SECTION 8 PROGRAM
Franklin County Housing Authority has operated a successful Section 8 Rental Assistance Program since 1980. This program provides safe, decent and affordable housing to very low income families through rent subsidies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Housing Authority’s Section 8 Program currently serves families in Franklin County through the administration of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
To apply in person:
If you do not have access to a computer, internet, or printer, visit one of the FCHA
offices to complete the application form.
The offices are open from
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
290 W. Washington Street, Chambersburg, PA
202 Elder Avenue, Waynesboro, PA
All families must meet current income eligibility requirements set by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
Very Low Income Limits for Franklin County, PA:
1 Person in Household - $26,050
2 Persons in Household - $29,800
3 Persons in Household - $33,500
4 Persons in Household - $37,200
5 Persons in Household - $40,200
6 Persons in Household - $43,200
7 Persons in Household - $46,150
8 Persons in Household - $49,150
Section 8 Waiting List is OPEN.
The Section 8 Mainstream Voucher
program waitlist is also open!
All three of the following requirements MUST be met to be eligible to apply for Mainstream:
- Must be under the age of 62
- Someone over the age of 18 must be disabled
- Must be homeless, at risk of being homeless, institutionalized, or at risk of being institutionalized (need written proof of this requirement, including but not limited to a written statement, eviction letter, Notice to Quit, statement from homeless shelter, a statement from the person you are living with).
The family’s preliminary eligibility is determined upon receipt of the completed application and after a criminal history and a prior subsidized housing check have been done.
Reasonable Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities Policy
It is the policy of our Housing Authority to be service-directed in the administration of our housing programs, and exercise and demonstrate a high level of professionalism while providing housing services to families.
A participant with a disability must first ask for a specific change to a policy or practice as an accommodation of his or her disability before the Housing Authority will treat a person differently than anyone else. The Housing Authority’s policies and practices will be designed to provide assurances that persons with disabilities will be given reasonable accommodations, upon request, so that they may fully access and utilize the housing programs and related services.
The Franklin County Housing Authority Section 8 Voucher program assists 368 voucher holders located throughout the Franklin County area. Units are assisted from as far south as Greencastle, north to Shippensburg, west to Mercersburg, and east to Blue Ridge Summit. We have three different voucher types that assist families in our community: Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, VASH, and Mainstream. Currently we have 318 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, 5 VASH Vouchers, 7 Bridge Rental Assistance Subsidy and 62 Mainstream Vouchers.
The Section 8 Voucher program assists very low-income families, including elderly and disabled, rent decent, safe and sanitary housing, in the regular rental market. This three-way partnership between the participant, the Section 8 department, and the landlord are what make this program successful.
During business hours, our participants and landlords will have access to a dedicated team consisting of a Section 8 Manager, Management Aide(s), Section 8 Inspector, and a Resident Initiatives Coordinator. The Section 8 department is dedicated to open communication and continued growth as the program evolves.
The Section 8 department assists a diverse population of families and is there to assist each and every one of their individualized needs. We provide resources, a monthly food distribution, and work closely with local agencies to help assist with other areas of concern (ex. security deposit, outstanding utility bills, etc.). The department works closely with the Resident Initiatives Coordinator through the Family Self Sufficiency program to make goal homeownership dreams a reality. If you'd like to learn more about the family self sufficiency program, click here. If you'd like to learn more about the homeownership program, click here.
SECTION 8 - Frequently Asked Questions
What are Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers?
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to rent decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. Since the rental assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find and lease privately owned housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.
Section 8 housing choice vouchers are administered locally by public and Indian housing agencies (HAs). The HAs receive Federal funds from HUD to administer the Section 8 programs. A family issued a housing choice voucher is responsible for finding and selecting a suitable rental unit of their choice, which may include their present unit. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the HA. A rental subsidy is paid directly by the HA to the landlord 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.
How do Housing Choice Vouchers function?
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program places the choice of housing in the hands of the individual family. A very low-income family who has been selected by the HA to participate is encouraged to consider several housing choices to secure the best rental housing for its needs.
The rental unit must meet an acceptable level of health and safety before the HA can approve payments to landlords under the Housing Choice Voucher Program. When the housing choice voucher holder finds a unit that it wishes to occupy and reaches an agreement with the landlord over the lease terms, the HA must inspect the dwelling and review the lease for approval. A housing choice voucher holder is also advised of the unit size for which it is eligible, based on family size and composition, and the applicable rent limit.
In the Housing Choice Voucher Program, the HA determines a payment standard which is used to calculate the amount of rental assistance a family will receive, but does not affect the amount of rent a landlord may charge or the family may pay. A family may select a unit that rents below or above the payment standard, as long as the rent and utilities are within rent reasonableness. The family may pay more than 30% of its monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities if the unit rent is greater than the payment standard. However, the family would not be permitted to pay more than 40% of its monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities.
Note: If a family chooses to rent a unit with a gross rent (rent plus tenant paid utilities) below the payment standard, the gross rent will be used to calculate the housing assistance payment.
The HA calculates the maximum amount of rental assistance allowable, which is the difference between the payment standard and 30% of the family’s monthly adjusted gross income or the difference between the gross rent and 30% of the family’s monthly adjusted income, and pays rental assistance.
Am I eligible for Section 8?
Eligibility for a housing choice voucher is determined by the HA based on the total annual gross income and family size, and is limited to U.S. citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status.
During the application process, the HA will collect information on family income, assets, and family composition. The HA will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the rental assistance payment.
If the HA determines that your family is eligible, it will put your name on a waiting list, unless it is able to assist you immediately. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, the HA will contact you and issue to you a housing choice voucher.
How do I apply?
To apply in person:
If you do not have access to a computer, internet, or printer, visit one of the FCHA offices to complete the application form. The offices are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
436 W. Washington St., Chambersburg, PA 17201
202 Elder Ave., Waynesboro, PA 17268
What are Federal preferences and the waiting list, and how do they affect me?
Since the demand for housing assistance often exceeds the limited resources available to HUD and the local housing agencies, long waiting periods are common. In fact, an HA may close its waiting list when it has more families on the list than can be assisted in the near future.
In selecting a family from its waiting list, the HA may give preference to a family who is (1) victim of domestic violence, (2) homeless, or (3) working preference which also includes elderly families or families whose head or spouse is receiving income based on their inability to work. Families who qualify for these preferences will move ahead of other families on the list who do not qualify for any preference.
Can I move and continue to receive Section 8 rental assistance?
A family’s housing needs change over time with changes in family size, job locations, and for other reasons. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is designed to allow families to move without the loss of rental assistance. Moves are permissible as long as the family notifies the HA ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the appropriate provisions, and finds acceptable alternate housing.
A family that wishes to move to another HAs jurisdiction must consult with the HA to verify the procedures for moving and whether or not they participate in the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.