Renters Housing Guide

Regularly struggling to pay your rent monthly? Help relieve the stress by checking out these housing programs being implemented by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for qualified applicants.

For all the available HUD programs which assist low-income renters, each has their own distinct benefits, policies, and procedures. Interested? Read on to know more.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program

The most well known and most sought after housing assistance program in U.S., the Section 8 program is locally administered by Public Housing Authorities. It has more than 2,400 housing agencies nationwide to assist low-income households for a specific jurisdiction, whether it's a county, city, or multiple areas of a region.

In this program, beneficiaries pay 30% of their household's monthly net income for rent, and the remaining cost is paid by the housing agency that manages the household or individual’s voucher to the landlord. The Section 8 Housing Voucher program gives the freedom to choose any unit or property that meets the guidelines of the program to the voucher holders. This includes privately owned houses and apartments.

Project-Based Section 8

Next, is the Project-Based Section 8 program. This program gives a rental subsidy which helps pay for the rent of low-income tenants to affordable apartment communities which are owned by private landlords. Here in the Total Tenant Payment (TTP), program residents pay either:

  • 10% of the individual or household's monthly income (gross income minus taxes or other deductions);
  • 30% of the individual or household's monthly adjusted income (gross income with subtraction of taxes or other deductions); or
  • a minimum rent of $25.

Project-Based Section 8 rental subsidies may be available for all units in a property, or just a certain number of units in an apartment community.

Public Housing

This program aims to provide affordable housing communities and scattered apartments and homes which give rental aid to participants. The Public Housing Authorities administers this program, and they are the owners of the properties where the housing assistance is provided. Out of more than 3,300 housing authorities nationwide which offer housing assistance for specific jurisdictions, may it be a city, region of multiple areas, or county, not all of them offer the Public Housing program. The program participants pay 30% of their household’s monthly net income towards the rent and they are required to reside in the scattered site or specific community where they applied.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)

If you are a property owner seeking to help provide housing by renting out your property or units at lower than market rents, then the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is what you are looking for. This program helps produce affordable apartment communities by granting tax incentives to property owners. Note that the tax incentives are for the property owner and not for the renter of the unit.

In addition to decreased rent LIHTC units under the tiered rent structure, these properties may include market rate units which are not financially assisted. Tiered rent structures indicate that it’s plausible to have varying rent amounts for tenants with different incomes for the same unit.

These low-income housing apartment communities are managed by individual owners or private management companies. It is possible for LIHTC units to have a rental subsidy program like the Project-Based Section 8 program allocated to them as well.