Section 8 program: transfer from one city to another

Are you a Section 8 Program tenant planning to move to another city and avail the same Section Housing 8 facilities that you have in your present city? You better move fast because the entire process may take more than a month and you may find yourself without a roof over your head in case you don’t take timely action.
The process of the transfer of your Section 8 Program Voucher from one city to another – that is also sometimes termed as porting your voucher – may involve the following steps with little variations depending upon where you are currently and where you’re going to be after you have gotten your Section 8 Program Voucher transferred:

  1. First of all you need to contact your current Section 8 Housing representatives or the Initial Housing Authority to let them know that you are planning to move to another city and want the same Section 8 facilities there too. They will most probably ask you to sign a request for portability document and then issue you a housing choice voucher.
  2. Then your Initial Housing Authority or your Section 8 Housing representatives will have to mail all the associated documents to the housing society of the city you are planning to move to. These documents must include the HUD-52665 and the HUD-50058, birth certificates of all your family members, along with the Social Security numbers and cards, other photo identity proofs, and the proof of your total household income. You will need to make sure that all the documents reach the destination before you arrive there. Please keep in mind that it may take anywhere between 20-35 days for your documents to go through proper processing.
  3. Once you have arrived please call the housing office to confirm that your portability packet has arrived. They will instruct you to be present in their office along with your family members. When you appear for the interview you will be given a housing choice voucher that may help you decide where you would like to rent a place for your family.
  4. After you have chosen the house you will need to notify the housing department along with the attached documents so that the house can be inspected for a minimum health and security standards.
  5. Once the house has been cleared by the Housing authority only then you sign the lease agreement.
  6. As mentioned the entire procedure of getting your section 8 program voucher transferred from one city to another may take more than 30 days you will need to start with a proper plan of action.

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  1. Janna Morrison says:

    I have section 8 on Maui, Hawaii.Want to transfer to California. How do I find a house and process it from over here so I can move in the day I arrive? I’m not there to sign anything.How do I find out what the rent limit including utilities is? over here max rent for a 2 bedroom is $1430 and must include utilities. Whats the max over there? I want a house not an apartment.How do I know from over here what neighborhoods are bad or good? This seems impossible!

    • is very helpful when relocating! You just put in the city and state where you would like to reside! I see yourpost is from 2011, but for future reference! Good luck!

  2. jasmine says:

    Hi I’m transfer my section8 to Chicago Il I’m with The Housing Authority of Oxford Ms they said I can’t transfer my voucher they also said that they will be bill for it

    • laurasection8 says:

      I need more information. Oxford Section 8 won’t transfer your Voucher to Chicago Housing Authority? Or is it Chicago who is not accepting your voucher from Oxford?

  3. d3sir3m3 says:

    I am currently looking to port to south carolina and finding it hard to get simple information as to which counties absorb. No one is ever available for questions. Im determined to move there because of a peaceful beginning for my family and i.

  4. Hi,I’m quest, I live on the eastern shore of va and I have section 8/housing one or the other. I want to transfer to virginia beach cus I have a job offer out there, but they are not absorbing only billing. Now, the eastern shore is very small and lost, now I am aproved for a 2 bedroom at first and was giving 90 days to find a place to live ,but I could so my last day I decided to add my gf and her kids so my unit size was raised up to a 3bedroom which I’m in now. Ok my lease is up in june and her and her kids are come off, so I should be back down to a 2bedroom? What if I am giving a certain amount of time to find a house if I can’t be absorbed,and have to stay on the shore,and my time runs out. What happens then to my voucher?

  5. someone told me that in order to tranfer section 8 voucher to another state, I must first live in the state (with section 8 ) for one full year. Is that true? I live in Pasadena, ca

    • laurasection8 says:

      That is absolutely true!

    • That is not true at all so whoever told you that has there information wrong!

    • laurasection8 says:

      We are basing our answers on Housing Authorities Handbooks and facts from clients and Section 8 representatives. If you have different information, please share. We’re here to exchange concerns, advises and answers to the best of our knowledge. Thanks

    • It is true UNLESS your current facilities are not adequate for your household makeup. My apartment recently went from project based to voucher. I was told I had to live here in my one-bedroom for one full year before I could port my voucher. However, a neighbor who was a one parent/one child household when she moved into her two-bedroom had had another child in the two years she lived here. She was immediately able to port her voucher as soon as she found adequate housing.

    • laurasection8 says:

      Thanks for the input!

  6. Norlan Roundtree says:


    I currently reside in Ohio with plans on relocating to Washington sometime around Feb 2012.I found out WA is only billing and not absorbing but what does that mean? Also when should I start the porting process?

    Thank you so much

    • absorbing means that the city that you wish to move to will bill the city that you come from for the rent an the city that you come frome will pay the new HA your rent

    • laurasection8 says:

      Actually, if your new housing authority is ABSORBING Section 8 Vouchers, they will pay for rent. If you’re new city is not Absorbing, then your old Housing Authority will be BILLED so your Section 8 Voucher will still be paid by your old city (Housing Authority that you’ve moved from).

    • missmiiwtbs says:

      no it does not absorbing means that they will pay for the expense and billing means that they will bill the state that you are leaving frm

  7. I’m new to the section8 program so can somebody please tell me what absording and billing mean

    Also how far in advance should I start the portabilty process

    Thank you,

    • Absorbing Means that the new housing authority is fully absorbing you into their program and funding stream cutting all ties with prior Housing Authority

      Billing Means the new housing authority doesn’t have money to support the incoming voucher so they will pay hap/utility reimbursement on your voucher and then bill it back to your original HA.

  8. miosotis says:

    I got section 8 here in nc.I want to move to fl they told me no.because my voucher is only like $800.and in fl you need more than i do this i want to move.please help.

    • I also have section 8 in nc and am moving to utah. My amount here is less than in utah. U have to find something in florida within ur range. Just google apartment finder for that state. And yes timing is also important. I just found out there are cut off dates. I wanted 2 move at the beginning of july but thanks 2 cut-off dates,I’m stuck in nc til the end of august!!

    • laurasection8 says:

      Thanks for your input!

    • Actually what is happening is that the county you want to move to has a higher payment standard for your voucher size.

      That means that if the new HA doesn’t absorb and elects to bill your current HA it will cost your current HA much more to administer that voucher.

      They can only deny the higher cost port if they can show it is a financial burden. Even if they initially deny that housing authority would be required to approve the port as soon as they had funds open up (via vouchers dropping off program). Ask if they are issuing new vouchers? If they are issuing new vouchers in your jurisdiction then their argument that they can’t afford your port is null and void because they are not supposed to issue any new vouchers until they can accomodate your port if you are eligible. You could also look at surrounding counties in florida to see if any have payment standards more in line with your current HA.

  9. jeanette jones says:

    my name is jeanette and i am in transition to arizona and i am trying to find out what cities if any are absorbing sec 8 vouchers at this time my lease is up in sept but i would like to get an early start

    • Jason Strick says:

      Keep checking our website we are constantly updating open lists also join our email list for alerts

  10. I am living in San Diego and am living with Section 8 voucher. I would like to move to Yuma, AZ. I am waiting a return call from my housing agent. Can anyone tell me anything about how the process works in the meantime?

    Thank you.

  11. How can a person transfer section 8 from NY to Florida? Does anyone know the process between these two states and how long it takes?

  12. Karen Yocum says:

    I have been on Sec 8 for 7 years. I got my first voucher in Texas where I remained until last year when I ported out to Lake County IL. I have not been able to find work here and want to go back to Texas. I have a job waiting for me and have spoken to the Housing Authority there and have been told that Lake County Housing Auth. would be billed instead of them absorbing me. The rent standard in Texas is almost 100.00 less than it is in Illinois. The problem; my lease ends on Dec 6 2011. My landlord is willing to end my lease on Oct 1 2011 and I can get that in writing. I called the LCHA a few months ago and was told that I could leave early with landlord approval. The told me the opposite today and only repeated the 12 mo. rule. Is there any way that I can leave early? I have a job waiting for me and I am barely surviving here in Illinois. Please help. Thank you.

    • laurasection8 says:

      As long as you don’t owe any rent to your current Landlord and he agrees to let you off the Lease earlier you shouldn’t have any problem. My suggestion is to call Texas Housing Authority and get all the forms and requirements to transfer your voucher back to them. Get ALL your doubts and questions answered (by e-mail even better so you have everything in writing). Then get a letter made out to LCHA from your Landlord stating he lets you move out before the Lease is up and take it in person to your LCHA Satellite office and start process. Do not call. Just go with all the documentation.

    • I manage a Section 8 Program and the rules can very from County to County.

      “A PHA has the statutory option of restricting portability
      for up to one year if (and, presumably, only if) the family
      receiving the voucher for the  rst time does not have a
      legal domicile in the PHA’s jurisdiction at the time of the

      Most housing authorities do this but some will port in the first year if they have written that they allow such in their Admin Plan.

      Some authorities will tell are operating under the false assumption that you must have lived in their county for a year to be immediately eligible for portability when receiving a voucher but the requirement is that you can prove you have a legal residence in that county at the time of application.

      As i said most Authorities will require you to use your voucher in their county for a year if you did not meet the residency requirement at application/admission.

    • Ask your Housing Authority for a “Mutual Recession of Lease” form.

      The form would be completed by your landlord and inform the HA that your landlord is letting you out of your lease obligations.

      If your landlord agrees to dissolve the lease then the HA can’t deny eligibility for port saying you didn’t fulfill your lease.

      Now on the flipside..if they require that you use a voucher for a year in their jurisdiction then you might have to wait. The landlord being willing to let you out of your lease early doesn’t mean you have met the criteria for portability it just means you aren’t violating/breaking your lease.

  13. I have had section8 for about 4yrs here in Michigan. I plan on moving to Charlotte, NC in 1yr. Can I transfer my voucher to another state? Is it true I would need to live their a year before I’d be able to utilize my voucher? If so, how would I go about doing this…..? PLEASE HELP!!

    • laurasection8 says:

      No, you have to live for at least 1 yr at the city where you got your Section 8 voucher from. You’ve already lived in Michigan for 4 yrs. so you can transfer your voucher to a different state now. Call Charlotte, NC Housing Authority at (704) 336-5183 to get information on how and when you have to start requesting transfer.

  14. I have just got my first section 8 voucher in Texas this month, Aug., and I found a 55 and older apt., but after I live here one year I would like to move to either Florida or Arizona near family. My agency lady told me that I would need to find an agency that is “absorbing”, as rentals where I got my section 8 have low rentals compared to other cities and states and they can not port me out to any place that is more money for them.
    Does anyone know if on the HUD website or anywhere I can find out who is “absorbing” and who isn’t? Will I have to just go to each city or county in the states I want to live in and email each and everyone of them? That might take weeks to do all this. I wish there were somehow an easier way to find who absorbs and who doesn’t. Any help would be great! Thank you

    • laurasection8 says:

      Shouldn’t you 1st filter which State and City you’re moving into? Some Housing Authority Offices are independent from each other. I’d call one Section 8 from each state and find out if they have a list. But I think your situation is very vague. I can feel your concern… Florida has tons of Offices!!! I wouldn’t mind moving to Fort Lauderdale though!:). I’d start here (954) 556-4100 Fort Lauderdale Section 8 Good Luck!

  15. lawanda triplett says:

    I have a housing choice voucher from mi and I just ported to dallas texas and I was wondering what other cities could I move to cause I really like lewisville, and denton area! Please respond

    • laurasection8 says:

      The Dallas Housing Authority covers Counties of Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwall, and Tarrant, so there you have it!

  16. I have a section 8 housing voucher and i would like to relocate to Ohio could someone help me find the contact number so i can find out if they are absorbing and also what the prosses is I have to follow to get this done please help me.

    • laurasection8 says:

      Here’s the Cincinnati office info 513-721-4580 Main Phone Number and their fax is 513-977-5606.
      They’re open M-TH, 7:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Closed Friday

  17. August 25, 2011
    Hi! I would like to transfer from MA to NYC, portability voucher section 8. I can’t find any info online, just transfer info within NY State. Is 1st month’s rent, deposit, and last month’s rent required? Are midtown, chelsea, gramercy park, soho, noho areas available for section 8 tenants? I have a pension now, but was receiving SSI due to mental health and other health issues. However, my pension money exceeds SSI standards by $50.00 in MA. Can I still be considered as disabled by NYCHA regardless of income? Next question but off-topic, I pay for my health insurance under Commonwealth Care of MA. Does NY have any State Medical Insurance for lower income individuals? I’d appreciate any help anyone can give me. Thank you! Take Care…….Doris

    • laurasection8 says:

      You can search apts here
      Landlords normally request Section 8 Voucher Holder to pay the security deposit which is usually the value of 1 month rent. But you have to discuss terms with Landlord. They might not charge you they might charge you more. Housing Authoriy pays 1st month rent. I never heard of the last month… Each HA has its income guideline. You would have to check with them.

  18. I have been on section 8 in fort myers fl for 5 years now at the same apartment. I am pregnate again high risk with no help here and unable to get a descent job here at all and I have a college degree, I want to transfer my voucher to where my mother is in brevard county Florida but dont want to be stuck here untill my lease is over in April 2012. Im due with this baby in Dec 2011 and need to know how I can transfer my sec 8 before my lease is up so Im not stuck here by myself with 3 kids and no help. thanks again.

    • laurasection8 says:

      Call either Section 8 for Brevard County North area at 321-775-1577 or for the South area 321-775-1583. Ask them if they’re billing or absorbing.
      Talk to your Landlord and ask him to give you a letter allowing you to move before your Lease ends. Then call your case worker and set a meeting to get transfer papers.

  19. Is there a list that clearly states what states are absorbing section 8 vouchers? I really don’t have a particular state I would like to move too as of yet. Just want to know my options. Thanks in advance!

  20. I am currently on the waiting list for Howard county located in MD where I currently live. A while bck I had also applied to OH. To make a long story short, I pick up my vouchers in OH on Sept 16, but I wanted to know if it was possible that I port my voucher here to md since this is where I live and im already on the wait list here. Reason being, I just got a job and started school, I finally have everything established and I dnt want to mess that up. Only MAJOR thing missing, is a a place to live. Just checking my options. Thanks for any help.

    • laurasection8 says:

      Again… You have to live for at least 1 year in that jurisdiction before you can transfer you Section 8 voucher somewhere else.

  21. I know Collin County Texas Section 8 voucher is not absorbing. If I get my voucher transferred to DAllas County since they are absorbing, is that considered Collin County and I could find an apt. in Collin county through Dallas county and they would pay? Thanks

    • laurasection8 says:

      Talk to your case worker and ask which counties your housing authority covers. Some HA covers severals jurisdictions.

  22. I have a maywood Ill voucher I have been asking to port out but they keep saying I can’t unless someone is absorbing but I heard that’s not true they don’t won’t to be billed what do I do

  23. Kim Jackson says:

    I am currently living in an apartment on section 8 and I want to move to Atlanta in a house I will have been here a year next month but my landlord said my section 8 won’t transfer and I really want to move up there so I wanted to know what reason would my section 8 not transfer?

    • Jason Strick says:

      Hi Kim,

      Different states have different rules and regulations for section 8. I would definetly file for a transfer and see how they treat it. Here is some helpful info on transfering from atlanta. Make sure to contact the housing coordinator in your county before you make your move . Tell the coordinator the specific city that you are moving to so that the process can move along without any problems and the new county is better prepared to take your voucher information and input you into their computer system.
      Send in all required info that the housing coordinator asks for and dont leave anything out. The coordinator will submit your information to the new state’s coordinator.Keep calling and make sure you contact your coordinator to determine if your voucher information has been submitted, processed and accepted in the new state.

