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Rental Subsidy Programs

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Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

Provides rental assistance to income-eligible families helping families afford a better place to live or assist with paying a portion of the monthly rent where the family currently is living. A family consists of one or more household members. Household income must meet federal income guidelines. For more detailed information also see the HCV Fact Sheet on the HUD website.

  1. Application: Family completes the preliminary application, and the family name is placed on the waiting list. Apply in person or call for an application and self addressed envelope for return. You may also download it. We strongly recommend dropping your application off in-person at our office. Email applications cannot be accepted unless signed and scanned. It may also be faxed.
  2. Selection policy: The selection policy is based on date and time of application. Preference is given to county residents first, then state of Maryland, then all others.
  3. Waiting list: Current wait time is approximately three years for county residents. If you would like to check on the status of your application, please call our office.
  4. Enrollment: When the family's name reaches the top of the waiting list, an enrollment interview is scheduled, and eligibility is determined.
  5. Certification: If determined eligible, the family attends a briefing session where information is provide on how the Program works, and how to obtain housing suited to the family's needs.
  6. Housing Selection: The family finds housing within 120 days that meets HUD's Housing Quality Standards and allowable rent limits. The family's present dwelling may qualify or, under the program' portability option, the family may find a unit within or outside Maryland, provided a Housing Choice Voucher Program exists in that jurisdiction. If you would like to search for affordable housing on-line, we encourage you to do so at
  7. Negotiation: The family comes to an agreement with the landlord on lease terms.
  8. Agency review: The Housing Agency evaluates the lease and inspects the dwelling to determine if they meet Program standards.
  9. Approval: The Housing Agency determines approval or disapproval of the lease and unit.
  10. Program Participation: Upon Agency approval of the lease and unit, the Housing Agency and Owner enter into a contract on behalf of the family for the unit.

**Please note that this can be a very lengthy and complicated process at times. While you are waiting for housing assistance from our agency, we encourage you to conduct your own search for housing. You may begin by using the Department of Housing and Urban Development's search page at, or our on-line search at and by referring to our provided list of rental communities in Cecil County.

Voucher Portability Feature

If you already have a voucher in another jurisdiction and would like to move to Cecil County, you may be able to do so using the Portability process. You must provide our contact information at the top of this page to your current housing agency, who will send us the proper paperwork to initiate the process. If you have questions about this please consult your current housing agency, or contact our Portability Officer at 410-996-8213.

Federal Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS)

A case management, resource, and savings program for current Voucher holders. Provides assistance, supportive services, and the opportunity for families to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency through asset building, escrow accounts, and home-buying assistance programs. Interested Cecil County voucher holders please contact the Family Self Sufficiency Coordinator at 410-996-8217 to find out if there are openings for new participants in the program.

First Time Home Buyers

First time buyers programs designed to increase the home ownership rate, especially among lower income and minority households. Please refer to the Housing Counseling Services above and the Family Self-Sufficiency program.

Family Unification Program

Special rental assistance available to families at risk of children being removed and/or reunited with parents (by Dept. of Social Services). Limited availability.

Domestic Violence

Special rental assistance (limited) and counseling available to families experiencing domestic violence. Contact Kathy Beerly at 410-996-0333.

Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH)

A special purpose funding program designated by HUD to assist Veterans and their families find rental housing. The program includes specific eligibility criteria and case management services from the VA. Veterans must be referred to Cecil County Housing by the Perry Point VA. To Obtain a referral for rental assistance contact Patricia Lane, 410-642-2411 ext. 5506.

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