Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) provides rental assistance to low-income households for safe and quality housing at privately-owned or Housing Works properties.  Vouchers ensure that households do not pay more than 30 to 40% of their gross annual income towards rent.

A rental unit must pass an inspection by Housing Works certifying it meets health and safety standards.  Then a monthly housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by Housing Works on behalf of the voucher recipient. Any difference between the actual monthly rent amount and the voucher value is paid by the renter.

2.  Who is ineligible for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers?

Some applicants may be denied for the following reasons:

  • You or a member of your household has an outstanding debt owed to any housing  authority.
  • You or a member of your household has been evicted from public housing within the last three years.
  • You or a member of your household has not fulfilled family obligations during participation in the Housing Choice Voucher program within the past five years.
  • You or a member of your household has engaged in abusive or violent behavior or threats toward housing authority personnel.
  • You or a member of your household has committed fraud, bribery, or any criminal act in connection with any federal housing program.
  • You or a member of your household has engaged in drug-related or violent criminal activity during the past five years.

The following are not eligible to receive vouchers under any circumstances:

  • You or a household member is a registered sex offender.
  • You or a household member has been convicted of manufacturing or trafficking any controlled substance while living in federally-assisted housing.

3.  How Many Section 8 Vouchers are Available?  Is There a Waiting List? When Can I Apply?

Housing Works manages roughly 1,200 vouchers in Central Oregon’s tri-county area.  The number of vouchers available varies depending on federal funding.  Because the demand for vouchers is far greater than the supply, Housing Works maintains a waiting list which typically runs in the thousands. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List is open for one week in January of each year. Those interested in applying for vouchers may find more information on the Apply For Voucher  page.

4.  How Can I Find a Section 8 Rental?

Any rental unit on the private market is eligible as long as it meets the program rent limits and Housing Quality Standards. Housing Works owns properties that may be available to Housing Choice Voucher holders. View available Housing Works property listings at EPIC Property Management or available private market units at

5.  How Should I Prepare for My Housing Inspection?

Prior to move in, the home you choose will need to pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection to ensure that the home is safe and sanitary. Your home will also be inspected annually to make sure these standards are being maintained. Click on the HQS Inspection Video link for an inspection tutorial.