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A stack of cardboard boxes secured with red tape is tilted on a pallet lift at the back of a truck, in front of a grey building with large windows, suggestive of an organized operation similar to section 8 portability logistics.

Section 8 Voucher Transfer: Moving From One City To Another

Find out how a section 8 voucher transfer works, when you go from one city to another.

If you already have Section 8 and need to move, you can take advantage of the program in a different city.

Learn about the steps involved and the problems you may encounter if you don’t do everything correctly and quickly.

How To Start a Section 8 Voucher Transfer?

One of the biggest challenges that arises when you try to start a section 8 voucher transfer is TIMING. The key to a successful transfer is moving fast, because the entire process may take more than a month. Consequently, you may find yourself without a roof over your head, in case you don’t take timely action.

On the other hand, some section 8 tenants have the opposite problem. They move too fast. As a result, they end up with rent “overlap”. This means that you would move into a new unit before the lease at your old unit has ended. In this situation, you will need to pay for full rent before your Section 8 subsidy kicks in.

To start the transfer, you need to have a plan of where you will be moving do and to some research about HA’s in that area where you would want to live.

It is also a good idea to look at temporary housing option that you can rely on in case your section 8 voucher transfer takes longer than you have expected. Perhaps you can stay with relative or friends. If that is not option, consider looking for a short term lease (in this case you will end up spending extra money, and you need to budget for this).

(Wanna know where to search for available section 8 housing?)

The Process – Porting

The process of your Section 8 Voucher Transfer from one city to another is also known as porting. It may involve the following steps with slight variations, depending on where you currently live and where you will be moving.

Step 1: Contact your Housing Authority

First of all you need to contact your current Section 8 Housing representatives or the Initial Housing Authority to let them know that you are planning to move to another city and want the same Section 8 facilities there too. They will most probably ask you to sign a request for portability document and then issue you a housing choice voucher.

Step 2: Notify Your Landlord

Your transfer packet will contain paperwork to give notice to your landlord. There will be an option to provide either a 30 or a 60 day notice. Both you and your landlord must sign and date this form.

Give your landlord the one copy, keep one for your records and return another copy to your HA along with all other transfer documents.

If your landlord issued you a notice to vacate, attach it to the packet.

If you owe your Housing Authority or your current landlord money, you will not be approved to transfer until you pay everything.

Moreover, if your HA is proposing termination due to program violations, you will also not be able to complete your Section 8 voucher transfer.

Step 3: Send the Info

Then your Initial Housing Authority or your Section 8 Housing representatives will have to mail all the associated documents to the HA of the city you are planning to move to. These documents must include the HUD-52665 and the HUD-50058, birth certificates of all your family members, along with the Social Security numbers and cards, other photo identity proofs, and the proof of your total household income.

You will need to make sure that all the documents reach the destination before you arrive there.

Also, keep in mind that it may take anywhere between 20-35 days for your documents to go through proper processing.

Please note the receiving housing authority MAY require an interview and a new background check for anyone over 18 in the household. After the initial eligibility appointment, the appointment to receive your new Section 8 voucher will be 2-3 later.

Step 4: Confirm Receipt

Once you have arrived, call the housing office to confirm that your portability packet has also arrived. They will instruct you to be present in their office along with all your family members. When you appear for the interview, a representative will give you a housing choice voucher. At this point, you are ready to decide where you would like to rent a place for your family.

(See section 8 guidelines for bedrooms)

Step 5: Home At Last

After you have chosen the new house, you will need to notify the housing department and submit all the attached documents.

At this point, the Housing Authority will inspect the house for minimum health and security standards.

Once the Housing Authority clears the house, you can sign the lease agreement.

As mentioned, to complete the entire process of your section 8 voucher transfer from one city to another may take more than 30 days.


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