Housing Choice Voucher




 The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, a voluntary program for both landlords and tenants, is a Federally Funded effort designed to assist eligible, very low-income families with their monthly rental housing payments.


 A family whose income is 80% or less of the area's median income, obtains certification to participate in the program from the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority, then selects a rental unit with a property owner who is interested in participating with the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The property owner is responsible for screening the prospective tenant to determine if the family will be a suitable renter. After a family finds suitable housing and the owner has screened and approved the family, the Housing Authority will schedule an inspection to determine if the unit meets Housing Quality Standards. The Housing Authority will know the property owner has approved the family when a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) has been submitted. If the unit is in compliance and the Housing Authority approves tenancy, the family and property owner must negotiate and execute a lease.  The Housing Authority and the property owner must execute a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract and the Housing Authority will make the initial Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to the property owner. Payments will continue on a monthly basis as long as the family continues to meet eligibility requirements and the unit meets compliance.

 The maximum amount that the Housing Authority will pay on the tenant’s behalf is an amount equal to the Payment Standard minus the total tenant payment.  Allowances are made for utilities not included in the rent; the HAP makes up the difference in the total amount due. For example, if 30% of a family's gross monthly income is $100 and the rent, including utilities for the selected apartment, is $350 per month, the tenant pays the landlord $100, and the remaining $250 is paid to the property owner by the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. Payment Standards (listed below) are based on the family size, not a family composition.


 A family may either remain in their present rental unit or move to another. The following guidelines are applicable:

 Under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, the family's share of gross rent (rent to owner plus tenant-paid utilities) must not exceed 40 percent of the family's monthly adjusted income. This rent restriction will not apply to a family that rents a unit for a gross rent at or below the Payment Standard for the family. The Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority will not approve a tenancy for the initial occupancy of a unit if the family's share would exceed 40 percent of the adjusted income.


Effective October 1, 2020

Payment Standards in the last column, (highlighted in blue) are effective January 1, 2021, for all annual certifications and initial lease-ups including unit transfers.

Payment Standards were calculated within the 90% to 110% range of the published FMRs. 

2021 FMRs (Posted October 1, 2020)

 Effective January 1, 2021 annual/initial certifications













Five 1.15 x 4


Six  1.30 x 4


SRO 0.75 Eff.