Our nations first Federal rental assistance program was established by the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 during the Great Depression due to the housing crisis that accompanied a massive economic collapse. The U.S. Housing Act of 1937 stemmed from the National Housing Act of 1934, which established the Federal Housing Administration. The 1937 bill was enacted to control and manage the payment of rental subsidizes and make housing more affordable for our nation’s poor.
Federal housing assistance began to resemble the modern Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program more in 1961, with the Section 23 Leased Housing Program, which was designed to increase low-income housing. The Section 23 Program allowed local housing authorities to take eligible families from waiting lists, place them in housing, and determine what the families were able to pay. The program would then cover the difference between the family’s payment and the landlord’s rent, as well as perform building maintenance for the tenants.
The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 created the Section 8 rental assistance program to address the high proportion of income spent on housing. A number of programmatic changes followed. Under the current Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program tenants pay about 30% of their income for rent and utilities, and the local housing authority pays the difference.
The Housing Choice Voucher program is designed to achieve the following goals:
- To provide improved living conditions for low-income families while maintaining their rent payments at an affordable level.
- To promote freedom of housing choice and integrate lower income and minority families into mainstream society.
- To provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for eligible participants.
- To create an incentive for private owners to rent to lower income families by offering timely rental payments, a pool of families to select from, and regular inspections to insure upkeep of the property.
The Housing Authority of Indiana County has been allocated 569 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. This means we can provide rental assistance for up to 569 households who will then be able to lease suitable housing from private landlords throughout our county.
25 of these 569 Vouchers, are reserved specifically for our Veterans through the VASH Program. Visit the VASH Program page for more information on this program.
To apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program you can find an application in the Document Library section of our website.
Please fill it out in its entirety and return it to our office:
104 Philadelphia Street
Indiana PA 15701
If you have any questions in regards to the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program or the application, you may contact our office at 724-463-4730.