The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly “Section 8 Housing”).
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, also known as Section 8, assists eligible low-income families with their rent. Participants choose housing to rent in the open market, and pay a portion of the rent. HRHA subsidizes the difference in direct monthly payments to the owner.
Serves the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County
Builds partnerships with private landlords
Federally funded by HUD
Expands affordable rental choices
Access to decent, safe, quality living conditions
Tenant rent portion based on income
Eligibility depends on income
HRHA has 883 vouchers. Some are designated for specific populations including homeless veterans, disabled persons, and families participating in unification programs.
Use this tool to determine if the rent will be affordable. Affordable rent means that the tenant can afford their portion and is not an automatic approval. Rent must also be comparable, lease must be approved, and unit must meet housing quality standards.
How To Apply:
For questions or assistance with the application, contact Sandra Lowther at (540) 615-5557.
Note: preferences impact the waitlist order more than the date and time of application. Learn more about preferences here.
Families complete an application to be place on the waiting list
HRHA selects from the waiting list and determines eligibility
HRHA issues a housing choice voucher and the family searches for housing
Family and landlord submit a Request for Tenancy Approval
HRHA reviews request to see if:
The requested rent amount is reasonable
Rent is affordable based on verified family income (go to rent calculator (waiting on link))
The unit is in decent, safe and sanitary condition
Upon tenancy approval, family and landlord sign lease agreement; landlord and HRHA execute HAP contract
Family moves in, pays rent and utilities
After admission to the program, all household members must abide by the Family Obligations, including reporting changes, to remain on the program.
In need of immediate, emergency housing assistance? Contact the Centralized Housing Intake at (540) 271-1701.
Looking for additional housing information in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County? Check out other local resources at the Community Resource Center.
For HCV/Section 8 Participants
You can find all the forms you need in one place! Visit the Document Center page for a Change Form, Voucher Extension, and more.
Searching for a Unit
If you have a local HRHA voucher, please call or come to the office to obtain a list of interested landlords. Disclaimer: In compiling this list, HRHA is not attempting in any way to steer or guide participants to any particular landlord or location. HRHA makes no assurances in regards to the listings, including, but not limited to their availability, that a participant will meet the owner / manager’s screening criteria and/or if the unit will pass inspection or be determined “affordable” to the participant. Participants are encouraged to use due diligence in making a rental housing decisions.
Voucher holders are not limited by the HRHA listing, and are encouraged to look at listings in the local newspaper and online.
A voucher holder must submit a Change Form within 10 business days from the date of any of the following changes:
Birth, adoption, or court-awarded custody of a minor*
* You must request to add any other person to the household and receive approval before they can be added.New income (job, unemployment, social security, family contributions, etc.)
Loss or decrease of income
Household member moving out
Changes processed between annual recertifications are called interim changes.
Timeliness of Change
Changes received by the 15th of the month that will result in a decrease in your rent portion will be effective on the 1st of the next month. All other changes will be effective on the 1st of the following month.
Threshold for Changes
HRHA will process all changes that will lower your portion of the rent. Changes that will increase your portion of the rent will be processed for any new income source, and for existing income sources only if they exceed $400 per month.
Verification of Change
HRHA must verify the reported change. With your change form, please provide the following:
New/Changed Income: Pay Stubs, Job Offer Letter, Benefits Award Letter
Loss of Income: Termination Notice
If HRHA needs to verify a new job or income source directly (for example, if you have not yet received a paycheck), make sure we have the contact information for the provider/employer so we can send them an Employment Verification form.
Moves and Portability
We are currently absorbing – please click here for more details.
Local Moves With a Voucher
If you satisfy these criteria, you may submit a Request to Move form:
Your lease is either month-to-month or will expire within 90-120 days OR the owner agrees to a no-fault early lease termination
You have not moved within the last 12 months
You do not owe an outstanding balance (repayment) to HRHA
Your landlord certifies that you are in good standing, in compliance with your lease, including:
You do not owe money to the landlord
You do not have any damages to the unit
That your lease allows for the termination date you have requested
If the landlord says you are not in good standing and provides sufficient proof to establish it, you will not be approved to move with continued assistance, and your voucher may be terminated.
