The Housing Choice Voucher program, also known as a Section 8 Voucher, provides rent subsidy to eligible low-income families who cannot aff ord to rent decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private rental market. This program is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Families must meet income limits; must qualify as a US Citizen or have eligible immigration status; and, pass a criminal background check. The Housing Authority administers 741 Vouchers in the City and County of Madera.
When eligible families receive their Voucher they are provided the opportunity to search for their own rental housing in the private market. The Voucher can be portable, meaning a family can transfer their Voucher to another jurisdiction (City or State) as long as the family meets the eligibility criteria in the new jurisdiction. The rental unit must pass HUD Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and the rent amount must be comparable to unassisted rental units in the immediate area.
Rent assistance is determined by calculating a formula of the family’s income, rent amount, and utility expenses. Generally, families do not pay more than 30% of their adjusted income for rent. The remainder of the rent is provided directly to the Landlord in rent subsidy from the Voucher program.
The Voucher program not only assists families with rent assistance, the Voucher can also assist a qualifying family with a Homeownership Voucher that assists with mortgage payments. In order to qualify for a Homeownership Voucher, the family must have successfully completed a one-year rental lease agreement under the Housing Choice Voucher or Public Housing programs. The Housing Authority also provides support services for participating families who wish to become self-sufficient. The Voucher program also provides preferences for homeless families that are referred from support service agencies who are ready for permanent housing. Homeless referrals are made for families that qualify under the following programs: Domestic Violence, Displaced, Family Unification Program (FUP), Behavioral Health, and Veterans (VASH).