  24. lazinga fanning says:

    Do sec8 have a listing or web page, that have what states are absorbing transferred candiates

    • Dave Farin says:

      That is a very good question.
      If you are looking for a listing/webpage, contact the local PHA. And or you can contact the HUD Office that is closest to you.
      The PHA administers their vouchers locally.

  25. i have been on seaction for four years now and i wont to move to atlanta Ga monroe walton county but they are only billing i talked to my seaction 8 and they told me that i can not because they can not afford it is this true and if not what can i do what do i need to do

    • What county and state do you currently live in? Is Walton county currently absorbing? The problem may not be the $$ but the fact that they are not granting any new vouchers or accepting transfers right now. Make sue you are on the waiting list.

  26. I’m trying to transfer my section 8 to another city in va And I stayed in the area for a year but everybody’s billing what do I do next

  27. Can anyone help ?

  28. I have been trying to move my voucher from sc to pa but my section 8 worker says i can’t move unless pa is absorbing bc sc can’t afford the billing what can i do

  29. Is Lake county in North Chicago absorbing section 8 vouchers

  30. I live in Mi and have a sect 8 voucher,I want to move to fort wort tx…can anyone tell me the best areas to move in or some good apts or townhomes In a good area of fort wort.tx…..

  31. I am looking to move myself and my 4 boys from salt lake city,utah to little rock ,arkansas n am on a section 8 housing voucher for a 3 bedroom.I am receiving 1257 mnthly if the state is billing then do i look for a place around that amount?? And if they r absorbing his long do i wait to move in to a place in arkansas? Also what are the housing authority numbers in little rock,also who do i talk to?

  32. I live in PA, I have been on section 8 for 6 years. I am currently employed and pay 75% of my rent. I am thinking of moving to Maine, however, Portland Maine isn’t absorbing. Is there anywhere in Maine that is? Please help.

  33. lisa townsend says:

    Hi my name is lisa im from wny nj I have section8 im trying to move to georgia but my case worker telling me I have to give a 30 day notice to her sign from me snd my landlord and she will send my papers to ga it dont mske no since how im going to write a letter and I fidnt find no apartment section8 in ga said it takes 60 days and my lease is up in dec can she do that do I have to write a letter just to get her to send them my papers what if tjey font call me when dec comes where im hoing to go

  34. I’m very confused by the porting process. I’m wanting to go to cook county IL. They’re billing and my local is willing to accept the bill. But cook county says it takes 4 weeks and my local housing authority says they can’t submit transfer papers before I move out? So I’m supposed to be homeless for 4 weeks before I can even start looking for a house????

  35. I have a HCV in NC and I have called and emailed a bunch of different counties about which ones are absorbing, but is there an easier way to find out which counties are absorbing tenants?

  36. Pat McLachlan says:

    I have been on section 8 in GA for the past 17 years. I need to move to MI due to mental health issues and better health care in MI. I want to move to either Wayne County MI or Alganac County MI. Is they a way to find out the portability of these two counties please?

  37. My family member got arrested last month for stealing and was sent to jail for a few hrs will she be able to move into her place???

  38. I have a ?

  39. My name is Grace and I live in Fort Worth Texas live here all my life. I been in Section 8 for 8 years. With Fort Worth Housing Authority. And I want to move to New York City. I never moved out of state with my voucher, but can you port. Does New York City absorb or will they bill Fort Worth Housing Authority. I been reading a lot of things and different people say different things and don’t want to feel all confuse want to do the right things. I have always wanted to live in New York. But the only thing is that my lease is already coming up in Sept and already told my landlord that I was going to stay for another year I been living here in this Apartment complex for 8 years. but I much rather be in New York. So now what do I need to do what happens if I should break my Lease I don’t want to get in trouble much less get kick out of my apartment then where will I go. Please help me!!!!! Thank You.

