Section 8 Overview

Section 8 is one of the major housing assistance programs offered by the federal government. There are several sub-programs detailed below.

Housing Choice VoucherS

The housing choice voucher program, commonly known as Section 8, is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, elderly, and persons needing special features or accommodations to to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private rental market.

Private landlords in Oregon cannot deny a rental application based on the household's voucher.  Voucher holders may choose their own housing in the private rental market, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments that meet minimum standards of health and safety. This unit may include the family's current rental unit.  

A subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by Salem Housing Authority on behalf of the participating family, and the family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher program, you must:

  1. Meet income guidelines (see chart below)
  2. Pass a criminal background check
  3. Have at least one family member who is a citizen or legal resident of the U.S.

See SHA's Section 8 Admin Plan on the Plans and Policies page to learn more about criminal history screening. 

How do I apply?

To apply for the Housing Choice Voucher program, go to our applications page.

Learn more about Housing Choice Vouchers on the HUD website.

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Family Unification Program

Salem Housing Authority offers a program called FUP-Youth, which is a program for youth who have left foster care and are now on their own; it is designed to help such youth obtain housing assistance under the Section 8 program for a period of up to five years. Youth who are at least 18 years old and who have not yet turned 21 years old and have left foster care may be eligible. If you believe that you meet this criteria contact Lynette.

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Federal law protects individuals who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, under the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA.

Learn about the Section 8 Non-Discrimination Law with the below video.