Housing Choice Voucher Program
So, what is it exactly?
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program - formerly called Section 8 - is a federally funded program that helps very low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities with their rents in the private market. Since the housing assistance payment (help with rent) is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.
If you or anyone in your household is a person with disabilities, and you require an accommodation in order to fully utilize our programs, please contact NRH Section 504 Coordinator Mishon Hurst at (775) 887-1795.
Our program serves all counties except for Washoe and Clark.
To work with Nevada Rural's program, units MUST be located in one of the following Nevada Counties: Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmerelda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey, White Pine.
Determining Your Eligibility
Eligibility for rental assistance is determined by a household’s gross annual income and is different in each county. Once an applicant is chosen by random lottery, they will be sent an email requesting to log in to Rent Café to complete the intake process and upload the required documents to determine eligibility.
Program eligibility includes households at 30% Area Median Income (AMI) and 50% AMI. These charts help outline those percentages by rural county.
Who qualifies and how does this work?
- We accept applications online whenever the wait list is open. Be sure to subscribe to our emails and follow us online for announcements.
- To qualify, all households must meet income requirements.
- Qualified applicants will be selected via random lottery.
- We offer a preference on the wait list for applicants who are already living in a unit that has a landlord willing to accept the voucher or if the applicant has located a unit they will move into that has a landlord willing to accept the voucher.
- Once our team confirms eligibility, a client will be assigned a case worker, attend a briefing and be issued the voucher. The prospective tenant has 180 days to find a residence.
- The process can take anywhere from months to years, depending on how often we are able to open the wait list and the number of available vouchers.
We're here to help.
HCV... AMI... ABC... 123... we know it's a lot of information.
That's why we've got a bunch of details at your fingertips here - and a team of people beyond that, ready to answer any additional questions you have.
- If you're already a participant and need that kind of info., you can check it out here.
- If you already have a case manager and just need their direct contact, you'll find that here.
- If you're still needing some extra help, give us a shout here.
- Or, check out the link below to our program documents ... that might be just the ticket.
FAQs for Applicants
I am on the waiting list and my contact details have changed. What do I do?
All changes to your contact details such as mailing address, phone number or email must be changed in Rent Café. It is your responsibility to log into your Rent Café account and make changes to your contact details. If you fail to make changes to your contact details and we are unable to contact you through email, your application will be removed for no response.
I want to check my status can I check status through Rent Café?
Can you tell me what number I am on the wait list/ how much longer I have on the wait list/ where I am on the wait list?
There are no numbers, no position, and no way of gauging how much time there is left for you to be on the wait list. It is based off a random lottery selection.
Can you rush my application?
We cannot rush/expedite a client’s application. You can find more information about our Emergency Rental Assistance Program here.
Can you transfer my application to another housing authority?
No, applications are non-transferrable. Should you wish to get on another housing authority’s wait list you will need to contact that housing authority to find out their application process and see if their wait list(s) are open. Please make sure to send us a written request to be removed from our waiting list should you wish to apply with another housing authority.
Do you cover Reno/Vegas?
We cover all counties in Nevada except for Washoe County and Clark Counties. If you want to apply for assistance in Washoe County, you will need to contact Reno Housing Authority. If you want to apply for assistance in Clark County, you will need to contact Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority.
Attention Voucher Holders
It's crucial you stay up to speed on all program updates and requirements.
One of the best (best, best, best) things you can do is ensure your contact information is always (always, always, always) up to date in your Rent Café account. Did we mention that's important?
Things To Know As An HCV Client
- If you need to find your case manager, you can see the full team here.
- Don't know who your case manager is? No problem! Call us at (775) 887-1795 or email email@example.com
- Still looking for a place to lease? Check out nvhousingsearch.org and AffordableHousing.com
- If you are experiencing a loss or reduction in employment income lasting more than 30 consecutive days, you can request an adjustment to your portion of rent. Send a request in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or 3695 Desatoya Dr., Carson City, NV 89701 as soon as possible.
Payment Standards, Utility Allowances and Documents – Oh My!
As you venture out into the rental market to use your voucher, you're going to need to have some information at the ready, like Payment Standards and Utility Allowances (we've linked those here for you).
