Chapter 3: Eligibility for Admission






This chapter defines the HA criteria for admission to the Housing Choice Voucher, Project Based Voucher and Moderate Rehabilitation programs.  The policies in this chapter pertain to Moving to Work and non-Moving to Work families.



24 CFR 5.403 “Family includes, but is not limited to, the following, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status: 1) A single person, who may be an elderly person, displaced person, disabled person, near-elderly person, or any other single person; or 2) A group of persons residing together, and such group includes, but is not limited to: (i) A family with or without children (a child who is temporarily away from the home because of placement in foster care is considered a member of the family); (ii) An elderly family; (iii) A near-elderly family; (iv) A disabled family; (v) A displaced family; and  (vi) The remaining member of a tenant family. Live-in aide means a person who resides with one or more elderly persons, or near-elderly persons, or persons with disabilities, and who: (1) Is determined to be essential to the care and well-being of the persons; (2) Is not obligated for the support of the persons; and; (3) Would not be living in the unit except to provide the necessary supportive services.”


24 CFR 982.551 (h) (4):  “If the PHA has given approval, a foster child or a live-in aide may reside in the unit.  The PHA has the discretion to adopt reasonable policies concerning residence by a foster child or live-in aide, and defining when PHA consent may be given or denied.”



The Head of Household will list all household members at the time of registration on the interest list and update the household composition on the interest list as necessary. 


After an applicant has been randomly drawn to a waiting list, the HA will approve any additional family members in the following cases:


  • The birth, adoption, or court-awarded custody* of a child to any current family member. 
  • The addition of a non-biological minor child through designated custody** to a current family member.
  • The addition of a minor child by birth or adoption, who has been living elsewhere, to a current family member.


* If the child is subject to a joint physical custody agreement,  the agreement must stipulate that  they live with the participant family at least 6 months or 50% of the year. 


** Designated custody is physical custody granted through notarized, written permission from the parent or legal guardian of the child.


The HA may approve any additional family members in the following cases:


  • The addition of a Spouse, Registered Domestic Partner, Boyfriend or Girlfriend of the Head of Household;
  • The addition of an elderly person or a person with a disability that is a parent, grandparent or adult child of the Head of Household, Spouse, Registered Domestic Partner, Boyfriend or Girlfriend of the Head of Household;


Household members may be added in the following cases:



If the applicant is being selected to fill a Project Based Voucher or Moderate Rehabilitation unit, they may not add additional members to the household composition if it makes the family ineligible for the unit based on the unit size (see Chapter 16 Project-Based Voucher Program, Section 16.10 and Chapter 17 Moderate Rehabilitation Program, Section 17.1).




24 CFR 982.551 (n):  “An assisted family, or members of the family, may not receive Section 8 tenant-based assistance while receiving another housing subsidy, for the same unit or for a different unit, under any duplicative federal, state or local housing assistance program.”      



A child or children cannot be assisted by more than one federal, state or local housing assistance program. If both parents are assisted, the dependent(s) will be part of the household of first assistance until the HA receives a request to remove the dependent(s) from the household.




24 CFR 982.201 (b) (1):  “To be income-eligible, the applicant must be a family in any of the following categories:

(i) A ‘very low income’ family;

(ii) A low-income family that is continuously assisted under the 1937 Housing Act;

(iii) A low-income family that meets additional eligibility criteria specified in the PHA administrative plan;

(iv) A low-income family that qualified for voucher assistance as a non-purchasing family residing in a HOPE 1 or HOPE 2 project;

(v) A low-income or moderate-income family that is displaced as a result of the prepayment of the mortgage or voluntary termination of an insurance contract on eligible low-income housing as defined in 248.101 of this title;

(vi) A low-income family that qualifies for voucher assistance as a non-purchasing family residing in a project subject to a resident homeownership program under 248.173 of this title.”


24 CFR 982.201 (d) (2):  “The PHA must establish policies concerning whether and to what extent a brief interruption between assistance under one of these programs and admission to the voucher program will be considered to break continuity of assistance under the 1937 Housing Act.”



An applicant is continuously assisted if the family has received assistance under any 1937 Housing Act program within 120 days of their intake appointment. 


If a Project Based Voucher unit (according to the regulatory agreements in place at the property) has income eligibility limits that are more restrictive than the income limits described in 24 CFR 982.201, then the income eligibility level for the unit will prevail.





24 CFR 982.201 (f):  “The HA must give an applicant prompt written notice of a decision denying admission to the program (including a decision that the applicant is not eligible or denying admission for other reasons).




Upon completion of the verification process, the HA will make a final determination of eligibility.  This decision is based upon information provided by the family, verification information received by the HA and the current eligibility criteria in effect.


Once a determination of ineligibility is made, any later changes in income or family composition submitted by the family will not be used to re-determine eligibility.


The HA will give an applicant written notice of a decision denying admission to the program within 3 days of the determination of ineligibility.  The notice will state the reason for denial, that the applicant may request an informal review of the decision, and how to request the informal review.


If an informal review is requested, the HA will give the applicant a written notice within 30 days of the decision to uphold or overturn the denial and will include the reason(s) for the decision.