Moving to a Different Home
After your initial 12-month lease ends, you can use your voucher with any Section 8 program in the country. The steps you must take to move with your voucher depend on the area where you plan to live.
Moving with Children
You can help your children do well in school by keeping them at the same school until summer. Research shows that children who change schools during the school year tend not to perform as well as those who do not.
To learn more about an area's schools, visit GreatSchools. The site lets you compare schools based on test scores, class sizes, parent reviews, and more.
Within King County
KCHA will continue to manage your voucher if you move within King County, not including incorporated areas in Seattle and Renton. The moving process takes seven steps:
- Decide where within the county you want to live. KCHA's voucher payment standards define the highest amount we will pay each month to help you with rent and utilities. It's important to know that this amount is higher in areas where rents are higher. For example, the standard for a home with 2 bedrooms in Tukwila is $1,175 per month, compared to $1,655 per month in Woodinville and $1,925 per month in most of Bellevue.
- Find out if the home is affordable. 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 Housing Choice Voucher program. It can also give you a sense of how much you would pay each month, and how much KCHA would pay.
- Notify both your landlord and KCHA that you plan to move. The notice must be in writing. It needs to list your current address and the date you will leave the home. You must give notice at least 20 days before the end of the month. Both you and your landlord must sign the notice. You may use KCHA's Mutual Termination Form (PDF).
- Complete the required moving forms. KCHA will send you a packet of forms after receiving your notice. Return the packet along with the requested verification (e.g., income, assets, childcare expenses).
- Sign the new voucher. After receiving all forms and verifying your eligibility, KCHA will send you a new voucher, along with other paperwork to give your new landlord. You must sign the voucher before it can be used.
- Have your new landlord fill out the Request for Tenancy Approval form included with your voucher. Send the completed form to KCHA. If the rent is reasonable, a housing inspector will set up a time to go through the home with your new landlord. Do not move into the home until it passes the inspection. KCHA will only start making payments to your landlord if the home meets our standards.
- Move out of your current home by the date you listed in the notice in Step 1. Return the keys to your landlord. Ask for a receipt from your landlord that lists the date on which you returned the keys.
KCHA recommends starting this process 30 to 45 days before you plan to move. You are responsible for finishing each of the seven steps on time.
Outside of King County
You may move out of King County with your Section 8 voucher if one of the following applies:
- You lived in a part of King County served by KCHA when you applied for a voucher.
- You have lived in your current home with a voucher for more than 12 months.
If eligible, you can move anywhere in the United States that has a Section 8 program. However, different rules may apply once you leave King County. Other housing authorities may have different payment standards. You may not be able to rent a home with the same number of bedrooms. Both of these affect the type of home you can rent. Make sure to ask the new housing authority about their rules before you make your final choice.
Once you know where you want to move, fill out the Portability Release Form given to you by KCHA. This lets KCHA send your files to the new housing authority. Because the new agency may have different rules, contact them to learn about the steps you must take to move into their area. Wait at least seven business days after submitting the release form to KCHA to allow your files to reach the new agency.
To learn more about moving outside of King County, contact your senior housing specialist.