Finding a Home
You have 120 days to find a home after receiving your voucher. To help you in this process, KCHA partners with Emphasys Software and AffordableHousing.com to provide housing search tools. These free services let you look for affordable housing in all parts of King County. AptFinder.org, Rent.com, and ForRent.com can also help you search online.
It's important to remember that our voucher payment standards — the highest amount we will pay each month to help you with rent and utilities — are higher in areas where rents are higher. For example, the standard for a home with 2 bedrooms in Burien is $1,820 per month, compared to $1,960 per month in Kent and $2,740 per month in most of Bellevue. KCHA's subsidy calculator can help you figure out if the home you want to rent is affordable within the limits of the Section 8 program. It can also give you a sense of how much you would pay each month, and how much KCHA would pay, depending on where the home is located.
The landlord of the home in which you're interested must be also willing to take part in the Section 8 program. In addition, the home's rent needs to meet two standards:
- Your portion of the rent must not exceed 40 percent of your monthly household income.
- The rent must be reasonable, as compared to rents charged for similar, non-Section 8 homes in the area.
If the rent does not meet these standards, KCHA may ask the landlord to lower the rent. If they decline, you will need to find a different home. We do not allow side agreements where you pay the difference to your landlord.
If KCHA accepts the rent, we will set up a time to inspect the home. It takes between 2 and 10 business days to schedule and then conduct the inspection. If the home passes, you may sign the lease with the landlord. You can move in on the date the lease begins. If it does not, the landlord will have the chance to repair any failed items. Once the repairs have been made and the home passes re-inspection, you may then sign the lease and move in.