HUD regulations permit families to move with continued assistance to another unit within the PHA’s jurisdiction, or to a unit outside of the PHA’s jurisdiction under portability procedures. The regulations also allow the HA the discretion to develop policies which define any limitations or restrictions on moves.

This page defines the procedures for moves, both within and outside of, the PHA’s jurisdiction, and the policies for restriction and limitations on moves.

Allowable Moves

A family may move to a new unit with continued assistance if:

  • The assisted lease for the old unit has terminated because the PHA has terminated the HAP contract for owner breach, or the lease was terminated by mutual agreement of the owner and the family.
  • The owner has given the family a notice to vacate, or has commenced an action to evict the tenant, or has obtained a court judgment or other process allowing the owner to evict the family (unless assistance to the family will be terminated).
  • The family has given proper notice of lease termination (and if the family has a right to terminate the lease on notice to owner).
  • The family is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, in order to protect the health or safety of an individual who is or has been the victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking and who reasonably believed he or she was imminently threatened by harm from further violence if he or she remained in the assisted dwelling unit and has complied with all other obligations of the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program and this Section of the Administrative Plan on Portability.

Restrictions on Moves

Families are permitted to move no more than once per calendar year.  The PHA will deny permission to move if the family has moved or been issued a Voucher within the last twelve months.

The PHA will deny permission to move if there is insufficient funding for continued assistance.    In accordance with 24 CFR 982.314(e)(1), the PHA may deny permission to move if the PHA does not have sufficient funding for an increase in assistance.  The PHA has the authority to deny a family’s request to move under the portability procedures to a unit in another jurisdiction that would require the PHA to pay a higher subsidy cost for the same family’s assistance if the PHA determines it does not have sufficient funding available in the budget to accommodate the move and the receiving Authority will not absorb the family into its program.

The PHA may deny permission to move if:

  • The family has violated a Family Obligation.
  • The family owes the PHA or current landlord money.
  • The PHA may make exceptions to these restrictions if there is an emergency reason for the move over which the participant has no control or as needed to make reasonable accommodation for a participant with a disability.

Procedure for Moves

Issuance of Voucher

Subject to the restrictions on moves, if the family has not been recertified within the last 120 days, the Housing Authority will issue the voucher to move after conducting the recertification.

Families who are eligible to move will be issued a Voucher if the tenant has supplied the PHA with a copy of intent to move notice to the landlord or a signed mutual recession from the landlord.  If verification is pending, a Voucher may be issued to allow the family time to conduct their search for a new until.  The term of the Voucher will be in accordance with the PHA policy detailed in this Plan. The issue date of the Voucher will be the earliest of either:

  1. The cancellation date of the family’s previous contract; or
  2. The date the family moved out of their previous unit.

If the family does not locate a new unit, they may remain in the current unit so long as the owner permits.

Notice Requirements

Briefing sessions emphasize the family’s responsibility to give the owner and the Authority proper written notice of any intent to move.  The family must give the owner 30 days written notice of intent to vacate specified in the lease and must give a copy to the PHA simultaneously.

If the tenant is under a lease, and must break the lease in order to move, the tenant and landlord must complete the PHA’s Mutual Recession form signed by the landlord and tenant. The tenant will be solely responsible for any penalties/fees the owner may charge in order to break the lease.

For units under a Certificate HAP contract effective before October 2, 1995, if the family vacates the unit without proper notice in writing to the owner, the family will be responsible for any vacancy loss paid by the PHA.

Time of Contract Change

A move within the same building or project, or between buildings owned by the same owner, will be processed like any other move, except that there will be no overlapping assistance.

In a move, assistance stops at the old unit at the end of the month in which the tenant ceased to occupy. Assistance will start on the new unit on the effective date of the lease and contract. Assistance payments may overlap for the month in which the family moves.

Outgoing Portability

Within the limitations of the regulations and this policy, a participant family has the right to receive tenant-based voucher assistance to lease a unit outside the PHA’s jurisdiction, anywhere in the United States, in the jurisdiction of a housing authority with a tenant-based program. When a family requests to move outside of the PHA’s jurisdiction, the request must be in writing and specify the area to which the family wants to move.

