The Section 8 waitlist is opening for the first time in 15 years. Credit: Lewis J Goetz

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program waitlist will reopen in June after being closed for 15 years. Eligible New Yorkers can apply to the housing program from midnight on June 3 through 11:59 p.m. on June 9.

Those who need help with the application can call NYCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Application Hotline from Monday, May 27, through Thursday, August 1, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline’s number is (718) 218-1525.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) administers the program. When the reopening was announced earlier this year, we spoke with a NYCHA spokesperson to get the answers to your housing questions. You can read the full Q&A here. It includes the information you need before applying, what you can expect at each step, and some rules renters must follow once they find a home. Below is a short expert interview from that interview.

What will be their share of the rent?

The city says that families pay approximately 30% of their adjusted monthly income towards their rent share. NYCHA pays the rest. 

Can they rent a unit that is above the voucher payment standard?

Yes, you can rent a unit above the voucher payment standard. However, the voucher holder cannot pay more than 40% of the family’s adjusted gross income towards their rent at initial occupancy.

Can they port their voucher to another state?

Yes. A voucher holder may rent a unit outside of New York City through a process called “portability.” The voucher holder should ask to “port” their Section 8 voucher to any other public housing authority in the United States or its commonwealths or territories (e.g., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands) that administers a Section 8 program.

Can they add any person to the household after they have been issued a voucher?

No. With the exception of births, adoption, and/or court-awarded custody of minors, no person may join an HCVP (Housing Choice Voucher Program) household unless NYCHA grants written approval.

Does the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) pay Security, broker fees, and Furniture allowance? 

NYCHA does not pay or provide assistance for security deposits and/or furniture allowances. NYCHA will pay broker fees only in the case where the tenant or a family member requires a reasonable accommodation for a disability.

Can they rent their current apartment with their voucher?

Yes. A voucher holder may be able to rent their current unit with a Section 8 voucher if the owner completes and signs the required documents in the rental packet and the unit passes an HQS inspection. NYCHA does not pay resident arrears.

Read the full Q&A here.

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