In the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, families are given vouchers that help them pay their rent with private landlords. Families usually pay 26% to 28% (depending on how many are in the family) of their before-tax income for rent and essential utilities (gas, electric, water). The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) pays the remainder of the family 's rent directly to the landlord. In order to participate in the Section 8 program, a tenant family must meet PHA 's eligibility guidelines. Similarly, a landlord must be approved by PHA and the house or apartment (unit) must meet federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
- PHA, the landlord and the tenant all have different roles and responsibilities in the Section 8 voucher program. The result is a triangular relationship with each side relying on the other two to work.
- PHA and Tenant: The tenant signs an agreement with PHA that outlines the family obligations under the Section 8 voucher program.
- PHA and the Landlord: PHA signs a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract with the landlord that sets the rent subsidy and establishes the landlord 's obligations under the program.
Landlord and Tenant: The landlord and the tenant enter into a written lease for the unit that sets up the landlord-tenant relationship. Many of the key terms of the lease, such as how much rent the tenant must pay, and who must pay for the utilities, are prescribed by PHA.
The Public Housing Unit at Community Legal Services advises tenants with issues regarding their Section 8-subsidized units and their participation in the Section 8 [voucher] program. In many cases, Public Housing Unit staff represent tenants in court or in administrative hearings. Click on the links below for more information:
Admission to the Program [under construction]
Termination from the Program