What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP)  (formerly known as the Section 8 Program) is a federally funded, locally administered rental assistance program that helps low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities afford safe, decent housing in the private market. Participants may choose any housing type that suits the needs of their family, as long as the requirements of the program are met.

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the HCVP in Baltimore City.

 

Tenant-Based Voucher Program

Through HABC's Tenant-Based Voucher Program, very low-income families may select and rent decent and affordable homes in the private market.

  • Very low-income families are those with incomes below 50% of area median income (AMI).
  • Tenants residing in voucher units pay 30% of their income for rent and utilities.
  • Housing subsidies are paid directly to the landlord on the participants' behalf.

HABC's Tenant-Based Voucher Program is administered by its Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP). Currently, the Tenant-Based Voucher program is closed.

Project-Based Voucher Program

The Housing Choice Voucher Project-based program subsidizes privately owned units throughout Baltimore City. 

Participants residing in Project-based units pay 30% of their income for rent and utilities.  The balance of their housing costs are paid by the program. 

Participants in Project-based units are assisted as long as they live in the unit and continue to qualify for the program.

Tenant Frequently Asked Questions

What is the HCVP Program?

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) is a federally funded, locally administered rental assistance program that helps low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities afford decent, safe housing in the private market. The participant is free to choose any housing type that meets the requirements of the program. The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) receives funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the Housing Choice Voucher Program in Baltimore City. 

How does the program work for a family?

After having qualified for the program, the family receives a housing voucher. The family then is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit where the owner agrees to rent under the program. (This unit may include the family's present residence.) The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) then pays a housing subsidy directly to the landlord on behalf of the participating family. The family is responsible for paying the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

Who can get a Housing Choice Voucher?

The program assists mostly very low-income families in Baltimore. The program takes families from its waiting list, determines the amount of assistance they will receive, and gives them a Voucher. The voucher term is for a maximum of 180 days with an additional 30 days provided as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability.