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Using Your Housing Choice Voucher

If you have a Housing Choice Voucher, you can rent any place that qualifies for this program. It’s your choice to pick a house or apartment that best fits your family’s needs.

How to get a new place to live:

  1. Use the rental assistance estimator to help figure out how much rent you can afford.
  2. Read about what it takes to have A Good Place to Live.
  3. Use the Finder to locate housing you might be interested in.
  4. Contact the Landlord to arrange for a visit.
  5. Negotiate terms of the lease.
  6. Request approval of the lease and arrange for a site inspection.
  • About the Housing Choice Voucher Program

    This federally-funded rental program helps very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled afford decent housing in the private market. It pays landlords rent for each month they accept a family with a Housing Choice Voucher. This subsidy is linked to the family, not the housing unit.

    The amount families pay to the landlord is based on their monthly adjusted gross income. Each family must pay 30% of their income for rent and utilities.

    For more details about the program, read the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet.

  • Calculate how much rent assistance you could receive

    Rent standards have been created for all sizes of housing. If the final home you select has a rent above the payment standards, you may be required to pay up to 40% of your income.

    Use the rental assistance estimator to find out how much the final rent will be, how much you will have to pay and how much subsidy the landlord will receive.

    To use the estimator, you will need to provide:

    • Your monthly income (i.e. take home pay).
    • The payment standard for your size home.
    • How much 30% of your monthly income would be (known as the TTP or Total Tenant Payment).
    • How much extra you would have to pay for utilities (electric, gas or heat) - 2017 Utility Allowances.

    The Rental Assistance Estimator is a free tool (provided by HAPPY Software, Inc.) that estimates the highest amount the tenant can pay under the Housing Choice Voucher program.

  • What makes a good place to live

    Your home should be safe, healthy, and comfortable. Each time you look for a new house or apartment, read through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s booklet A Good Place to Live! It covers the Housing Quality Standards that a home needs to be approved and the other things you should think about for your family’s needs.

    Every house or apartment must have at least a living room, kitchen and bathroom. Even a one-room efficiency apartment with a kitchen area might work for a small household. However, there must be a separate bathroom for the private use of your family.

    Learn more about Expanding Housing Opportunities for Families which details some of the places to live in Miami-Dade County:

  • Find affordable housing

    We have partnered with GoSection8 to provide listings from landlords participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. You can search for apartment units, duplexes, single-family homes or townhomes in the private market.

    When you View Rental Listings, click on the property address to see more details.

    If you are interested in the property, use the contact information to get in touch with the landlord.

    If you need help using their listing service, call the GoSection8 toll-free help line at 1-866-466-7328.

  • Getting the lease

    Landlords will provide you with a copy of the Lease. Our program requires that the lease terms clearly spell out who will pay for utilities.

    We have prepared a Model Lease Agreement which can also be used by landlords. Review this version to see what will be included in your lease.

  • Request approval of lease and housing

    At least one month prior to your move-in date, you and the landlord must submit a complete Request for Tenancy (RTA) packet. The RTA packet must be received before the family’s voucher expiration date.

    Once we receive your RTA, we follow these steps:

    1. We will review the unit, owner and renter eligibility.
    2. Next, the owner will be contacted to schedule an inspection.
    3. If the unit passes the inspection, we will finalize the rent and affordability.
    4. We will review the lease and contact the owner with a rent offer.
    5. A contract for Housing Assistance Payments can then be made with the owner.
  • Inspections

    The size of the home is based on your family size and composition. The home you select must meet our Housing Quality Standards for health and safety before we can approve it.

    When you find a place you wish to occupy and reach an agreement with the landlord over the lease terms, we must inspect the home and determine that the rent requested is reasonable.

    Here are the Top 10 Reasons for Failing HQS Inspections:

    1. Reverse polarity on electrical circuits.
    2. Ungrounded 3-prong electrical outlets.
    3. Exposed electrical wires.
    4. Non-functional ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets.
    5. Short or missing pressure relief valve extension tubes.
    6. Deteriorated interior & exterior paint.
    7. Nonfunctioning smoke detectors.
    8. No locks on ground floor windows.
    9. Bathroom ventilation (non-working window or fan).
    10. Inaccessible areas in a unit (e.g., utility closet, bathroom).

    To find out if the property you want passed our inspection, check the HCV Inspection Portal.

  • Moving to a new home

    There are many reasons why a family might need to move. It could be a new addition to your family or a change in income. If that’s the case, you must submit a Request for Interim Recertification before submitting a Change of Dwelling Request.

    Sometimes the landlord doesn’t maintain the housing up to quality standards. You must send a notice to the landlord that you intend to vacate at least 60 days prior to your intended vacancy date.

    The 60-Day Notice must include

    • Title: 60-Day Notice
    • Tenant Name
    • Client Number
    • Owner’s Name
    • Owner’s Contact Information
    • Housing Address

    A copy of that notice must be sent to the County, along with your Intent to Move - Change of Dwelling Request.

    To make sure that we always have your current contact information, you may need to send us a Change of Address form. Submitting this form does not mean you are allowed to move.

Phone Number(s)

Mail / Email

Locations and Hours

  • Housing Choice Voucher Program

    74OO NW 19TH ST, Miami, FL 33126-1750
    305-403-3222
    *By appointment only
Department Main Image
Public Housing and Community Development
Michael Liu , Director

Overtown Transit Village North
701 NW 1st Court, 16th Floor Miami, FL 33136
786-469-4100 | phcdwebmaster@miamidade.gov786-469-4100 | phcdwebmaster@miamidade.gov