1.  What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program is a rental assistance program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD Section 8). The program provides 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. 

2.  Who is eligible for Housing Choice Vouchers?

Eligible applicants must:

  • meet income eligibility requirements (see chart below),
  • meet occupancy standards for available unit size,
  • pass a criminal background check, and
  • meet eligibility requirements regarding previous program participation.

HUD requires the housing authority to deny assistance if:

  • any member of household has ever been convicted of drug-related criminal activity for the production or manufacture of methamphetamine in any location
  • any household member is currently registered as a sex offender under a State registration requirement 

Household income may not exceed 50% of the annual median income. The following income limits apply:

Household Size

Deschutes County

Jefferson & Crook Counties

1

$22,350

$18,700

2

$25,500

$21,350

3

$28,750

$24,000

4

$31,900

$26,650

5

$34,500

$28,800

3.  How many Housing Choice Vouchers are available?  Is there a waiting list? When can I apply?

Housing Works manages roughly 1,200 Housing Choice 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 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 a Voucher  page.

4.  How can I find a Housing Choice Voucher rental?

Any rental unit on the private market is eligible as long as it meets the program rent limits and Housing Quality Standards.

For a partial list of apartment communities in Central Oregon, click the Courtesy Apartment List button below. Some of these communities may or may not have rental subsidy or rental amounts based on income. Please call the apartment community directly for more information.

Note: leases by HUD Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders at privately-owned properties must be pre-approved by Housing Works.  Prospective tenants should contact landlords directly to inquire about vacancies. 

Courtesy Apartment List

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.