The Section 8 Housing Voucher Program is a federally funded program for assisting families, the elderly, and the disabled in need of low-income housing. This program assists these groups in finding decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing in the private sector. Participants are able to find their own housing, including apartments for rent, townhouses, and single-family houses for rent that meet the requirements of the program – this is not limited to subsidized housing units.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable affordable housing unit of its choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family’s current residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the PHA.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

The requirement to qualify for the Section 8 program is dependent on a family’s total annual income and family size. Each Section 8 HAP Contract involves the participation of three (3) parties; the tenant, the landlord and HUD-People First; versus two party involvements in affordable housing. Rent charged by landlords, utility payment responsibility, HAP contracts, leases, HQS compliance, and rent calculations must all be agreed upon and within HUD guidelines prior to subsidy commencement.

The People First Section 8 Department currently oversees subsidy to 175 private apartment units throughout the City of Utica, New York. Our Section 8 Department at People First currently has three employees who have numerous years of experience in order to ensure regulatory compliance.


Based upon PIH Notice 2021-14 issued May 4, 2021, please be advised that the Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Utica, New York d.b.a. People First has opted to implement the following HUD approved waiver for its Housing Choice Voucher Program until the current period of availability which is set to expire on December 31, 2021.  

HCV-3: Term of Voucher: Extensions of Term Regulatory Authority: 24 CFR § 982.303(b)(1) Description: The regulation provides that at its discretion, the PHA may grant a family one or more extensions of the initial voucher term in accordance with the PHA policy as described 26 in the PHA administrative plan. HUD is waiving the requirement that the extension(s) must be accordance with the PHA’s administrative plan in order to allow the PHA to provide extensions even though it has been unable to formally amend its policy in the administrative plan. In the absence of following the existing administrative plan for voucher term extensions, the PHA should ensure it handles such requests with consistency and in compliance with the PHA’s adopted interim standard. Period of Availability: The period of availability ends on December 31, 2021.