Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8)

Rental Agreement

The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides a rental subsidy to eligible households.

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About Housing Choice Vouchers

NOTE: The Arlington County Housing Choice Voucher (ACHCV) Program is NOT currently accepting applications.

The federally funded and locally administered Arlington County Housing Choice (ACHCV) Program helps low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities obtain safe, decent, and affordable housing in the private market.

How the ACHCV Program Works

  • The voucher holder must find suitable housing where the property owner agrees to rent under this program (see Where to Use Vouchers or search on www.GoSection8.com).
  • The ACHCV Program must determine if the housing’s rent is reasonable and meets the annual housing quality standards (HQS) set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • The ACHCV Program will enter into a housing assistance payments (HAP) contract with the property owner and pay a housing subsidy directly to the property owner on the voucher holder’s behalf.
  • The voucher holder will pay the difference between the actual rent charged by the property owner and the amount subsidized by the program. (So, for example, if the monthl rent was $1,000 and the ACHCV contributed $700 toward the client's rent, the voucher holder is responsible for the remaining $300).

For more information on the Housing Choice Voucher Program read HUD’s Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet.

Application Process/Waitlist

The ACHCV Program has an application waitlist of approximately 5,000 people with an estimated five-year or more waiting period. The ACHCV Program is NOT accepting applications for its program waitlist.

Interested individuals may wish to apply for a housing grant.

All applicants have been notified that they are on the program waitlist. If the applicant has an address, status or household change while on the waitlist, the applicant must notify the ACHCV Program office in writing by completing the Waitlist Update Form.

Applicants will be notified by mail for a final eligibility interview upon reaching the top of the waitlist. ACHCV Program follows established HUD rules for waitlist management.

Although the ACHCV Program can’t release an applicant’s placement number on the waitlist, the applicant can confirm an active waitlist status by calling the Department of Human Services, Customer Service Department, at 703-228-1450.

If you are on the waitlist and want more information go to Waitlist FAQs. 


The ACHCV Program will administer (but not absorb—the former agency will be billed) housing choice voucher holders from other jurisdictions. Read about porting in.

ACHCV Program Income Guidelines

In the ACHCV Program, 75 percent of the families must be less than or equal to an extremely low income. The remaining 25 percent must fall at or below a very low income.

Extremely Low Income
Family Size Income Limit Family Size Income Limit
1 $22,500 4 $32,100
2 $25,700 5 $34,700
3 $28,900 6 $37,250
Very Low Income
Family Size Income Limit Family Size Income Limit
1 $37,450 4 $53,500
2 $42,800 5 $57,800
3 $48,150 6 $62,100
Income limits subject to change.

Overcoming Obstacles in Finding Housing

Arlington’s low vacancy rate makes it difficult for families with limited financial resources to find housing. Also, landlords want tenants with good references and credit. ACHCV holders can begin repairing poor credit history by contacting their  local Consumer Credit Counseling Service 1-800-747-4222 or the Virginia Cooperative Extension 703-228-6400.