elect to withdraw funds from your 401(k) for ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How is market value determined in the real estate market?

    Anyone who has ever tried to purchase or sell a home has probably heard a lot about the property's fair market value, or ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  2. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
  3. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  4. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  5. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  6. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!