Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8)

COVID-19 Updates and Announcements

Information for Participants, Applicants, Owners/Landlords and Stakeholders

The Loudoun County government is practicing social distancing in county facilities and other measures that help limit the spread of germs, including COVID-19. In the interest of health and safety, the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program is not accepting in-person visits. Services are available by phone, e-mail and online through this website.

HCV participants may call or e-mail their HCV housing counselor if they have lost income and need a rent adjustment, to request a complaint housing quality standards (HQS) inspection and for general concerns.

Inspections

In order to continue our commitment to ensure the health and safety of our participants, owner/landlord partners and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak, effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Loudoun County HCV Program is suspending all Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections except emergency complaint inspections and inspections for HCV participant moving into units.

For more information on temporary adjustments to policies and procedures as it relates to HQS inspections, visit the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection webpage.

How to Report a Change in Income

HCV participants experiencing a change in income should report changes to their HCV housing counselor within 10 days.

Participants who received a one-time federal stimulus check do not need to report it as additional income. It is not taxable and it will also not affect your rent calculation.

How to Apply for Unemployment 

Participants must report receiving unemployment assistance to their HCV housing counselor within 10 days of receiving the assistance. For information on how to apply for unemployment assistance, visit COVID-19 Needs Assistance

Unable to Pay Rent 

HCV clients experiencing difficulties with paying their rent should contact their HCV counselor as soon as possible.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, 2020 (CARES Act) imposes a temporary moratorium on evictions, as well as a moratorium on fees and penalties related to nonpayment of rent. The eviction moratorium is in effect for a 120-day period beginning March 27, 2020, the date the CARES Act was enacted. The eviction moratorium applies to the HCV program, but only if the families reside in a property that has a federally backed mortgage. Residents cannot be required to vacate for at least 30 days after the end of the moratorium, and the owner/landlord cannot issue a notice to vacate until July 24, 2020, which is the expiration date of the moratorium.

Additional Resources

To get connected to other health and human services information and resources in Loudoun County, visit COVID-19 Needs Assistance.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8) 

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary 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 and apartments.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family’s choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family’s present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by Loudoun County.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by Loudoun County 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.

For general information on the HCV program you may also visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website.

Am I eligible? 

To be eligible for the HCV program a household must:

  • Have a household income at or below 50 percent of the area median income as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and
  • Be a United States citizen, or a non-citizen with "eligible immigration status.”

Although the HCV program has only the two standard eligibility criteria listed above, some people who meet these criteria may be denied assistance based on an applicant’s criminal history, housing history, and history with other federal housing programs. Loudoun County’s policies on program eligibility may be found in the Loudoun County Department of Family Services Administrative Plan (PDF).

How do I apply? 

Currently, the Loudoun County HCV program waiting list is closed. Applications are only accepted while the HCV program waiting list is open. Prior to opening the waiting list, Loudoun County will provide public notice through publication in a local newspaper of general circulation and the Loudoun County website. When applications are accepted, the Loudoun County HCV program will notify the public on the method to submit an application and will be described in the Loudoun County Department of Family Services Administrative Plan (PDF). If a submission method presents a hardship for a person due to their disability, a reasonable accommodation may be requested.

Can I apply to multiple public housing agencies? 

It is a common misperception that a person can only apply to one public housing agency (PHA) and be put on one HCV program waiting list at any given time. This is untrue. We encourage you to submit an HCV program application whenever a PHA’s HCV waiting list opens — at any PHA in the country! If you would like specific information about other HCV programs, visit www.hud.gov to find a local PHA.

It is important to review all outreach materials to find out if there are any limitations on who may submit an application. Also, some PHAs may have restrictions regarding where a person can live once they receive a voucher, or may have a waiting list preference for people living or working within the PHA’s jurisdiction. Loudoun County HCV program waiting list preferences may be found in the Loudoun County Department of Family Services Administrative Plan.(PDF)

Reasonable Accommodations

Loudoun County is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in all county programs, services and activities and will provide reasonable accommodations upon request. Please call 703-777-0353/TTY 711.