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Project-based housing / Multi-family housing


Privately owned apartment owners receive funds from HUD to lower the rent for low-income families, elderly, and disabled individuals. The rent subsidy is tied to the unit, and while some units have fixed rental amounts, others adjust based on income. There are annual reexaminations to determine eligibility and recalculate rent. Tenants should report any changes in income or family size. Repairs should be reported to the landlord, and if termination of the lease is desired, the landlord must provide a written notice and allow for a discussion with the tenant.


Last updated 06/23/2023

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Project-based housing program

In this program, HUD funds privately owned apartment owners who lower the rent they charge low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled. The HUD rent subsidy is tied to the unit. Some units have low fixed rental amounts, while the rent portion for other units changes when your income changes. Under the Project-Based Section 8 program, your rental portion is approximately 30% of your monthly adjusted gross income. The apartment owner has a contract with HUD through which HUD pays the owner the difference between the contract rent and your portion. If you move, you cannot apply the rent subsidy to a new unit.


To apply, you must visit the management office for the apartment complex that interests you. Based on your application, the owner will determine if you are eligible. In order to see whether an applicant qualifies for project-based housing, the owner will gather information including, but not limited to family characteristics, income and assets, citizenship or legal immigration status, criminal history, and rental references.

If you do not qualify for project-based housing, the owner must notify you in writing, tell you its reason for denial, and give you an opportunity for a meeting to review its decision.

Annual reexaminations and recertifications

Once a year, the landlord will reexamine your income and family circumstances to see whether you still qualify for project-based housing, and if you do, recalculate your rent based upon any changes.

Interim reexaminations

If your income or family size changes after you attend the reexamination, in most cases, you must report this change to the landlord. For your protection, you should report changes in income and family composition in writing and keep a photocopy of your notification. Failure to report changes in income may be grounds for lease termination or retroactive recalculation of your rent. If you are not sure whether you should report your change of income, then ask the landlord. If you are entitled to a rent decrease, the decrease will take effect the first day of the month following the date you reported the change. If your rent will be increased, and if you reported the increase timely, then the landlord must give you at least a 30-day notice of the rent increase.


Requests for repairs are reported directly to the landlord. If the landlord fails to make timely repairs, you can contact the HUD Multifamily Housing Complaint Line at 1-800-685-8470.

Lease Terminations

If your landlord wishes to terminate your lease before your lease ends, or if your landlord does not want to renew your lease, then your landlord must send you a written notice of lease termination. The notice must specifically state the reasons for the lease termination or lease non-renewal. A landlord must have “good cause” to terminate or not renew your lease. The notice should also state the date the landlord wishes you to vacate the apartment. The notice should also state that you have 10 days to discuss the termination with the landlord.

If you wish to discuss the termination with the landlord, you should submit your request for a meeting in writing. Keep a photocopy of the request with your important papers. During your meeting with the landlord, you should discuss the reasons why the landlord wants to terminate your lease. You should tell the landlord your side of the story and bring with you any supporting documents such as pictures or receipts. It is up to the landlord to decide whether or not to continue with your lease termination.