There are two basic kinds of subsidies: “site specific” and “tenant based.”
In “site-specific” subsidies, the unit itself is subsidized. As long as you live in that unit you have a subsidy. If you move out, you do not take the subsidy with you.
In “tenant-based” subsidies, you are subsidized and can use your subsidy to pay part of your rent to a private landlord. If you move, you can take your subsidy with you.
In both types, you generally pay 30% of your income, and the subsidy pays the rest of the rent.
Every program has its own application process, its own eligibility rules, its own program rules, and its own grievance and termination processes.
There are many types of federal site-specific subsidies. You apply to the housing authority or the owner/landlord. These include:
- Public Housing
- Section 202 Elderly/Disabled Housing
- Project-Based Section 8
- Section 8 New Construction
- Section 8 Substantial Rehabilitation
- Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation
- Moderate Rehabilitation SRO (Single Room Occupancy)
- Permanent Supportive Housing
- USDA Rural Development 515/521
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
- Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
There are also many types of federal tenant-based subsidies. You apply to housing authorities. These include:
- Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
- Section 8 Family Unification Vouchers
- Section 8 Non-Elderly Disabled Vouchers
- Department of Mental Health Section 8
- Shelter Plus Care Vouchers
- HUD-VASH Vouchers (for veterans)
- HOPWA Vouchers (for persons with AIDS)
Lastly, the State of Vermont offers its own rental subsidy program. Apply to the Vermont Department for Children and Families for the Vermont Rental Subsidy.