How to Get, Keep, and Use a Housing Voucher Without Losing Your Mind (Too Much)

Art: Robin Mead

Everything in the world you ever wanted to know (and everything in the world you never wanted to know) about Housing Vouchers.

How Do I Apply?

You can start by applying at your local Housing Authority. But don’t stop there. If you stop there, it may be 3 years, or 5 years, or 15 years before you get into housing: 

I’m On a List. Now What? 

Finally got on an affordable housing waiting list you like? Great! Think there is nothing to do now but sit around and wait and wait and wait? Not true!

I Got A Voucher! Now What? 

Time to start looking for your new home. Housing authorities aren’t always super clear about what your voucher will pay for. Sometimes people spend weeks or months looking in the wrong price range:

You may also be wondering what type of place you can and can’t rent:

How Do I Find a Landlord?

If you have a housing voucher, your journey is not over. You still have to find a landlord to accept your voucher:

Solving Landlord Problems

Disability accommodations can sometimes help with:

Moving In

In some areas it’s possible to find:

Rent You Can Afford

Rent is set to be 30% of your income. Or is it?

Can I Change My Number of Bedrooms?

The number of bedrooms you are approved for should be written on your voucher. Sometimes it can change:


If you are having difficulty getting your needs met or your requests approved:

Live in Caregivers

If you or a family member is disabled:


Your housing program will want to make sure no one is living with you without permission.

Moving With a Voucher

Moving to a new area is called “porting.” If you are thinking about porting, there are some important things you need to know:


Not easy. Not always possible. Sometimes possible.

The Rules!

This is the best place to look for all the official rules:

More Policies and Mysteries:

Disability Accommodations

If you have special disability needs, accommodation requests can make your housing better and your life easier. Common requests include: Assistance animals, additional bedrooms, communication by email, live in aides, deadline extensions, and building modifications: Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters 

You can also check out our list of Top Ten Most Popular Accommodations

Success Stories: Paperwork and Meetings

Success Stories: Bedrooms

Success Stories: Payment Standards

Success Stories: Life With Vouchers


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