It can take years to get a Section 8 voucher in Pittsburgh. But it takes just four months to lose it.
Pittsburgh’s voucher waiting list has about 5,000 families on it, but once a family gets one, the clock starts ticking. The recipient must find a qualified residence within 120 days and, because of a shortage of units and willing landlords, that’s often very difficult. The Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly referred to as Section 8, is the largest federal program for assisting low-income people to find affordable housing in the private rental market. A family that receives a voucher must find a rental unit that meets a minimum standard and can pass a quality inspection. A subsidy is then paid by the housing authority administering the program directly to the landlord; the family pays the difference between the actual rent and the subsidy.