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The PHA is responsible for ensuring that every individual and family admitted to the HCV program meets all program eligibility requirements. This includes any individual approved to join the family after the family has been admitted to the program. The family must provide any information needed by the PHA to confirm eligibility and determine the level of the family’s assistance.
Individual Income Limits Areas
More information and definitions are available in Chapter 3 of the Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan.
To apply for a Housing Choice Voucher on-line you can visit the Maine Centralized Section 8 - Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List. Read the information for the wait list and follow the instructions. If you would prefer to receive an application to complete and submit 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 ME 04101 to pick one up. YOU ONLY APPLY ONCE. You may meet the preferences under several Housing Authorities.
there is a waiting list for vouchers (see "How do I Apply for a Voucher?").
The PHA will use the following local preferences, as well as date and time of the application, establish placement position on a waiting list. Families who have also applied for Project Based Vouchers will be selected according to Chapter 17 of the Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan.
The following preference groups are prioritized and offered vouchers based on qualification for funding, availability of vouchers, and the administrative need to for PHA to utilize available vouchers. All households must be on the Centralized Waitlist prior to receiving a voucher.
*See Chapter 19 of the Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan for details on preference groups.
Portland Housing gives preference to an applicant family on the waiting list if they qualify for one or more of the preference categories listed below. Local Preference points are cumulative and are added to the applicant family’s priority points (if any) to determine an applicant family’s position on the waiting list
Family with minor children, and/or Elderly, and/or disabled
Families with a member who lives or works within the area of PHA’s area of operation.
Families who are currently homeless under HUD definition and/or have a Rent Burden of more than 50% of family income.
The PHA will first assist families that have been terminated from the HCV program due to insufficient funding and then assist families that qualify for the VAWA preference.
Once you have applied for a voucher it is your responsibility to make sure your mailing address is correct. You can make changes to your address, e-mail and preferences , etc through the on-line Waiting List system.
Check out HUD's video on how Housing Choice Vouchers work for Landlords.
A landlord can go to www.mainehousingsearch.org to post their unit. Voucher holders are all given this resource to locate affordable housing units. Landlords are also welcome to call (207) 773-4753 and housing authority staff will inform current voucher holders of the availability.
Tenant obligations are covered in detail in Chapter 5 Part I.C. of the Section 8/Voucher Administrative Plan.
Obligations of the family are described in the housing choice voucher (HCV) regulations and on the voucher itself. These obligations include responsibilities the family is required to fulfill, as well as prohibited actions. The PHA must inform families of these obligations during the oral briefing, and the same information must be included in the briefing packet. When the family’s unit is approved and the HAP contract is executed, the family must meet those obligations in order to continue participating in the program. Violation of any family obligation may result in termination of assistance, as described in Chapter 12.
Unless otherwise noted below, when family obligations require the family to respond to a request or notify the PHA of a change, notifying the PHA of the request or change within 10 business days is considered prompt notice.
When a family is required to provide notice to the PHA, the notice must be in writing.
The family obligations of the voucher are listed as follows:
Damages beyond normal wear and tear will be considered to be damages which could be assessed against the security deposit under state law or court practice.
The PHA will determine if a family has committed serious or repeated violations of the lease based on available evidence, including but not limited to, a court-ordered eviction or an owner’s notice to evict, police reports, and affidavits from the owner, neighbors, or other credible parties with direct knowledge.
Serious and repeated lease violations will include, but not be limited to, nonpayment of rent, disturbance of neighbors, destruction of property, living or housekeeping habits that cause damage to the unit or premises, and criminal activity. Generally, the criterion to be used will be whether or not the reason for the eviction was the fault of the tenant or guests. Any incidents of, or criminal activity related to, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking will not be construed as serious or repeated lease violations by the victim [24 CFR 5.2005(c)(1)].
The family must comply with lease requirements regarding written notice to the owner. The family must provide written notice to the PHA at the same time the owner is notified.
The request to add a family member must be submitted in writing and approved prior to the person moving into the unit. The PHA will determine eligibility of the new member in accordance with the policies in Chapter 3. PHA will also require documentation of landlord approval to add the additional family member to the lease.
Subleasing includes receiving payment to cover rent and utility costs by a person living in the unit who is not listed as a family member.
Notice is required under this provision only when all family members will be absent from the unit for an extended period. An extended period is defined as any period greater than 30 calendar days within a 45 day period. Written notice must be provided to the PHA at the start of the extended absence.
For more information on the steps and requirements for portability with your Housing Choice Voucher, please read the How Portability works handout from the office of Public and Indian Housing.
To determine eligibility for public housing, please reference the income limits from HUD, linked below.
The centers are open following the Portland Public Schools District Calendar. Centers are typically open for a few hours in the morning for adult support and afternoons for youth. The centers occasionally close for trainings or special events. Visit or call your nearest Study Center to get updates on their schedule. You can also find the study centers on Instagram for day to day updates and activities.
The first step in finding your fit for volunteering is to complete the volunteer application linked below. Volunteer Application Materials
Balloon Payment Mortgages, Variable interest rates and seller financing are prohibited.The PHA has final approval as to whether the financing arrangement is affordable. The family’s portion may not exceed 40% of their adjusted family income.
The lender determines the amount of mortgage you can afford. This amount depends on several factors such as your income, your debt, the interest rate, and the PHA payment standard. Some financing options require the family to place a down payment on the home. The lender will pre-qualify your for a loan based on these factors. It is important to get pre-qualified by the lender prior to shopping for a home.
In most cases, your family can help you purchase a home by assisting with a down payment. We do not allow non-occupying co-signors or co-borrowers.