MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. — People facing steep housing costs can apply for rental assistance. 

The application process for the Multnomah County Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) opened at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 5. It will close on Friday, June 9 at 11:59 p.m. The HCV program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is commonly known as Section 8.

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This is the first time that the waiting list has been open in almost seven years.

"It supports families in our community with low income," said Stephanie Taylor with Home Forward, the housing authority of Portland. "It gives a family an opportunity to find private market rental in our community. It pays a portion of the rent and families will pay the remainder portion of the rent."

Anyone can apply for the program, but people who receive a housing voucher must use it in Multnomah County for the first 12 months, according to Home Forward.

Below is a look at some common questions and answers about the application process.

Who is eligible to apply?

The HVC program is open to people and families with low incomes. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Household income must be 50% or less of the area median income for your household size
  • Must be at least 18 years old or have minor status removed by marriage or a court order
  • One member of your household must be a legal citizen or eligible immigrant

How can I apply?

Applications will only be accepted on Home Forward's website. However, there are some exceptions. People with disabilities or those who need an application in a language other than English can request a paper application by calling Home Forward's hotline at 503-415-8050. The hotline is open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Anyone who applies will need to use an email address and a phone number to create an account with the online application system. Those who don't have a computer or access to internet can call the hotline.

What is the selection process?

The applications will be randomly assigned a number and put into a lottery process. Numbers one through 2,000 will be put onto the waiting list to receive a Housing Choice Voucher in the next two to three years.

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How do I know if I'm on the waiting list?

People who are selected for a voucher through the lottery process will receive a written notification by September 2023. Those on the wait list can call 503-415-8000 to find their position.

Click here for more information about the application process