Section 8 / Housing Choice Voucher
The Housing Choice Voucher program, commonly referred to as Section 8, is the largest affordable housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Macon Housing Authority administers the Section 8 program throughout Bibb County.
The Section 8 program provides rental assistance payments on behalf of low-income individuals and families, including the elderly and persons with disabilities, for decent, safe, and sanitary housing. In general, the tenant pays 30% of their “adjusted family income” for rent and utilities. The Housing Authority pays the difference between the unit’s contract rent and the family’s portion of rent directly to the property owner. Some Section 8 programs offer slight variations in the manner by which the family’s portion of rent is calculated.
To assure housing that meets their needs, the qualified household searches for a rental unit in the private market with a landlord willing to accept the voucher. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the program requirements and is not limited to units in subsidized housing areas. Once they find a unit, MHA will inspect it to ensure that it meets HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS). When the unit meets HQS and the rent is deemed appropriate for comparable rents for that size unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease. When the family moves into the home, the landlord and MHA sign a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract. MHA pays the subsidy directly to the landlord on behalf of the participating family. The family is responsible for paying any MHA determined rent share directly to the landlord.
The MHA team understands that a cooperative partnership with local landlords is critical to securing affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families. Without the participation of willing landlords, finding a good place to live can be difficult. Because of that, we continually seek new owners and property management companies to participate in the Section 8/HCV program.