Individuals and families are eligible to receive a Housing Choice Voucher if they have annual incomes of 50% or less of the area median income or state non-metro median income, whichever is higher. Eligibility for a Housing Choice Voucher is determined by the local administering housing agency based on the household’s total annual gross income and a criminal background screening. Participants must be U.S. citizens or fall within specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status.

Participants are required to pay one-third of their income toward rental payments and the Housing Choice Voucher program pays the remaining amount. In the rare event the participant loses his or her job and therefore has no income, the Voucher Program pays the full rent.

There are very long waiting lists in Baltimore City and surrounding counties in the region. Potential applicants should evaluate all programs available and apply for each program for which they are eligible.

To apply for a voucher in any of the following jurisdictions, please click on the appropriate link below, and you will be directed to the local administering agency. Please note that in some jurisdictions, the waiting lists may be closed and the agency may not be accepting applications at this time.

Once families receive a voucher, they are encouraged to look at all housing possibilities to ensure the best living situation for themselves or their families. Housing Choice Vouchers are portable. Families may use their vouchers in any part of Maryland, or the nation, not just the city or county in which they applied for the voucher.

There are a number of website resources that provide information on affordable rental units and properties that accept Housing Choice Vouchers. Some of these resources are listed below. However, please be aware that these lists are not comprehensive. If there is a unit you are interested in and have a voucher, you should ask the landlord if he/she accepts Housing Choice Vouchers. In addition, please note that all rental properties in Howard County are prohibited from denying rental applications based on source of income (e.g. Housing Choice Voucher holders) as long as other application requirements are met.

Participants are required to follow the rules outlined in their leases, as well as the rules for participating in the Voucher Program. Participants are expected to keep the property in good condition and pay their share of the rent on time. Failure to do so may result not only in eviction by the landlord, but also in termination from the Housing Choice Voucher Program altogether.