Eligibility (for residents and for landlords)
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) is a rental subsidy program under which a voucher is used to help obtain housing from any private landlord that will accept Section 8 participants in Washtenaw and Monroe counties (learn more by reading the HCV fact sheet). The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.
A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable apartment of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This apartment can be the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the AAHC.
A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the AAHC 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. Under certain circumstances, if authorized by the AAHC, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.
Ann Arbor Housing Commission Voucher Programs are listed as follows:
Tenant-based Voucher program increases affordable housing choices for low-income families. HCV is a program of choice where families have the opportunity to lease safe, decent and affordable privately owned rental housing.
The Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) VASH is a joint program between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Veteran's Administration (VA) that provides permanent housing and ongoing treatment services to the hard-to-serve homeless and mentally disabled veterans and those suffering from substance abuse disorders.
Homeownership Voucher Program allows first-time homebuyers to purchase an affordable home with the assistance of the AAHC through the Washtenaw Homeownership Education Program.
The Project-based Voucher program is a component of the Ann Arbor Housing Commission's Housing Choice Voucher program. A project-based voucher is managed by the owner, and the assistance is attached to the apartment. When the tenant at a project-based site moves out, the voucher stays with the apartment.
The Family Unification Program (FUP) is a program under which Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) are provided to two different populations. PHAs administer the FUP in partnership with Public Child Welfare Agencies (PCWAs) who are responsible for referring FUP families and youths to the PHA for determination of eligibility for rental assistance. Once the PCWA makes the referral the PHA places the FUP applicant on its waiting list, determines whether the family or youth meets HCV program eligibility requirements, and conducts all other processes relating to voucher issuance and administration. In addition to rental assistance, supportive services must be provided by the PCWA to FUP youths for the entire 18 months in which the youth participates in the program.
Mainstream Voucher Program vouchers assist non-elderly persons with disabilities. Aside from serving a special population, Mainstream vouchers are administered using the same rules as other housing choice vouchers. AAHC adopted a preference for their housing choice voucher program for one or more targeted groups, including those who are transitioning out of institutional or other segregated settings, at serious risk of institutionalization, currently experiencing homelessness, previously experienced homelessness and currently a client in a permanent supportive housing or rapid rehousing project, and at risk of experiencing homelessness.
To be eligible, as with any voucher program, residents must meet the income guidelines, based on family size. The household member must meet screening criteria for program approval.
Please note: The Ann Arbor Housing Commission does not provide emergency housing assistance.
HUD regulations encourage applicants with HCVs to look for housing outside of concentrated areas of poverty; maps are available to identify those areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I report changes to the Housing Authority?
Participants are required to report all changes in your income, assets, or household composition as outlined below. Additionally, you are required to provide any and all requested information to the AAHC in a timely manner. If you are late in providing documents, forms, or information, your assistance may be terminated. If you are unsure of the name of your Occupancy Specialist, you may call the office and/or request an appointment in writing.
Do I report changes to my household composition?
All changes in your household composition must be reported promptly in writing to the Housing Authority. Some changes require prior approval or you risk losing your voucher. Please be aware that if you fail to provide proper notification and/or request advance permission regarding any changes in your family composition, your housing assistance may be terminated, or you may be responsible for paying back any overpayment of subsidy caused by the unreported information or violation. The following rules apply when making any changes to your household composition.
Removing any Household Member:
If any member of your household moves out, you must notify the AAHC in writing within 14 calendar days of the move out date. AAHC will verify the information and may conduct an interim recertification, if warranted. When a dependent turns 18 he/she will remain a household member unless removed by voucher holder.
Adding Household Members:
If you wish to add someone to your household you must get approval from the AAHC before allowing the person to move in. AAHC will conduct its standard eligibility screening at that time. If the addition is a newborn, please provide a copy of the birth certificate and social security card.
Do I report changes to my Income?
Participants are required to notify the AAHC in writing within 14 calendar days of any change to the income of any household member. Failure to report changes within the required timeframe is considered a program violation and your assistance may be terminated. The following rules apply when reporting changes to your family income:
Increases in Family Income:
If the income of any family member has increased, you must notify us in writing within 14 calendar days of the date of the increase. We will verify the information you have provided, and make any necessary changes to your rental assistance. If there is an increase in income and you do not notify us in writing within 14 calendar days of the date of the increase, you will be required to pay a retroactive rent increase, effective the first day of the month following the date of the income increase. Additionally, if you do not notify the AAHC of any changes to your family income with the required timeframe, your housing may be terminated.
Decreases in Family Income:
If the income of any family member has decreased, you must notify us in writing within 14 calendar days of the date of the decrease. We will verify the information you have provided, and make any necessary changes to your rental decrease.. Additionally, if you do not notify the Housing Authority of any changes to your family income within the required timeframe, your rent will not be lowered retroactively and your housing assistance may be terminated.
What is annual re-certifications?
At least once a year, the AAHC will conduct a mandatory re-certification in order to recertify your household composition, income, assets, and allowable expenses. The re-certification can occur at any time up to 12 months from your entry into the Housing Choice Voucher program or your last re-certification. All adults must sign recertification documentation In some cases, the re-examination may be done via first class mail.
The Ann Arbor Housing Commission Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program offers great benefits to landlords and property owners. HCV allows for owners to receive Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) on behalf of participating tenants.
Landlords who would like to rent to voucher holders should contact us. We will provide you details on the local process and the method for posting your vacant units. Below are locally used websites or platforms for advertising available rental units. If you are interested in becoming a HCV Landlord,
How to Become a HCV Landlord
The role of the landlord in the HCV program is to lease decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The housing unit must pass the program’s housing quality standards (HQS) and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments (HAPs). To learn more, watch the full briefing
- Stable rental income
- Timely payments
- Direct deposit
- Adequate applicant pool
- Biennial inspections
- Free tenant rental history (subject to approval)
- List your Property:
The PHA determines a payment standard that is the amount generally needed to rent a reasonably priced unit within the housing commission's jurisdiction and that is used to calculate the amount of assistance a family will receive. The payment standard is the most the Housing Commission can pay to help a family with rent.
City of Ann Arbor
- The 2021 Payment Standard are effective December 1, 2020; in compliance with our Administrative Plan, for all applicable certifications (annual, initial, portability, and relocations). As approved by the AAHC Board of Commissioners on September 16, 2020.
- AAHC Payment Standards are approved at 90%-110% of Fair Market Rents, as Published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2018
- The revised FMRs will be effective on October 1, 2020 (unless HUD receives a request for reevaluation of specific area FMRs).