As you continue on as a client of ours, you may need access to other documents to download, print and submit. We've got those bundled together at the link below – and before you go, take a peek at the FAQs for Participants – or bookmark it (you'll be glad you did!).
FAQs for Participants
How do I add a family member?
- Submit a request in writing to add the new member(s) to your household. Request must be provided to your caseworker. Request may also be faxed to (775) 887-1798, mailed to 3695 Desatoya Dr., Carson City, NV 89701 or physically delivered to our office.
- Upon receipt of written request, a packet will be emailed for the new member to complete and return.
- Notification will be emailed confirming approval. Notifications can also be viewed via your Rent Café portal.
What happens to my assistance if I need to move?
If you wish to have your assistance transfer with you, you must meet these criteria:
- Do not owe NRH money
- Have fulfilled your lease terms
- Are not in violation of your Family Obligations
With those obligations met, you may move and:
- Transfer apartments under the same landlord, or
- Move to another home within NRH's jurisdiction, or
- Port your voucher to another area that has a Housing Choice Voucher Program; must have lived on initial voucher for at least 12 months
- Complete the 30-day notice. This form must be signed by the tenant and landlord. Click here to download form.
- A copy of the 30-day notice must be provided to your caseworker. Request may also be faxed to (775) 887-1798, mailed to 3695 Desatoya Dr., Carson City, NV 89701 or physically delivered to our office. All 30- day notices must be given on the first day of the month to vacate by the end of the same month.
- Once your caseworker receives your 30-day notice, you will be issued a voucher, landlord packet, and payment standards via email to begin the move process.
Please note: DO NOT sign a lease unless the home is approved by NRH. It is also recommended that you not give a non-refundable deposit to a potential landlord until the home is approved.
How do I transfer or “port” my paperwork to another Housing Authority?
You may transfer your paperwork to another housing authority if you meet these criteria:
- Do not owe NRH money
- Have fulfilled your lease terms
- Are not in violation of your Family Obligations
- Must have lived on initial voucher for at least 12 months
- Give a written 30-day notice to your landlord.
- Provide a copy to this office. Send the copy through Rent Café, or to email@example.com or 3695 Desatoya Dr., Carson City, NV 89701. Contact your case manager or call (775) 887-1795 for assistance.
- Submit a letter requesting to have your paperwork transferred.
- Provide the name of the housing authority along with the address, phone number, fax number and the name of the portability contact person. (If you do not have it we will locate it for you.)
- Once we receive the letters you will be contacted for an appointment to be issued a voucher to port.
- After the scheduled appointment your file/paperwork will be mailed to the housing authority you requested.
Once your paperwork has been sent it is your responsibility to contact the receiving housing authority to set up an appointment with their office.
First of all, thanks!
Your technical role is to lease decent, safe and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. We also know you're mission-minded like us – so, kudos for helping make 'home' a little bit easier for our friends and neighbors throughout rural Nevada. We appreciate you.
Landlords Are Key
The program is a vital component of affordable housing, and without participating landlords, it simply doesn't work. Interested in becoming a landlord? You can learn more about that here (and good for you and those you're about to serve!).
If you're a current landlord, here are some things you may be looking for:
- Access the NRH Landlord Portal here.
- Looking to advertise your property? Check out your options at nvhousingsearch.org and AffordableHousing.com.
- Payment Standards and Utility Allowances are pieces of info. you'll need often. Be sure to bookmark this page for easy access:
We've also collected the forms and documents most useful to our landlord partners. You'll find them at the link below.
Let Us Help You Help Us
You need quick answers and real solutions. That's why we have a dedicated person to answer our landlord partners' calls and emails. This is Janet Thompson – and her direct info. is provided below! How's that for a Bat Phone?!
FAQs for Landlords
What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program is a rental assistance program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered locally by Nevada Rural Housing. HUD’s HCV Program provides rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities so that they can live in decent, safe and sanitary housing. Program participants may use their voucher to find their own housing including single family homes, manufactured homes, townhomes and apartments.
What are my benefits as a landlord?
