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Housing Choice Voucher Program

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, the nation’s largest rental assistance program, helps low-income families, the elderly and the disabled rent decent, safe and sanitary housing units in the private market. Each year, HCVs help lift more than one million people nation-wide out of poverty, and give families the opportunity to move to safer, less poor neighborhoods. The HCV program offers a number of benefits to participating families, as well as communities as a whole, including: 

  • Reducing homelessness;
  • Increasing housing stability;
  • Reducing poverty;
  • Helping low-wage workers make ends meet;
  • Giving families access to safer neighborhoods with better schools and opportunities;
  • Allowing senior citizens and disabled individuals to live independently;
  • Reducing costs in health care and other public services.

Who receives HCV program assistance?

The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s (HACP) HCV Program provides rental assistance to individuals and families, as well as senior citizens and people with a disability. Thirty-one percent (31%) of our program families are employed, and senior citizens and disabled individuals account for more than half of our participants. More than 200 of the adults involved with our program attend school full-time. 

How does a Housing Choice Voucher work?

The HCV program was designed to expand housing choices for low-income families by allowing them to search for rental housing in the private market. Once a low-income family is invited to participate in the program, the HACP issues that family a housing voucher. The voucher identifies the size of unit the family qualifies for, as well as the maximum amount of monthly rent the family can afford to pay. Using the voucher information as a guideline, the voucher holder then searches for an affordable rental unit that best matches their family’s housing needs. 

What is the relationship between program participants, property owners and the HACP?

The HCV program is best viewed as three separate partnerships: one between the HACP and program participants, another partnership between the HACP and property owners, and a third partnership between the property owner and their HCV program tenant family.

Useful Information for Landlords and Property Owners

Landlords working with the HACP Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) or interested in working with HACP can view the Authority's
Landlord Resources Page for more detailed information about the program.