So that HRHA can issue you the proper size voucher and calculate how much you can afford, your reported household income and composition must be current.You will be notified once HRHA determines your eligibility to move. Do not give notice to your landlord unless you are approved to move. HRHA may require you to attend a briefing session to issue you a voucher and/or recertify your household.
Porting Out of Harrisonburg
If you have a voucher with HRHA and wish to move to another jurisdiction, complete and submit the Request to Port with your Request to Move form. More details about porting out can be found here.
Before your request can be processed, you must identify the housing authority serving the area where you wish to move. A searchable database on the HUD website is available. It may take up to two weeks for your request to be processed. For additional information and assistance, contact the HCV Manager, Liz Webb, at (540) 434-7386.
Portability – Into Harrisonburg
If you have a voucher elsewhere that you’d like to transfer to the Harrisonburg/Rockingham area:
Ask your worker at your current housing authority if you are eligible to port.
If you are eligible, your housing authority must send your “port packet” to:
When we receive your paperwork, we will notify you to schedule a briefing session and issue you your voucher. If you do not hear from us within two weeks of your voucher being sent, please contact us.
After we issue you a local voucher, you can search in the HRHA jurisdiction and submit a tenancy request.
HRHA will re-verify your income when it is time to determine your rent amount. If you have never used the voucher before, you must be income eligible in the HRHA jurisdiction.
Fair Housing, VAWA, & Accommodations
If you feel you are the victim of discrimination in housing based on your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status (families with children under 18) or disability, you can file a complaint with HUD.
Violence Against Women Act
Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking have certain rights under this policy and may be eligible for certain exceptions to HRHA policies. More details and the VAWA form are available here.
Reasonable accommodation forms are available on the forms page.
What is a reasonable accommodation?
A change in program rules, policies, practices, or services to give a person with disabilities the ability to participate in and enjoy HRHA programs, services, and housing. Its purpose is to remove or relieve a barrier posed by a disability-related limitation.
What determines if I am eligible for a reasonable accommodation?
The person requesting the accommodation must be disabled, and the requested accommodation must be related to the disability. If an accommodation will allow a disabled person to participate and use or enjoy HRHA’s housing and programs equally, it is generally considered acceptable if it is reasonable. To be reasonable, a request cannot create an undue financial hardship or administrative burden. It also must be fundamentally related to our business, which is housing and housing assistance programs.
Disabled: having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; having a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such impairment
Physical or mental impairment: includes, but is not limited to, diseases and conditions such as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and AIDS, or any physiological disorder, disease or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine. Also any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. Current, illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance is not considered a disability.
Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
How can I prove my disability, and how can I prove that I need the accommodation?
If the disability is apparent or already documented, the criterion is met. However, it is possible that the disability for which the accommodation is being requested is a disability other than an apparent disability, or is itself not readily apparent (e.g. a heart condition). If the disability is not apparent or documented, HRHA will obtain verification that the person is a person with a disability.
If the disability is apparent or verified, but it is not apparent that the request is related to the disability, HRHA will obtain documentation that the requested accommodation is needed due to the disability. HRHA will not inquire as to the nature of the disability.
What should I do if I need an extra bedroom as an accommodation?
You will need to make this request to HRHA. The form you complete will depend on the reason for your need.
If you need a live-in aide, the process is two-fold – first, we will determine if you are approved for a live-in aide; second, approve any person you choose as an aide will need to be approved as an addition to the household
If the extra bedroom is for equipment, after we receive and verify your request, please be advised that your need for this space and its ongoing usage will be reviewed at HRHA inspections
If you need an exception to the subsidy standards so that an individual can have their own room, the person who is disabled must be the one who benefits from the exception.