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Transferring Your Section 8 Voucher – Things You Must Know

Moving with Section 8 Vouchers

The federally funded housing assistance (Section 8) Voucher program is planned to provided beneficiaries easiness and liberty to move while receiving this housing assistance. When a family decides to move to another city or state their voucher can also be moved along with them but there are a standard procedure and a few steps these recipients have to take before actually changing their accommodation to another city.

To transfer these benefits the household has to complete certain requirements of the existing lease agreement giving landlord proper notice at least 30 days (in majority cases) before moving out. This means the tenants are not allowed to end the lease at will or infringe the terms agreed in the lease agreement for accommodation rented using housing vouchers. Section 8 vouchers of those participants who violate these terms can be suspended. When deciding to move to a new destination the Section 8 tenants are supposed to notify the respective Public Housing Authority (PHA), also requesting the transfer of the vouchers to the desired city or state.

Moving to a New State

In those cases where voucher recipient household plans to move to a new home in the same locality, they will remain under the jurisdiction of the same PHA and it needs litter additional paperwork. The current PHA will issue a new voucher to be signed by the new property owner and the beneficiary; the house will be examined to ensure it meets the PHA’s Housing Quality Standards.


On the other hand, moving to a new jurisdiction the household is supposed to fulfill the requirements of the new PHA’s requirements as there are be certain variations from state to state so it is recommended to contact the future your future PHA to comprehend the additional requirements if any. Major procedures that may be at variance could be requested for tenancy approval and inspection of the housing unit.

One important thing to remember for the voucher holders is to cross-check the voucher program coverage for the desired area of moving into, as the whole of USA is not covered and there are regions where the Section 8 vouchers are not served. The existing PHA is supposed to provide this information regarding including maps of the region with lower poverty and nearby job opportunities.

The steps to be taken to transfer voucher/ required documentation

Once decided to move, the first step is to report current PHA, which will collect documentation including birth certificates of the family members, social security cards, IDs, proofs of income and other relevant forms from HUD to complete your Portability Release Form. The current PHA is also responsible to coordinate with PHA of the desired city or state.  The whole process needs a few weeks so it is advisable to begin the process as soon as one decides to move.

There are limited options for fresh voucher recipients (with less than one year on beneficiary list).  When new recipients want to move to an area outside the jurisdiction of existing PHA, they are at risk of losing their benefits your vouchers, at least momentarily. It is recommended that the new recipients should live in the jurisdiction of the same PHA at least for 12 full months before deciding to move out as after that period they would be treated as any other recipients.


After the completion of the Portability Release Form process, Section 8 tenants will likely be required to attend an in-person meeting at your new PHA very much like when they first received a voucher. It is also benefiting to be aware of the area-specific information on coverage, etc. For example, a specific PHA may demand a moving family to partake in a briefing or may ask for are an assessment of the family’s monthly income.  But generally, a PHA is not permitted to delay a given search for housing without a valid reason.

Because of one’s already receiving vouchers, the new office doesn’t need to have one’s qualifying for rental assistance another time. The current PHA will send the new agency the household’s most recent HUD 50058 form (known as Family Report). As mentioned earlier individual PHAs have varying family size and income limits. Depending on the policies of the new PHA, it may have to re-examine the information to establish the type of housing unit and the sum one can be entitled to.

Here are the steps in proper order to successfully transferring one’s housing vouchers when moving to a new city or state;

  1. Notifying Home Forward
  • Calling or writing rent assistance services coordinator for the transfer packet.
  • Those on a fixed-term and having to pay landlord money, or if Home Forward is suggesting termination due to program violations, cannot be approved to transfer.
  • Serving moving-out-notice to the landlord (30-60-day), needs to be signed by both parties with one yellow copy to be returned to the PHA attached to the packet.
  1. Reporting reduction or addition of family members since one’s last review with all family members meeting eligibility requirements.
  2. Scheduling appointment with Services Coordinator
  • After the department receives a request, the rent assistance services coordinator will review the information and fix an in-office appointment.
  • The household will obtain a voucher at the appointment, along with other relevant papers.

There is a possibility that the new agency may accept a family into its program, covering renting expenses and if it has sufficient funding available otherwise, it will bill those expenses to the former agency, and you will continue to receive housing benefits from original PHA branch.

The basic information of Voucher recipient households that the new PHA may keep is:

  • Name of Participant/ household
  • Voucher expiry date
  • Tenancy Approval request
  • Name of previous PHA

After taking all these steps one can decide to move to a new city transferring one’s benefits with him/ her. Additional noteworthy things to remember are to regularly update the respective PHAs (current or future) to guarantee proper coordination, furthermore, the Section 8 tenant must take maximum precaution regarding not taking any initiative or decision that could violate any of the terms of the existing lease.

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