Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (also known as Section 8) is a federal housing program funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The HRA has operated HUD’s program since 1979. This program provides affordable rent to eligible applicants who rent units in the private sector.

The program is open to low-income individuals without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or status regarding public assistance. Rent is based on 30% of the household’s adjusted gross income. Program participants select a privately owned house, apartment, duplex or mobile home where the property owner is willing to accept voucher-assisted tenants. All assisted rental units must pass an inspection to ensure that subsidized housing is decent, safe, sanitary, and meets federally established Housing Quality Standards. The HRA administers this program to citizens residing in Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue (excluding the City of Red Wing), Houston, Wabasha, and Winona Counties.


The Southeastern Minnesota Multi-County HRA waiting list for the Housing Choice Program (Section 8) will be opening on August 7, 2023.

To apply, visit: www.semmchra.us and click on the applicant login. Then select “click here to register” and follow the prompts to complete registration. Once you have registered, click the online application button in your portal to complete the application.

Applications received will be placed on the waiting list in the order in which they were received.

New applicants are offered assistance when current voucher holders leave the program. Applicants are contacted based on their position on the waiting list. When your name reaches the top of the waiting list and vouchers are available, you will be emailed a letter to the email address on file.

You must keep the Housing Authority informed of any changes to your contact information through the applicant portal (Rent Café).

For more information about the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) contact:

Tammy Moyer, Housing Director
134 East Second Street
Wabasha, MN 55981

Interpreter Services – If requested, an interpreter will be provided at no cost to you.

How does the program work?

  1. Complete Online Application
    An online application must be completed and submitted by going to the SEMMCHRA website.
  2. Application Approval
    Once your application is received your name is placed on the waiting list. Vouchers can only be given as they become available. The list is first come, first served. Some local hardship preferences are given, but all applicants must complete the required paperwork.
  3. Attend Briefing
    Once your name comes to the top of the waiting list you are required to attend a mandatory briefing before receiving rental assistance. At the briefing you will learn how the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) operates.
  4. Voucher Offered
    Once your application is determined to be eligible; you will be offered the first available voucher. You will then have 60 days to locate an acceptable rental unit. You may choose to stay in your current rental unit or move to a new location. The owner must be willing to participate and sign a contract with the Section 8 Program prior to receiving rental assistance.
  5. Complete Request for Tenancy Approval Forms
    Once you have found suitable housing, you and the owner need to complete the Request for Tenancy Approval forms and submit them to our office for approval.
  6. Rental Inspection
    SEMMCHRA inspects the unit to be sure that it passes the program standards. Rental owners are given 30 days to correct items that fail the inspection.
  7. Rent Payment
    After the unit has passed inspection and all involved parties agree, the lease and contract are executed. SEMMCHRA will pay a portion of your rent directly to your landlord.

What does the program offer the landlord?

  1. Rent
    Owners are guaranteed a portion of the rent by SEMMCHRA. The program allows the families to better afford their rent portion, resulting in more consistent, timely, and full payments to owners.
  2. Inspections
    The inspection of the units helps to alert owners of required and/or recommended repairs. Ideally, this timely maintenance will reduce costly investments.
  3. Security
    Tenants on the rental assistance program are required to sign a lease, giving owners some security. The rental assistance program also offers specific guarantees.