Skip to Main Content

Homes and Community Renewal

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

About the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

The New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program provides rental assistance and home ownership option to extremely low, very low and low income households in New York State. The program also provides assistance to senior citizens and disabled persons on fixed incomes, displaced families, and homeless individuals with disabilities.

One goal of the HCV Program is to enable eligible households to rent or purchase decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private housing market. After a voucher is issued it remains with the family or individual as long as they remain eligible, even if they change residence. The dollar amount of HCV Program Housing Assistance Payments will vary depending on the income of the family or individual and the approved rent/mortgage for the unit.

Another facet of the HCV Program is the home ownership option available to current participating families. The voucher assistance is available and being used by current participants, who meet the home ownership eligibility requirements, toward mortgage payments to purchase a home. The HCR local administrators have programs to empower interested families with readiness for and assistance with home ownership.

Families interested in applying for the HCV Program must obtain an application from the local Public Housing Authority (PHA). In New York City, HCR operates the HCV Program through its Subsidy Services Bureau.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) also operate HCV Programs in New York City. HCR's Statewide HCV Program administers the HCV Program in other areas of NYS via a network of Local Administrators.

In Westchester County, HCR also operates a model housing counseling and mobility program through the Enhanced Section 8 Outreach Program (ESOP). The goal of this special-purpose program is to assist HCV applicants and participants secure housing in racially and economically diverse neighborhoods. HCR plans to expand the counseling and mobility services to other local HCV Program jurisdictions.

Once a completed application is submitted and the applicant is determined to be eligible, the applicant is placed on a waiting list. When a subsidy becomes available, the household is issued a Housing Choice Voucher. The voucher certifies that the applicant is eligible for the HCV Program and also specifies, based on the number or people in the family, the size of the unit the family is authorized for. Among other requirements, the family must participate in the program for a minimum of 12 months before it is deemed eligible for the home ownership option.

The regulations for the HCV Program are set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Households must meet eligibility requirements and the apartment to be subsidized must meet federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS). The unit must pass the HQS inspection before the PHA can approve monthly Housing Assistance Payments. HCV Housing Assistance Payments are sent directly to participating owners or authorized managing agents.