Landlords who participate in the program are helping low-income Rural Nevada citizens obtain the most basic of needs: housing. In addition, landlords can gain these business benefits:
- Guaranteed receipt of NRH’s portion of contract rent.
- Lower vacancy rates and reduced tenant turnover.
How do I rent my home or apartment with the housing authority?
What are my responsibilities as a landlord?
Under the HUD HCV Program, landlords must make repairs to the property, if required, and comply with all federal, state and local fair housing laws and permit inspections of the unit as requested by NRH. Landlords must comply with the terms of the lease and HUD’s Tenancy Addendum, the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract, Nevada Landlord laws.
What kind of housing qualifies?
Almost any kind of safe, decent and sanitary housing qualifies. Units can include single-family homes, manufactured homes, townhomes and apartments. To be accepted there must be an adequate living area with heating, water and sewer systems.
The home must be free from any conditions that might endanger the health and safety of the participant. To ensure the home meets these criteria, the unit must pass a housing quality standard inspection by NRH.
Does the housing authority screen Housing Choice Voucher participants?
The Housing Authority does not screen tenants for you. You must do this yourself, just as you would screen non-HCV tenants.
There are many services available to help you screen tenants. These services can check to see if the prospective tenant has a has been evicted or has bad credit. When checking references, always contact the previous landlord as well as the current landlord.
The housing authority can tell you the number of people on the voucher, current and previous address, and current and previous landlord. However, the housing authority’s main focus is checking that the applicant meets the program requirements.
Must I accept everyone with an NRH-issued voucher as a potential renter?
In order to remain an HCV Program participant, the family must do the following:
- Comply with the terms of the lease, such as:
- Pay their share of the rent on time and be a good neighbor
- Pay their utilities (if any)
- Not damage the rental property, beyond normal wear-and-tear.
- Notify NRH and landlord if they wish to move to another unit.
- Permit bi-annual inspections to ensure the rental property is in good condition.
- Immediately report any changes in their household composition and income.
- Avoid illegal activity by any family member or guest.
- The family must not own or have any interest in the unit
Owners and landlords with vacant units may list available units on nvhousingsearch.org and AffordableHousing.com. Landlords interested in participating in the program can contact us for more information.
It is the responsibility of the landlords and the owners to screen for suitability of tenants. Landlord references should be checked and prospective tenants screened using the same criteria as for any other renter. Once the tenant has been selected, the owner or landlord must complete the RFTA packet and return the packet by email to RFTA@nvrural.org, fax, mail or by dropping off the paperwork to NRH directly. Once NRH receives the packet and the rent is determined to work for the tenant under program guidelines and is rent reasonable, an HQS inspection will be scheduled. Once the unit passes an inspection, the tenant may take possession of the unit and the lease can begin then. HAP Contracts will be mailed for signatures. Once HAP contracts are signed, the initial (HAP) payment will be issued within 60 days of the date contracts are signed.
Who pays the security deposit?
If you require a security deposit, you must collect this from the tenant. NRH offers a Security Deposit Program, which requires a separate application, and at times may be able to assist your tenant with this. It is important to remember that even if NRH is able to assist your tenant in paying the deposit, at this time, NRH and the HCV program have no responsibility for damages, unpaid tenant rent, or other claims you might have against a tenant.
Do I sign a lease with the tenant?
You must sign a lease with the tenant for a minimum of one year. The lease should include:
- Names of the landlord and tenant
- Address of the rental unit
- Term of the lease and how it will be renewed
- Monthly rent amount
- Which utilities are paid by the tenant or landlord
- Which appliances must be provided by the tenant or landlord
You may include any other conditions that you normally include in your leases, as long as they do not violate any laws.
What kind of inspection is done?
Your unit will be inspected to make sure that it meets the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) of the HCV program. The inspector will examine the exterior of the building, the plumbing and heating systems, the exits and hallways, and each room in the unit to make sure the unit is reasonably clean, safe and in good condition. The unit must be ready to inspect at the time of the inspection and all utilities must be on and working. The inspector will need access to the unit itself, the basement and all common areas. Visit the HUD website for more information specific to inspections.