  40. Susan Johann says:

    I applied for section 8 in Idaho. I was still living in Colorado at the time I applied, but knowing I was going to move to Idaho. The PHA in Idaho received my application on 4/26/12. I arrived in Idaho on 5/1/12, and lived there until 3/10/14. I updated my address with the PHA by mid-May 2012, and then changed it with them again in October 2012. They do not want to let me port; they said new voucher holders have to live in the jurisdiction for 12 months. They didn’t say anything about my living in CO when I applied, so I’m not sure if that fact makes me a “non-resident applicant” and thus not eligible to port. Does the nearly two years I lived in the jurisdiction while on the waiting list make any difference in that designation (non-resident applicant) or to my eligibility to port?

  41. Mica Victorian says:

    I am a 39 year old single mother of 2 young boys. I moved to Texas to start a new life with out domestic violence. I recieved a section 8 voucher and since return to school. Attend a junior college in the town where I live and this year is my second year. The worker over my case has asked me for 6 check stubwhen section 8 only require that you present 3. She has also asked for a Pell Grant print out telling me any money not used for school or book will be considered income. She asked if there was a way the company I work for can print her more then 3 check stubs. Today she called while I was at school to make an appt for me to come in to her office. I feel that I am being targeted who can I report this too without getting my kids and I kicked out into the street.

  42. I live in tx but sc is paying for my voucher. I have been in tx for two years and I want to move to another state. Will s.c still be responsible for my rent or will my port be denied because tx has always been billing? I am so confused

  43. I’m relocating from Florida with my section 8 to Columbia s.c and I would like to know what surrounding counties in s.c can I move too if anyone knows pls tell me thnx….

  44. I am porting out of Indianapolis, Indiana into Akron, Ohio and haven’t found any houses there. So now I want to port from Akron to Youngstown, Ohio. Is there any way I can get my paper work and transfer everything to Youngstown instead of Akron?

  45. HarleyGirl says:

    Hi I moved from Mass to RI with my voucher and have been here 12yrs!Now I want to move back to Mass and they are not absorbing yet but will administer me in and my RI housing authority says they will deny there request.Can they do that?I have been looking for 2yrs and RI knows this and how hard it is to find a place to except pets.I found a nice place in Mass.What can I do before I lose this new place?TY

  46. hello my name is renee im looking to move back to new york city from ohio with my section 8… but alot of people are saying i cant… is there a difference with section 8 and housing authority or is it the same… and my last question is what are grounds for termination of section 8 like if a person live in public housing and owe money they cant get section 8 in that state right? thanks

  47. if i ported in from one state to another and all my paperwork is completed but the house keep failing can i go back to my old housing authority or change to another state

  48. Hi Towanda, I was wondering if you were able to transfer into Ga. I am looking to do the same thing. Did you try all the housing authorities in and around Gwinett County or do you inquire on a state level?

  49. laurasection8 says:

    Portability allows you to move with continued assistance to any housing authority in the country that has a Housing Choice voucher program. Click on this link for more info :

  50. laurasection8 says:

    The voucher amount will vary since limits or payment standards may be different depending on the Housing Authority. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

  51. laurasection8 says:

    Unfortunately, new Section 8 voucher holders will have to live for at least a year in the jurisdiction where you applied. Once you lived in that area for 12 months, then you should talk to your Case Worker about moving.

  52. laurasection8 says:

    As long as you’ve lived in WV for at least 12 months you just need to contact your Section 8 case worker and request moving papers. I’d suggest you also call Arlington Housing Authority to get a list of docs you need to provide them with. Call them before you go to your interview at WV. That way you make sure to gather all the info at once.

  53. Jason Strick says:

    You would have to call each housing authority to find out if they’ll absorb.

  54. Jason Strick says:

    Generally it is a short process. The only delay should be finding housing authorities willing to absorb you, not getting authorization to get ported out.

  55. laurasection8 says:

    I’d suggest you add your relatives now. Section 8 Housing rules might slightly differ from state to state. I would start inquiring at the end of October. Make sure not to sign Lease renewal with your Landlord, though.

  56. laurasection8 says:

    Income Limits vary between states. You should call your Local Section 8 Housing Authority

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