The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), often referred to as Section 8, is a Federal program for assisting low and very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing of their choice in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses or apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program. The program also allows its participants to use the voucher after the first year of admissions (if the applicant was not a current resident of our jurisdiction when they applied) anywhere in the nation. This segment of the program is entitled Portability.
Menard County Housing Authority administers Housing Choice Vouchers that allow families to rent in the private market and receive a subsidy towards their rent. With this assistance, residents are able to pay approximately 30-40 percent of their annual adjusted income toward rent, while the MCHA pays the remainder.
Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by the Menard County Housing Authority. MCHA receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.
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 if it meets program requirements and is located within the housing authority’s jurisdiction. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety as determined by the MCHA. The rent must be verified by MCHA as reasonable. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord/owner directly by the MCHA 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.
Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the MCHA based on the total annual gross income and family size. Participation in this program is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status as defined by HUD. In general, the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. By law, the MCHA must provide 75 percent of its vouchers to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income (Federal extremely-low category). Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location.