Section 8 FAQs

How do I find an apartment?

  • Tenants and landlords both use the website PAHousingSearch.com. Landlord’s list available units and tenant’s locate suitable units by accessing the website or toll free 800#.

What is my shopping range?

  • In determining the maximum initial housing assistance payment for the family, the PHA will use the payment standard in effect on the date the tenancy is approved by the PHA.
  • The family may choose to rent a unit for more than the payment standard, but this choice does not change the amount of the PHA’s assistance payment.
  • The actual amount of the PHA’s assistance payment will be determined using the gross rent for the unit selected by the family.

Can I look for housing outside of Harrisburg?

  • Searching outside of Harrisburg is using your portability option.  HHA is the initiating Housing Authority and the housing authority being mailed a tenant portability packet is the receiving Housing Authority.  The receiving housing authority would let us know if they are absorbing their voucher (which relieves HHA from any further action) or going to bill HHA for their new contract.  If a tenant wants to port-out to a higher cost area, and the receiving H.A. is going to bill us, the portability is delayed until we have the additional funding to pay for a higher cost unit.

How is my share of the rent calculated?

Voucher Payment Standards:

  • The maximum housing assistance that eligible families can receive under the voucher program is the difference between 30% of the net household income and the current payment standard
  • Currently the voucher payment standards are:
DWELLING SIZEVOUCHER PAYMENT STANDARDS
1 Bedroom$662
2 Bedroom$845
3 Bedroom$1068
4 Bedroom$1,106
5 Bedroom$1,246
6 Bedroom$1,417

Rent Reasonableness:

  • Please note that all proposed rents must be comparable and reasonable as compared to similar unassisted units.

Family Contributions:

  • The family’s contribution to the program is thirty percent (30%) of their adjusted income. The family’s share of the rent may be adjusted up or down depending on changes in the family’s income or household members. Any new admission or any family who moves may not pay more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income toward the initial rent.

When do I sign a lease?

  • It is advised that a tenant not sight a lease until after the unit passes the HQS inspection and the monthly rent is approved.
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