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In the high-priced real estate market of Washington, DC, thousands of families need help bridging the gap between low or moderate wages and the high cost of renting a home. The District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) provides assistance to help these families obtain safe, quality and affordable housing through three types of programs: Public Housing Program, Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Program.

DCHA owns and manages 56 public housing properties located throughout the District that provide homes at reduced rents for very low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income as rent.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8), the federal government's major rental assistance program, gives participants the option to live in the community of their choice. Once qualified participants obtain a voucher, they may find a rental unit in any privately owned property in the city, as long as it meets Fair Market Rent standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Moderate Rehabilitation Program includes apartment communities throughout Washington, DC, that are owned by individual landlords or companies. The assistance provided is called “Project-Based” or “Unit-Based.” This means that tenants who move cannot take the subsidy with them.  

For the HCVP and Moderate Rehabilitation programs, the lease is held in the participant’s name, and tenants pay 30 percent of their household income for housing. DCHA pays the rest directly to the landlord — providing financial assistance that gives residents the edge they need to compete in the private housing market.