Payment Standards FAQs
This page answers the most common questions about KCHA's voucher payment standards. If you have a question not listed here, contact your housing specialist.
Why did KCHA change to a 6-tier, zip code-based payment standard system?
In March 2016, we began transitioning from a two-tiered structure of payment standards to a multi-tiered structure based on zip codes. The purpose of the change is to more closely align the rent ceilings allowable under the Housing Choice Voucher program (Section 8) to the local rental market conditions across King County. Under the new system, your payment standard will be determined by the zip code in which the unit you are renting is located.
When will I receive the new payment standards?
You will have the new payment standards applied at your next interim review, annual review, rent increase, or if you move to a different home.
If I need the payment standards applied sooner, can I apply for a hardship?
Yes. View the hardship eligibility criteria and application form.
How do I find my maximum rental amount estimate for a move?
Our subsidy calculator can help you determine if the home you want to rent is affordable within the limits of the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program. It can also give you a sense of how much you would pay each month, and how much KCHA would pay. Please note: The amounts can vary depending on other factors not taken into account by the calculator. Because of this, the estimates given by the calculator are not a guarantee. You should always talk with your housing representative before making any final rental choices.
Do you have a chart showing the tiers and zip codes?
Yes. View the list of payment standards.
What if the new payment standard in my area is lower than my current payment standard?
We will maintain the current payment standard if you remain in the same unit through the next full recertification.
Can I rent a unit that exceeds the payment standard when I move?
For new program entries, the amount a tenant pays for rent and utilities may not exceed 40% of your income. At your moving appointment you will be given an estimate based on your income which may or may not exceed the payment standard.
How do I look up what zip code my unit is in?
Use the zip code lookup tool provided by the U.S Postal Service. You can then match the zip code to the correct tier to determine your payment standard or allowable rental amount.