Housing Choice Voucher Program
Section 8

The Hancock Housing Commission issues and administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program (which is also known as the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program) in the Houghton County area. The housing choice voucher (HCV) program is the federal government's primary program for assisting low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the HCV tenant, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies (PHAs) that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This means that the tenant, landlord and PHA all have obligations and responsibilities under the HCV program.

Tenant Information

Individuals or households in this program pay the portion of rent and utilities not covered by the voucher-typically 30 to 40 percent of monthly income.
If you are considering the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, keep the following in mind:

  •  Tenant must comply with the lease, and landlord/tenant laws.

  • Make payments for rent when due.

  • Make utility payments, if any, when due.

  • Take appropriate care of the rental property.

  • Respect the rights of others.

  • Contact HHC for instructions if wanting to move before the lease expires.

  • Permit annual inspections to ensure property is in good condition to ensure it meets HUD's Housing Quality Standards.

  • Re-certify every year to continue participating in the program.

  • Immediately report any changes in family composition or income.

  • Individuals or households receiving a rental assistance voucher must sign a lease for a minimum of one year with the Landlord. Additionally, rental housing must meet the following two requirements:

    1.  The total cost of rent plus utilities must be within subsidy standards.

    2.  The house/apartment must be in decent, safe, and sanitary condition.

HHC will inspect the unit to ensure it meets HUD's Housing Quality Standards initially to qualify and yearly thereafter.

The waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher is currently open and we are accepting applications.

How To Apply

In order to receive a voucher, you must first get on the waiting list by completing our housing application.

Applications can be returned to any of our offices in person, by email or electronic portal (if available to your locality). If the application is submitted via email or electronic portal, an e signature is considered valid.

Once the applicant reaches the top of the waiting list , the Housing Commission staff will set up a time to interview the applicant and explain the how the program works, as well as the application, verification and screening process.

Landlord Information

Are you interested in becoming a Housing Choice Voucher Landlord? Here is some general information on how the program works:


HUD provides funds to allow Public Housing Authority's (PHA'S) to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the HCV tenants. HUD also pays the PHA a fee for the costs of administering the program. HUD monitors PHA administration of the program to ensure program rules are properly followed.

Public Housing Agency

The PHA administers the HCV program locally and provides the HCV tenant with the housing assistance. The PHA must examine the tenant's income, household composition and ensure that their housing unit meets minimum housing quality standards. The PHA enters into a contract with the landlord to provide housing assistance payments on behalf of the family.


The role of the landlord in the HCV program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program's housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. The Landlord enters into a lease agreement with the tenant.


When a tenant selects a housing unit, they are expected to comply with the lease and the program requirements, pay their share of rent on time, maintain the unit in good condition and notify the PHA of any changes in income or family composition. Rent: The PHA determines a payment standard that is between 90% and 110% of the Fair Market Rents regularly published by HUD representing the cost to rent a moderately-priced dwelling unit in the local housing market. The housing voucher tenant must pay 30% of its monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities, and if the unit rent is greater than the payment standard, the tenant required to pay the additional amount