About Housing Choice Vouchers
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is the largest voucher program administered by the GRHC. Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HCV’s provide a monthly rental subsidy for low-income households renting privately owned property. Rent for income-eligible households is typically 30 percent of adjusted monthly household income.
Please be aware that the GRHC is one of several local agencies that administer a Housing Choice Voucher program. Each agency is independently administered; so if you applied with an agency other than the Grand Rapids Housing Commission, please contact that agency with application updates or questions about your application.
Links to the websites of some additional housing agencies in our area:
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Waiting List News
THE GRHC IS NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPTING NEW APPLICANTS TO OUR HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM.
INFORMATION FOR HCV APPLICANTS WHO APPLIED DECEMBER 9‑11, 2019:
The GRHC will conduct a computerized random lottery that will add 2,000 households to our HCV waiting list. After the lottery has been completed, applicants will be contacted via U.S. Mail with information about the status of their application; for additional information, please call our administrative office at (616) 235‑2600.
Please note that the GRHC does not offer waiting list “position numbers.”
Applicants who applied during 2018 will be served before we serve applicants who applied during 2019.
Applicants are informed by U.S. Mail when their name reaches the top of the waiting list. If you move prior to being contacted it is very important that you notify the GRHC of your change of address. Information can be updated online via a secure Application Update Form. To update an application by U.S. Mail, please download a printable Application Update Form.
HCV Program Next Steps
Once your family’s name has reached the top of the waiting list...
- You will be invited to an orientation session that will confirm your program eligibility and level of assistance. Families generally contribute 30 percent of their total adjusted monthly household income toward rent; the maximum a family can contribute is 40 percent of total adjusted income.
- Your family will be issued a voucher and can begin looking for rental housing within Kent County. The voucher will be valid for 60 days.
- Your family can choose to stay in your current residence if it meets program requirements, or you can rent a different unit from a property owner who participates in the Section 8 program.
- The apartment or house you choose will be inspected by GRHC staff to ensure that it meets HUD’s Housing Quality Standards.
- Once any necessary repairs have been made and the housing you have selected passes inspection, you will submit a signed lease to your GRHC Section 8 Coordinator for approval.
- Your family will pay any required security deposit; under Michigan law, this cannot exceed one and one-half month’s rent.
- You will pay your portion of the rent to the landlord each month. The GRHC will send Housing Assistance Payments—the difference between what you pay and the actual rent—directly to your landlord.
- Each year, your family’s eligibility for assistance will be reconfirmed and your rental unit will be reinspected.
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For Current Program Participants
Direct Deposit Available
The GRHC offers direct deposit of Utility Assistance Payments! Current Section 8 clients can click Direct Deposit Authorization Form to reach the secure online form that makes this convenience possible. Download Direct Deposit Form to get a PDF version of the form.
Rental Readiness Program
Struggling to find rental housing? Get help overcoming barriers to your housing search by taking advantage of free services now offered at the Rental Assistance Center. Offered in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids, the center provides free rental readiness services to Grand Rapids residents who earn 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income (currently $55,900 for a family of four) and who have had a rental housing application denied by a landlord.
Rental Property Search Resource
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) administers a searchable rental housing database.*
*DISCLAIMER: The Housing Commission is pleased to offer the convenience of links to organizations that provide a variety of housing and emergency services. Please note that the linked sites are external to the GRHC’s website. The GRHC cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. The GRHC disclaims all responsibility for the contents and results provided through linked websites.
Transfer a Housing Choice Voucher
The HCV program allows a household to transfer or “port” its voucher to another city. Download How to Transfer to get an overview of the process.
Participants in the GRHC’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program are responsible for:
- Providing the GRHC with complete and accurate information about family composition, income and assets.
- Promptly notifying the GRHC of any changes in family composition, income or assets.
- Locating rental housing within Kent County that meets the program quality and cost standards.
- Providing complete information about rental agreements with the rental property owner. The terms of a lease cannot be changed without the GRHC’s written acknowledgement.
- Complying with all program and lease requirements, including paying the family’s portion of the rent on time, informing the GRHC in advance of any move to a new rental unit, and obtaining preapproval of the new unit.
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