Housing Choice Vouchers

Housing Choice Voucher Program


The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled and homeless to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual and participants are able to find their own rental housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.

Local Administration


HCVs are administered locally by Portland Housing Authority (PHA). PHA receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the HCV program.

Participant Responsibilities


A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family’s choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family’s present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by PHA.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

Join the Waiting List



To apply for a Housing Choice Voucher on-line you can click on the Maine Centralized Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List in the panel to the left. Read about the List and find instructions about how to use the system. If you would prefer to receive an application to complete, you can call  207-773-4753 and request an application and it will be mailed to you or you can come to our office at 14 Baxter Boulevard, Portland to pick one up.