HCV - Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8)

About Housing Choice Vouchers

The federally funded and locally administered Arlington Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program helps low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities obtain safe, decent, and affordable housing in the private market.

How the Housing Choice Voucher Program Works

  • The voucher holder must find suitable housing where the property owner agrees to rent under this program (see Where to Use Vouchers or search on www.GoSection8.com or Social Serve)
  • The AHCVP must determine if the housing’s rent is reasonable and meets the annual housing quality standards (HQS) set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • The AHCVP will enter into a housing assistance payments (HAP) contract with the property owner and pay a housing subsidy directly to the property owner on the voucher holder’s behalf.
  • The voucher holder will pay the difference between the actual rent charged by the property owner and the amount subsidized by the program. (So, for example, if the monthly rent is $1,000 and the AHCVP contributes $700 toward the client’s rent, the voucher holder is responsible for the remaining $300).

For more information on the Arlington Housing Choice Voucher Program read HUD’s Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet.

Application Process/Wait List

The Arlington Housing Choice Voucher Program (AHCVP) continues to deploy a variety of vouchers types throughout the community. Waiting lists may open for one or more of housing choice voucher subsidies over an estimated course of five-years or more.

Effective July 1, 2019, the AHCVP eliminated the “first-come, first-served” application acceptance process. The AHCVP has adopted a lottery system for new applications submitted for a wait list consideration. Applications submitted will be randomly selected via the online application system for a ranked position on the Waiting List. Applicants will be contacted and informed if their application was selected or not selected through the lottery process.

Interested Arlington County residents seeking housing assistance during closed AHCVP waiting list periods may wish to apply for a housing grant or other forms of rental assistance by contacting 703-228-1300.

All applicants have been notified that they are on the program wait list. If the applicant has an address, status or household change while on the wait list, the applicant must notify the Arlington Housing Choice Voucher Program office in writing by completing the Wait List Update Form.

Applicants will be notified by mail for a final eligibility interview upon reaching the top of the wait list. Arlington Housing Choice Voucher Program follows established HUD rules for wait list management.

Although the AHCVP can’t release an applicant’s placement number on the wait list, the applicant can confirm an active wait list status by calling the Department of Human Services, Customer Service Department, at 703-228-1450


The Arlington County Housing Choice Voucher Program (AHCVP) is currently ABSORBING voucher holders who move into Arlington County from other jurisdictions or “port-in” from other public housing agencies (PHAs). Read about portability.

AHCVP Income Guidelines

In the AHCVP, 75 percent of the families must be less than or equal to an extremely low income. The remaining 25 percent must fall at or below a very low income.

Income Limits
Extremely Low Income
Family Size Income Limit Family Size Income Limit
1 $31,650 4 $45,200
2 $36,200 5 $48,850
3 $40,700 6 $52,450
Very Low Income
Family Size Income Limit Family Size Income Limit
1 $52,750 4 $75,350
2 $60,300 5 $81,400
3 $67,850 6 $87,450
Income limits subject to change.

Overcoming Obstacles in Finding Housing

Arlington’s low vacancy rate makes it difficult for families with limited financial resources to find housing. Also, landlords want tenants with good references and credit. Voucher holders can begin repairing poor credit history by contacting their local Consumer Credit Counseling Service 1-800-747-4222 or the Virginia Cooperative Extension 703-228-6400.

Past Events: 2023 Housing Choice Voucher Waitlist Lottery

Learn More