The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) helps individuals and families with low income to find secure, safe and affordable housing in the private market. Commonly known as Section 8, this program subsidizes rent payments.
An individual or family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding rental housing in the community. The rental unit may be a single-family home, a town house or an apartment and it may include the renter's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of quality and safety as established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the landlord must agree to rent under the terms of the HCV program.
A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly on behalf of the tenant. The tenant pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the HCV program.
Note: There are waiting lists for this program. Waiting lists only open to new applications when most people on the list have been served.
The local housing authority determines whether a household is eligible for a housing voucher. Eligibility is generally based on total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified non-citizens with eligible immigration status. A family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the geographic location in which the family chooses to live.
Throughout the application process, the local housing authority will collect and verify the applicant's financial information to determine program eligibility and the amount of housing assistance.
Once determined eligible, the applicant will be placed on a waiting list unless the local housing authority is able to assist the family immediately.
In addition to the general criteria, there are three special programs with unique eligibility. They are:
Family Unification Program (FUP)
These families have been identified by the Department of Children and Families as families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the imminent placement of the family’s child or children in out-of-home care, or in the delay of discharge of a child or children to the family from out-of home care. They are placed on the waiting list until a FUP voucher is available.
Mainstream Housing Opportunities Program for Persons with Disabilities
The Section 8 Mainstream Housing Opportunities Program for Persons with Disabilities enhances Connecticut’s continuing efforts to provide safe, decent and sanitary housing to people with disabilities.
People with disabilities may apply when the Section 8 waiting list is open. The Section 8 waiting list identifies applicants who meet Mainstream Housing eligibility requirements.
Nursing Facility Transition Preference (Money Follows the Person)
The Department of Housing, working in collaboration with Connecticut Association of Centers for Independent Living (CACIL), will make available Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers specifically for people with disabilities transitioning from licensed nursing facilities into a private rental unit.
If a person with a disability who is on the Section 8 waiting list and who resides in a licensed nursing facility develops a service plan and is determined eligible by the PHA to receive a housing choice voucher, the person will be invited to participate in the program.
Types of services and supports that can be used for Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
The local housing authority issues a housing choice voucher which the eligible household can use to find affordable and safe housing which meets the requirements outlined by the issuing organization. Once a lease is signed between the landlord and the household, the local housing authority pays a housing subsidy on behalf of the applicants.
The amount of the subsidy is based on a standard established by the Public Housing Authority reflecting the market rate for a moderately-priced dwelling. The individual or family must pay 30% of their monthly income toward rent and utilities. The HCV will pay the difference directly to the landlord.