Housing Choice Voucher Program


Frequently Asked Questions

Who participates in the Section 8 Program?

The Section 8 program assists low-income households. The Housing Authority selects families/individuals who meet income and eligibility requirements. A participating family may choose to remain in the unit they are currently living in or move to a participating unit.

How is rental assistance provided?

The Housing Authority calculates the amount of assistance each family receives. The level of assistance is based upon family size an income. A family is expected to pay approximately 30% of current income toward their rent. Each month the Housing Authority will make housing assistance payments directly to the landlord.

What is Section 8 Housing Assistance (Housing Choice Vouchers)?

The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.

The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.

Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by the Northern Marianas Housing Corporation (NMHC). NMHC receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by NMHC.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the NMHC on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. Under certain circumstances, if authorized by NMHC via its Administrative Plan, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.

Am I eligible for Section 8 Housing Assistance (Housing Choice Vouchers)?

Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by NMHC based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family's income may not exceed 50 percent of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. By law, NMHC must provide 75 percent of its vouchers to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location. NMHC can provide you with the income limits for your area and family size.

During the application process, the NMHC will collect information on family income, assets, and family composition. Afterwards, NMHC will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance payment

If NMHC determines that your family is eligible, it will put your name on a waiting list, unless it is able to assist you immediately. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, NMHC will contact you and issue to you a housing voucher.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in applying for a voucher, you need to contact any one of NMHC's offices located in Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays, or call the following telephone numbers:

  • Saipan (670) 234-6866/9447/7689/7670
  • Tinian (670) 433-9213
  • Rota (670) 532-9410

Tenant-Based Section 8 Housing Process Overview (Flow Chart)


Section 8 Tennant-based Section 8 Housing Flow chart photo


Local preferences and waiting list - what are they and how do they affect me?

Since the demand for housing assistance often exceeds the limited resources available to HUD and the local housing agencies, long waiting periods are common. In fact, a PHA may close its waiting list when it has more families on the list than can be assisted in the near future.

Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) may establish local preferences for selecting applicants from its waiting list. For example, NMHC currently uses a set of former federal preference to a family who is (1) Substandard Housing, (2) paying more than 50% of its income for rent, and (3) involuntarily displacement. Families who qualify for any such local preferences move ahead of other families on the list who does not qualify for any preference. NMHC has the discretion to establish local preferences to reflect the housing needs and priorities of its particular community.

Who do I contact for more information?

NMHC's Section 8 Housing Division Contact Person(s)

  • David Chargualaf, Program and Housing Division Manager
  • Mitch Aaron, Housing HQS Inspector (Certified)
  • Arvin Ogo, Rota Field Office Representative

Nearest HUD Office (Contact Information):

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Hawaii State Office 9CPH
Suite 520, 500 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96913-4918

Tel. Nos.: (808) 522-8175

Where can I get more information about Section 8?

The Section 8 program regulations are at 24 CFR Part 983.
Additional information about the Section 8 program can be found by visiting the Section 8 program web pages at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development web site.

Last Updated 1/17/2015 7:01:56 PM

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