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Section 8 Tenant-Based (a.k.a. Housing Choice Vouchers)







Procurement Agency

NYS Housing Authority

Total Annual Award

$19.304 billion in fiscal year 2015.

Tenant Eligibility Criteria

The program is targeted to very low-income households, defined as households making up to 50% of the area median income (AMI). Housing authorities must provide 75% of their vouchers to extremely low-income applicants, defined as households making up to 30% of AMI.

Eligible Applicants

Not applicable. Housing Choice Vouchers are allocated to persons, not projects. Tenants can use their vouchers in most rental housing.

Funding Award Details

Each public housing authority (PHA) has an annual cap on the number and total dollar amount it can award.  New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) also receives an allocation of vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In New York City, both the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has vouchers. In total, New York State has 224,171 vouchers.

Amount Details

Housing Choice Vouchers are based on the local Fair Market Rent (FMR) levels that are determined annually by HUD. Tenants pay 30% of their income and the voucher pays landlords the difference between the FMR for their area and their tenants' income.


Vouchers last as long as the tenant continues to meet HUD's eligibility guidelines. Voucher recipients must certify their income on an annual basis.

Network Notes

In most localities demand far exceeds the supply of Section 8 vouchers. As a result, most PHAs have long waiting lists.

PHAs are required to submit an administrative plan to HUD and make it available to the public. The plan includes information on admission preferences, also known as priority populations. Each PHA has the authority to set these local preferences as long as they fall within the overall eligibility criteria of the program. PHAs can project-base up to 20% of their voucher allocation. These vouchers are then tied to the building rather than the tenants.

For More Information

Read HUD's factsheet on Housing Choice Vouchers.

For Section 8 vouchers for supportive housing in New York City, contact:

Yolanda Gibbs
NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD)

For a list of New York State housing authorities and their contact information, visit HUD's website.

Last updated: 04/30/2015

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