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, Houston, Wabasha, and Winona Counties (excluding the City of Red Wing and Winona).
Check Your Application Status:
Effective August 15, 2019, Southeastern Minnesota Multi-County Housing and Redevelopment Authority will be closing the waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Also known as Section 8 Rental Assistance) until further notice.
How does the program work?
- Complete Online Application
An online application must be completed and submitted by going to the SEMMCHRA website.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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.
The inspection of the units helps to alert owners of required and/or recommended repairs. Ideally, this timely maintenance will reduce costly investments.
Tenants on the rental assistance program are required to sign a lease, giving owners some security. The rental assistance program also offers specific guarantees.