What is section 8 housing?

Section 8 housing is government subsidized housing for low-income persons.

Section 8 Housing is one of two programs: the Voucher program (known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program), and the Public Housing program, which, instead of a voucher, provides a home from a property owned by a Government agency (typically a Housing Authority). In both cases the rent paid by the Tenant is adjusted according to the number of members and income of the family.

On the Voucher Program, the more popular type, a voucher is issued by a Housing Authority, which guarantees that the federal Government, HUD, will pay its portion of the tenant's rent (the tenant pays the rest, which is not more than 30 percent of his income).

Some rural apartment complexes are financed with Government-guaranteed, low-interest loans and tax incentives to house low-income renters. These complexes, known as Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties, have their own programs which allows low-income families to rent their units at a rent commensurate with their income. These are not Section 8 programs but are administered by HUD and USDA, Rural Development. Some urban complexes may have similar programs.

Additionally, some states and localities may have their own programs which supplement these federal programs.