Rental Assistance

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program


The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program helps very low income tenants by providing direct monthly rental assistance payments to the landlord on behalf of the tenant(s). The tenant’s contribution to housing cost is based on the family income and is at least 30% but not more than 40% of monthly adjusted income.

Application & Certification

A family interested in participating in the Section 8 program may pick up an application at our office, download from the website or have one mailed to them. Applicants’ names are placed on a waiting list in order of date and time of application. Applicants with income at or below 30% of median income are served before those with very low income. Family income and composition determine eligibility. Current* income limits are:

Household Size Gross Annual Income Limit Essex County
30% of Median 50% of Median
1 $15,200 $25,350
2 $17,420 $29,000
3 $21,960 $32,600
4 $26,500 $36,200
5 $31,040 $39,100
6 $35,580 $42,000
7 $40,120 $44,900
8 $44,660 $47,800
2021 Fair Market Rents
Rental Assistance/ Section 8 Application
HQS Self-Inspection Checklist

Once families move to the top of the waiting list and have been certified to be eligible, they receive a Housing Choice Voucher. The family then has 60 days to find a place to live or may elect to remain in its present home if the home and rent meet the program guidelines.

Most types of rental housing, including mobile homes, may be leased under the Housing Choice Voucher program. The program requires that units meet standards for decent, safe and sanitary housing and have reasonable rent. HAPEC will conduct an evaluation of the unit to ensure it meets these standards.

Lease Negotiation

Once the tenant finds a unit, the program requires that the landlord and tenant agree to the terms of the lease. The lease must be for a term of at least one year. If the lease and unit are acceptable, the owner signs a Housing Assistance Payment Contract with the housing office which guarantees payments to the owner as long as the tenant lives in the unit, remains eligible and both parties comply with the program requirements as well as the lease and contract.

Rent Payments

The tenant pays a portion of the rent to the owner and the agency pays the housing assistance payment directly to the owner. There is a waiting list for rental assistance through HAPEC which is currently about 1 year.

Project Based Voucher Program


Under the project-based voucher program, an individual or family is offered a voucher that is tied to a specific unit. Because the assistance is tied to the unit, a family who moves from the project-based unit does not have any right to continued housing assistance. However, after the first year they may be eligible for a tenant based voucher when one becomes available.

HAPEC currently has 15 project based housing vouchers. A family interested in participating in the project based program may pick up an application at our office, download from the website or have one mailed to them. Applicants’ names are placed on the waiting list and are served in order of date and time of application.

Housing Choice Voucher

(Section 8 Homeownership)


Under the HCV to Homeownership Program, any Section 8 eligible program participant who has completed one year of satisfactory compliance with the HCV program and meets the additional eligibility requirements may use their Section 8 Housing choice voucher assistance to purchase rather than rent a home.

If you are interested in this program, please contact our office for more information regarding eligibility and guidelines.


Here is a list of links to resources that will help you in the application process. Please call us if you have any questions or need help finding a form or assistance.

Essex County Mental Health Services 518.873.3670
7513 Court St. Elizabethtown, NY 12932

Department of Social Services 518.873.3470
7551 Court St. Elizabethtown, NY 12932

Essex County Office for the Aging and NY Connects 518-873-3695 NY Connects Resource Directory

Mental Health Association in Essex County, Inc. 518-962-2077
6096 NYS Route 9N Westport, NY 12993

Legal Aid Society – Northeastern 518-563-4022
100 Court St. Plattsburgh, NY 12901

Behavior Health Services North, Inc. STOP (Domestic Violence) 518.563.6904
22 US Oval # 218

Adirondack Community Action Program 518-873-3207
7572 Court St, Suite 2 Elizabethtown, NY 12932