Project-based voucher program helps very low-income families, elderly and disabled
SEATTLE—October 25, 2004—Seattle Housing partners with other organizations to provide project-based Housing Choice Vouchers that subsidize their operating expenses.
The project-based program is a component of the federal government’s Section 8 program that helps very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled rent decent, safe and sanitary housing. Together, SHA and the non-profits are able to provide housing in supportive environments for some of Seattle’s poorest and most vulnerable residents.
The program subsidizes units in Seattle Housing-owned and non-profit properties throughout Seattle. Currently, 981 units in the program are leased and approximately 1,228 vouchers are committed to the program.
Tenants in the program generally pay 30 percent of their monthly income for rent and utilities. Seattle Housing pays the balance of the rent through a housing assistance payment. Tenants in project-based units are assisted as long as they live in the unit and continue to qualify for the program.
The program offers many benefits to residents and owners. Each month, owners receive part of each tenant’s rent from Seattle Housing. These housing assistance payments arrive at the same time each month. The payments help provide decent housing for tenants and a dependable source of income for participating owners.
The program offers flexibility and stability. If the tenant’s income unexpectedly drops, their portion of the rent can be reduced and Seattle Housing's portion can be increased. This flexibility helps assisted tenants miss fewer payments and maintain stable tenancies.
Seattle Housing inspectors help owners identify and fix problems with their units. By ensuring that units are kept in good condition, the program improves tenants’ quality of life and helps owners protect their investments.
The program is complex and requires a certain amount of administrative effort from the building operators who manage the subsidized units. Seattle Housing relies on the building managers to screen and select only tenants who are eligible for the federal project-based voucher subsidy and to present all the necessary documentation to Seattle Housing for final approval before leasing.