The program targets the lowest-income families. At least 75 percent of new voucher holders must have incomes that are below 30% of their area’s median income. In 2016, at least 66 percent of households receiving rental assistance through the HCV program were extremely-low income, earning less than $29,500 for a family of three. Median household incomes among tenants served by CLPHA members are approximately $14,500.
Public housing authorities are required to ensure that 75 percent of the families they serve are at or below the extremely low-income limit. Additional households assisted by a PHA may have incomes up to 50 percent of the PHA’s area median income.
HCV-assisted households pay between 30 and 40 percent of their monthly adjusted income towards rent. The balance – up to a standard based on HUD-determined local fair market rents – is paid a voucher provided by a public housing authority. Households receiving assistance go through an annual voucher re-certification process that assesses voucher eligibility by considering household income and assets, as well as any shifts in the area’s fair market rents and median incomes.
While targeting the most economically disadvantaged households, the HCV program also serves the most vulnerable. In 2018, 53 percent of HCV households were elderly (29 percent) or disabled (24 percent). Forty percent of HCV households included children under the age of 18.. Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers serve approximately 2.2 million households, including over 700,000 (32%) that are served by CLPHA member PHAs. Of those non-disabled, non-elderly HCV households, 75 percent were working, worked recently, or likely were subject to work requirements.