The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program provides housing assistance for very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled, allowing them to live in safe, quality affordable housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses or apartments in neighborhoods of their choice. Participants are free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and are not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.
A family that is issued a voucher is responsible for finding a suitable unit where the owner agrees to rent under the HCV program. The suitable unit may even include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the PHA.
A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by CMHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.