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Housing Choice Voucher

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Advertising and locating property

made simple!

The Mobile Housing Board has partnered with GoSection8.com and ALHousingSearch.org, which provide an enhanced program to list rental properties online. Listings are available to potential Housing Choice Voucher participants who are seeking apartments, duplexes, single-family homes or townhomes in the private market. If you have questions regarding registering, creating, or viewing property listings, please call the GoSection8 toll free help line at 1-866-466-7328 or ALHousingSearch.org 1-877-428-8844.

Landlords add your rental property

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It is recommended that Landlords add photos to their listing for better advertising and faster lease up!


Housing Choice Facts

Housing Choice (Section 8) is a federally funded housing program that provides rental assistance to eligible families based on family size and household income. This assistance provides families with alternative housing choices and opportunities to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency.

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development ("HUD") determines the rules and regulations for Housing Choice. Housing authorities are provided some latitude in establishing their own policies and procedures, found in the Housing Choice Administrative Plan.

Locally, success of this program depends on Mobile Housing Board's ("MHB") ability to contract with property managers and owners who have housing units that meet HUD’s minimum housing quality standards of decent, safe and sanitary housing. Many low- and very low-income families rely on landlords who are willing to participate in the program. Their financial status may prevent them from keeping pace with rising rental housing costs. Participating families include elderly persons, disabled persons, single persons with no dependents, working families, and families with no income.

Each family must meet HUD’s income limits in order to qualify for assistance.

Waiting List

Mobile Housing Board will take applications on an “as needed basis”, depending on the length of the waiting list and available funding.

MHB Responsibilities

Housing Choice is a three-way partnership between the family, the owner/landlord and the housing authority. In order for the program to work MHB must do the following:

  1. Accept applications
  2. Determine eligibility of applicants
  3. Issue Housing Choice Vouchers and conduct briefings
  4. Recruit owners/landlords
  5. Inspect/re-inspect units (initially and at least once annually)
  6. Approve leases and the owner
  7. Make timely housing assistance payments
  8. Ensure continued eligibility of family
  9. Ensure compliance of rules and regulations by owners and families
  10. Offer and conduct hearings

Landlord Responsibilities

  1. Screen families
  2. Comply with fair housing laws (Do not discriminate against any family.)
  3. Provide proof of legal ownership
  4. Maintain housing unit(s) to meet HUD’s minimum housing quality standards
  5. Comply with terms of Housing Assistance Payments Contract
  6. Collect rent due from the family (Enforce leases)
  7. Do not require the family to pay additional amounts not specified in the lease.
  8. Notify MHB when the unit is vacant.
  9. Notify MHB of your desire to sell the unit.
  10. Certify landlord/owner is not related to the Housing Choice family.

The participating family must:

  1. Comply with all program rules and regulations and all family obligations.
  2. Provide complete and accurate information to MHB.
  3. Sign and submit consent forms for obtaining information.
  4. Find a suitable place to live that meets program standards.
  5. Attend all scheduled appointments.
  6. Allow MHB to inspect the housing unit.
  7. Allow landlord to enter assisted unit to complete necessary repairs.
  8. Comply with terms of the lease with owner and HUD’s tenancy addendum.
  9. Pay rent on time.
  10. Report maintenance problems in a timely manner.
  11. Not commit any serious violation of the lease.

Unit Inspections

Housing Quality Standards ("HQS") have been set by HUD to ensure that assisted units meet minimum health and safety standards. HQS consists of (a) performance requirements, and (b) acceptability criteria or HUD approved variations in the acceptability criteria. Please contact MHB for a copy of HUD Form 52580 (Inspection Form). MHB requires additional standards in compliance with the local City Code and Fire Code regarding window screens, screen doors, smoke alarms, etc.

 Most Common Items That Fail Inspection?

  1. Inoperable smoke alarms (batteries dead or missing)
  2. Missing or cracked electrical outlet cover plates
  3. Railings not present where required (handrails for steps most commonly required)
  4. Deteriorated paint surfaces (i.e. peeling, cracking, flaking paint on exterior and interior surfaces (Lead-based paint is an issue for all units built prior to 1-1-78, specifically with a child under age 6 in the family.)
  5. Tripping hazards caused by permanently installed floor coverings (carpet/vinyl)
  6. Cracked or broken window panes
  7. Inoperable burners on stoves or inoperable range hoods
  8. Missing burner control knobs
  9. Defective refrigerator gaskets (broken seal allowing air to escape)
  10. Leaking faucets or other plumbing
  11. No temperature/pressure relief valve on water heaters
  12. No insulation around front and back doors (Ensure no outside light can be seen when doors are closed.)









Payment Std







Minus Utilities







Base Rent








Several factors determine the maximum amount of rent payable for a Housing Choice assisted unit:

  1. Rent reasonableness, discussed below
  2. Family size 
  3. Family income










30% of Median







50% of Median








80% of Median








What is Rent Reasonableness?

HUD requires a rent reasonableness test be conducted on each unit. This is essential to the successful operation of Housing Choice Voucher Program. Reasonable rent is defined as rent paid to owner that is not more than rent charged:

  1. For comparable units in the private unassisted market.
  2. For comparable unassisted units on the premises.

Factors considered in each test are

  1. Unit size (square footage)
  2. Age (year built)
  3. Quality (includes quality of workmanship)
  4. Unit type (single family, duplex, mobile home, etc.)
  5. Location (site and neighborhood, access to public services, etc.)
  6. Amenities (carpet, ceramic floors, air conditioning, central heat, insulation, washer & dryer hookups, etc.)
  7. Housing services provided
  8. Maintenance provided
  9. Utilities (Does the landlord furnish water, stove, refrigerator, etc.?)


Purpose of Rent Reasonableness is to assure that:

  1. Fair rent is paid for units selected for participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Rent charged for assisted units may not exceed rents for unassisted units.).
  2. The program does not have the effect of inflating rents in the community.


Phone: (251) 434-2300 
E-mail: Housing Choice (Section 8)