Section 8 Information for Applicants


The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program,  commonly referred to as Section 8, is a rental subsidy program administered by this agency. As vouchers become available, Portsmouth Housing Authority selects qualified families or individuals from the Wait List who are then certified and briefed on the requirements of the program. After these first steps, the voucher is issued and the recipient (renter) is responsible for finding an apartment of their choice within 60 days, and then arranging for the apartment to be inspected by one of our specialists.  If the apartment meets our quality standards and rental limits then you can use the voucher to receive rental assistance.

The dollar amount of the assistance is based upon the difference between rental amount agreed to by the tenant and landlord,  and the amount equal to 30% of the family’s adjusted gross income. Portsmouth Housing will submit this amount directly to the landlord to assist the tenant.

To apply for housing assistance see our Application and Wait List Information page or call us at 603-436-4310 (TDD 1-800-545-1833 ext. 825).

Housing Choice Voucher Application Process

  1. Complete Portsmouth Housing’s Preliminary Application and be sure to select "Section 8" as a housing option.
  2. Return the fully completed Preliminary Application, along with copies of Social Security cards and Birth Certificates for each member of the household, by email to or to our office at 245 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801.
  3. Wait for your Preliminary Application to be processed by Portsmouth Housing. Processing an application can take 2-4 weeks after the completed application and all required documents are submitted. Once processed, you will hear from Portsmouth Housing to confirm or deny that you have been placed on our Waitlist.
  4. When your name nears the top of the Waitlist, you will be invited to a mandatory Voucher Holder Meeting held at the Portsmouth Housing Authority.
  5. Voucher holders will then locate an apartment or home to rent and be sure that the rental price is at or below our allowed limits.
  6. Work with Portsmouth Housing to arrange an inspection by one of our Housing Quality Standard (HQS) Inspectors.
  7. Await the HQS inspection results. If the unit passes the HQS inspection, Portsmouth Housing will provide a lease start date and give the tenant the rent amount.
  8. Sign the lease contract between you and the landlord.
  9. Move in to your new home!
  10. Comply with Portsmouth Housing’s program rules and regulations as spelled out in Portsmouth Housing’s Section 8 Administrative Plan.

Frequently Asked Questions