Community Development Corporation of Long Island

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History and Overview of Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program provides rental assistance to low-income families through Federal funds administered by the New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR). Often referred to by the portion of the legislation that authorized the program, “Section 8” provides assistance to over 2 million low-income people nationwide each year.

Program participants may choose to live anywhere in the United States (some first-year residency requirements apply) and may select their own units, which must meet HCR standards for affordability and for safety. Once tenant and landlord sign a lease, the tenant family is responsible for a portion of their rent depending on their income, and the HCV program pays the remainder directly to the landlord.

CDC’s Role & Responsibilities

CDC administers the Housing Choice Voucher program on behalf of two different entities. We are the Suffolk County Local Administrator for the New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) Housing Choice Voucher program, and we administer the program for the Town of Smithtown. In addition, CDC operates the Mainstream Program for Persons with Disabilities on behalf of four Long Island not-for-profit organizations: Transitional Services of Long Island, the Family & Children’s Association, Options for Community Living, and Mercy Haven.

For all programs, CDC oversees tenant eligibility, lease-up, annual recertification, as well as Housing Quality Standards inspections of all units. CDC is committed to the highest quality service provision to all its tenants and landlords on behalf of all its partner organizations.

As of December 1, 2008, 3732 families were leased up through the Housing Choice Voucher program, totaling approximatley 10,000 individuals living in the assisted households. Approximately half the families have an elderly and/or disabled member. Of the families in the Housing Choice Voucher programs administered by CDC, 212 are participants in the CDC Family Self Sufficiency Program, which helps them move toward economic independence.