Housing Choice Vouchers

Program Description

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled and homeless to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual and participants are able to find their own rental housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.

Local Administration

HCVs are administered locally by Portland Housing Authority (PHA). PHA receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the HCV program.

Participant Responsibilities

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 PHA.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by 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.

Join the Waiting List

To apply for a Housing Choice Voucher on-line you can visit the Maine Centralized Section 8 - Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List. Read the information for the wait list and follow the instructions. If you would prefer to receive an application to complete and submit you can call 207-773-4753 and request an application and it will be mailed to you or you can come to our office at 14 Baxter Boulevard, Portland ME 04101 to pick one up. YOU ONLY APPLY ONCE. You may meet the preferences under several Housing Authorities.