Ending Chronic Homelessness with Section 8 Vouchers

TAC Provides Guidance in Using Housing Choice Vouchers to End Chronic Homelessness

The Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) has released “Section 8 Made Simple – Special Edition,” which adds a new focus on helping those who are experiencing chronic homelessness.

This is an update of TAC’s popular Section 8 Made Simple guidebook – with new tips and information to navigate the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.

Like the original, the new Section 8 Made Simple explains how to use fair housing law and federal guidance to make the HCV program accessible to people with disabilities and adds a new focus on helping those who are experiencing chronic homelessness.

Highlights of the guidebook include:

  • Step-by-step guidance on finding and securing housing through the HCV program
  • Quick tips, definitions, and “Good to Know” highlights
  • Helpful suggestions for building partnerships and expanding outreach

Specifically, the guidebook’s chapters provide:

  • An overview of the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • How the Housing Choice Voucher Program is Administered
  • Reasonable Accommodation and Reasonable Modification in the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • Eligibility, Applications and the Waiting List Process in the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • Screening, Verification and Appeals in the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • Determining the Total Tenant Payment and the Housing Choice Voucher Rent Subsidy
  • Getting a Housing Choice Voucher and Obtaining Housing
  • Keeping a Housing Choice Voucher
  • Special Purpose Vouchers
  • Project-Based Vouchers
  • Systems-Level Strategies to Facilitate Access to Vouchers for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness

As background about Housing Choice Vouchers in New Jersey, according to recent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) fact sheets,

Who Do Housing Choice Vouchers Help in NJ?

  • 66,100 low-income households used Housing Choice Vouchers in New Jersey to afford decent, privately owned housing in December 2015.
  • Housing vouchers help low-wage working families to make ends meet: in 2015, 75 percent of the non- elderly, non-disabled households using vouchers in New Jersey were working or had worked recently.

Housing Costs Strain Family Budgets

  • 80% of very low-income renter households in New Jersey pay too much for rent and do not receive a voucher or other federal rental assistance.

Who are these households?

  • In 2015, 10,098 people in New Jersey were homeless, including 2,404 children and 1,410 adults with disabilities who have been homeless for long or repeated periods.
  • Housing Choice Vouchers make housing affordable and reduce homelessness and instability, according to numerous studies.
  • Children in homeless families that receive housing vouchers also change schools less often and are much less likely to be placed into foster care; their families also experience less food insecurity and domestic violence.

This Special Edition of Section 8 Made Simple is possible thanks to the continued generous support of the Melville Charitable Trust.

More information on Section 8 Made Simple

Section 8 Made Simple – Special Edition

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