Understanding the Housing Choice Voucher Program
Helping provide decent and safe rental housing
The Housing Choice Voucher Program* (HCVP), provides rental assistance to help low-income persons afford decent and safe rental housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds the program and Elm City Communities (ECC) administers it in the city of New Haven.
An HCVP participant is issued a rental voucher and is then free to locate a dwelling unit suitable to the family’s needs and desires in the private rental market. Once the family selects a unit, ECC must inspect the unit before initial leasing and at least biennially or triennially thereafter to ensure that the unit meets HUD housing quality standards (HQS).
Once the unit passes an HQS inspection, ECC will enter into a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract with the Owner who leases the unit to the family. Thereafter, ECC pays a portion of the rent – a Housing Assistance Payment – to the owner on behalf of the family.
- The amount of assistance you receive is based on family income, family size, income deductions and the contract rent for the unit.
- Under the rental voucher program, the family is generally required to pay approximately 30% of adjusted monthly income toward rent and utilities. The HAP made by ECC to the Owner generally pays the remainder. Estimate your rent using our rent calculator tool.
ECC’s office is open for full service for landlords and participants with no appointment necessary. If you are on the HCVP waitlist, please make sure that your mailing information is correct.
*Commonly known as Section 8.
Click below to see case studies and resources that examine partnerships with housing organizations and school districts:
– A Case Study on Housing and School Partnerships – New Haven (Urban Institute)
– A Case Study on Housing and School Partnerships – Akron, Ohio (Urban Institute)
– Seattle Public Schools in partnership with affordable housing partnerships