If you're preparing to move to another state, you may wonder if your Section 8 voucher will go with you. With a voucher in hand, you'll be more likely to get affordable, safe housing in your new location. But although these vouchers are marked transferrable, you will need to take a few extra steps to use them in your new home state.
What Are Vouchers?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes safe and sanitary housing affordable for low-income, disabled and elderly citizens under its Housing Choice Voucher program. Renters receive a voucher that they can transfer to any jurisdiction, whether in their state or across the nation. Public housing agencies, or PHAs, administer the program locally.
Your Local Housing Authority
Before you move, you must contact the PHA that issued the section 8 voucher for your current rental arrangement. The PHA will check your records to verify that your voucher is portable. You cannot transfer your voucher if you owe money to the PHA or if you have violated the agency's regulations.
Verifying the New Location
Once your local PHA verifies your portability, it will check for a PHA branch in the area to which you plan to move in the new state. You cannot transfer your voucher to an area where there is no PHA with a rental assistance program. If there is an agency in that jurisdiction, your local PHA will ensure that the qualifying requirements for the location are similar to the requirements for your current residence.
Transferring Your Voucher
Your local housing agency will provide you with the contact information for the branch in the new jurisdiction and tell you how to register for assistance at that location. Because you already have a voucher, it is not necessary for the new office to have you qualify for rental assistance again. Your local PHA will send the new agency your most recent HUD 50058 form (Family Report).
Rental Assistance With a Different PHA Branch
Each Public Housing Agency has different family size and income limits. Depending on the new PHA's policies, it may have to re-examine your information to determine the type of family unit for which you qualify and the amount of money you can receive. The agency may admit you into its housing program and cover your renting expenses if it has enough funds. If not, it will bill your expenses to the former agency, and you will continue to receive housing benefits from that PHA branch.