Housing Assistance Program

Program Overview

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own safe, decent, sanitary housing.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the Public Housing Authority (PHA).

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

Who Is Eligible?

Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the PHA based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. By law, a PHA must provide 75 percent of its voucher to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location. The PHA serving your community can provide you with the income limits for your area and family size.

The application to apply is online and can be access by selecting the Public Housing Agency image below. Applicants are selected by the date and time of their application.

Once your application comes to the top of the list, you will be invited to a “briefing” meeting. During the briefing, the PHA will collect information on family income, assets, and family composition. The PHA will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance payment.

Where can I get help?

Click the Public Housing Agency (PHA) image of the county that is suitable for you.


Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marion (excludes City of Hannibal), Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, Shelby, Warren, and Audrain (Vandalia/Farber).


St. Charles County (excludes City of St. Charles)

Report Fraud

If you are aware of fraud, waste, and abuse in Housing Choice Voucher programs and operations, you can file a written complaint.

More information on complaints.

More Information



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