Moving With A Voucher
One of the features of the Housing Choice Voucher Program is the mobility of the assistance. Section 8(r) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 provides that Housing Choice Voucher participants may choose a unit that meets program requirements anywhere in the United States, provided a PHA administering the tenant-based program has jurisdiction over the area in which the unit is located. The term "portability" refers to the process of leasing or purchasing a dwelling unit with housing voucher tenant-based assistance outside of the jurisdiction of the PHA that initially issues the family its Voucher (the initial PHA).
- Initial PHA Responsibilities: When a family wishes to move under portability, the family must inform the initial PHA of the area to which the family wishes to move. In the case where the family is not currently a program participant, the initial PHA must determine if the family is income eligible in the area to which to family wishes to move. If the family is not income eligible in the area it wishes to move, the PHA must inform the applicant family. Income eligibility is not redetermined when a participant family (already on the Program) exercises portability.
- Receiving PHA Responsibilities: The receiving PHA must promptly issue a voucher to the family for its search in the receiving PHA jurisdiction. The term of the voucher may not expire before the expiration date of the initial PHA voucher. However, if the receiving PHA provides the family with search time beyond the expiration date of the initial PHA's voucher, it must inform the initial PHA of the extension. Unless willing and able to absorb the family, the receiving PHA should ensure that any voucher expiration date would leave sufficient time to process a Request for Lease Approval, execute a HAP contract, and meet the deadline for submitting the appropriate billing information to the initial PHA.
There are numerous policies and procedures concerning portability. For further information or if you have any questions, please call (803) 896-8888 and ask for our portability officer.