The Housing Choice Voucher Rental Assistance Program, under Section 8 of the 1937 Housing Act, is the largest U.S. housing subsidy program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program serves approximately 1.53 million households nationwide. The program's primary purpose is to provide rental assistance to families of very-low to moderate income for affordable, decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private rental market.
Since the rental assistance is provided on behalf of the voucher recipient, families are able to find and lease privately owned housing, including single-family homes, townhouses, or apartments. The participant is free to choose housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing developments. Eligible families are informed of the unit size they are qualified for, based on the family's size, composition, and applicable rent level. A rental unit must meet an established level of health and safety before Walla Walla Housing Authority can approve rental assistance payments to the owner. When the family has found a unit to lease and has reached an agreement with the owner regarding terms of the lease, Walla Walla Housing Authority will inspect the unit and review the lease terms. The inspection standards, known as Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are established by HUD.
Walla Walla Housing Authority establishes the voucher payment standard used to calculate the amount of rental assistance an eligible family will receive. The level of assistance does not affect the amount of rent the owner charges or the family's share of the rent. Typically, participants of the Housing Choice Voucher Rental Assistance program will pay 30%, but no more than 40%, of their adjusted monthly income towards rent and utilities. However, if a family chooses a unit that rents above the applicable payment standard, they could pay more. We encourage families to shop around to find a unit that best meets their needs and fits within their budget.
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