FAQ's for Applicants

What are Housing Choice Vouchers?
The Housing Choice Voucher program, commonly called Section 8, is a federal housing program to help low-income families, elderly, and persons with disabilities afford rents in the private market.

What is the difference between the Housing Choice Voucher program and the Project Based Voucher program?

  • The Housing Choice Voucher program is tenant-based which means it can be used when you move from one rental unit to another. The Project Based Voucher program is a subsidy that stays with a specific rental unit; whoever lives in that unit will be subsidized.

Which one should I apply for?

  • You may apply for both programs but you must fill out an application for each program. The Project Based Voucher program at Westbrook Housing has apartments for seniors only.

What else do I need to know?

  • The income guidelines for the Voucher programs change annually.
  • The method of calculating the rent is the same for both programs.
  • The Project Based Voucher program at Larrabee Village has 150 small one-bedroom apartments located at 30 Liza Harmon Drive in Westbrook.
  • After living in a Project Based Voucher apartment for at least a year, you can request to have your voucher changed to the Housing Choice Voucher program. In the Housing Choice Voucher program you can choose to move to a different building, city or state.

How do I apply?
If you are interested in applying, fill out a preliminary application and bring or mail it to Westbrook Housing’s office at 30 Liza Harmon Drive, Westbrook, ME 04092. Call (207) 854-9779 for more information.

Who is eligible for the Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher program?

  • To be eligible your family/household must fall within the income limits.
  • At least one member of your family/household must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen.

You may not be eligible if:

  • You have a recent history of illegal drug use, or violent criminal behavior
  • You owe a Housing Authority money or you have been terminated from a federally subsidized housing.

Are seniors eligible for the Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher program?
Yes, seniors who meet all of the program eligibility requirements may receive a voucher.

Are people with disabilities eligible for the Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher program
People with disabilities who meet the program eligibility requirements may receive a voucher. Some housing agencies offer special vouchers for non-elderly people with disabilities.

Are non-citizens eligible for the Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher program?
In general, you must be in one of these categories to be eligible:

  • U.S. citizen
  • A permanent resident
  • A refugee or asylee
  • A withholding grantee, conditional entrant, or parolee
  • A registry alien or have 1986 amnesty status
  • A victim of trafficking
  • Your date of entry and length of stay in the U.S. do not matter.

If your household includes some members who are not eligible, the amount of your rental assistance will be pro-rated. The eligibility rules for non-citizens are complicated and are subject to change. Your local housing agency will explain the rules that apply to you.

Do I have to be receiving any kind of income to qualify for a voucher?
No, there are no minimum income requirements.

The Centralized Waiting List:
Westbrook Housing is part of a centralized waiting list with other Public Housing Agencies.  This means that one application will be seen by all of the agencies that participate; currently this includes, Westbrook Housing, Portland Housing Authority, South Portland Housing Authority, Bath Housing Authority and Auburn Housing Authority.

How do local preferences affect me?
Because demand for housing assistance often exceeds the limited resources available to Westbrook Housing, long waiting periods are common. Applicants who live or work in Westbrook, Gorham or Windham are given preference on the waiting list.

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