The tenant must supply the name and mailing address of the receiving housing authority.

If there is more than one housing authority in the area in which the family has selected a unit, the PHA will choose the receiving housing authority.

Restrictions on Portability


If neither the head nor spouse had a domicile (legal residence), in the PHA’s jurisdiction at the date of their initial application for assistance, the family will not be permitted to exercise portability upon initial issuance of a voucher, unless the PHA approves such move.  [Note: legal domicile is defined by local government].

For a portable family that was not already receiving assistance in the housing authority’s tenant-based program, the housing authority must determine whether the family is eligible for admission under the receiving housing authority’s program.

Upon initial issuance of a voucher the family must be income eligible under the receiving PHA income limits during the initial 12-month period after admission to the program.


After an applicant has leased-up in the jurisdiction of the initial housing agency, they cannot exercise portability during the first year of assisted occupancy, except in the following circumstances:

  • When such request is to accommodate a person with disability (verification of the need for accommodation is required)
  • The receiving and initial PHA agrees to allow the move.

The PHA will not permit families to exercise portability:

  • If the family is in violation of a family obligation.
  • If the family owes money to the PHA or current landlord.
  • If the family has moved out of its assisted unit in violation of the lease.

Families who participate in special target programs (i.e Family Unification, Shelter Plus Care) must obtain approval and certification from their case manager stating that supportive services are available in the receiving jurisdiction. The receiving HA must also confirm the capability of administering the Voucher under the special program.

Families will not be permitted to move outside the housing authority’s jurisdiction under portability procedures if the receiving HA has a higher payment standard then the initial HA unless the receiving housing authority is absorbing the voucher.

Incoming Portability

Absorption or Administration

The PHA will accept a family with a valid Voucher from another jurisdiction and administer or absorb the Voucher. If administering, the family will be issued a “Portable” Voucher by the PHA. The term of the voucher will not expire before the expiration date of any initial housing authority voucher. The family must submit a request for approval of tenancy for an eligible unit to the receiving authority (PHA) during the term of the receiving PHA voucher. The receiving authority (PHA) may grant extensions in accordance with this Administrative Plan. However, if the Family decides not to lease-up in the PHA’s jurisdiction, they must contact the initial housing authority to request an extension.

The PHA may absorb Vouchers if such absorption does not exceed 100% of households assisted.

When the PHA does not absorb the incoming Voucher, it will administer the Initial housing authority’s Voucher and the receiving  housing authority policies will prevail.

For admission to the program a family must be income eligible and meet the PHA screening criteria in the area where the family initially leases a unit with assistance under the program.

The receiving authority (PHA) does not redetermine eligibility for a portable family that was already receiving assistance in the initial housing authority Section 8 tenant-based program.

The PHA will issue a “Portability Voucher” according to its own Subsidy Standards. If the Family has a change in family composition that would change the Voucher size, the PHA will change to the proper size based on its own Subsidy Standards.

Income and Total Tenant Payment of Incoming Portables

As the receiving authority (PHA), the PHA will conduct a recertification interview, but only verify the information provided if the documents are missing or are over 120 days old, whichever is applicable, or there has been a change in the family’s circumstances, or where there are discrepancies in the documents.

If the PHA conducts a recertification of the family it will not cause a delay in the issuance of a voucher.

If the family’s income exceeds the income limit of the PHA, the family will not be denied assistance unless the family is an applicant and over the Very-Low Income Limit.

If the family’s income is such that a $0 subsidy amount is determined prior to lease-up in the PHA’s jurisdiction, the PHA will refuse to enter into a contract on behalf of the family at $0 assistance.

Requests for Approval of Tenancy

A briefing will be mandatory for all portability families.

When the Family submits a RTA, it will be processed using the PHA’s policies. If the Family does not submit a Request for Tenancy Approval or does not execute a lease, the Initial housing authority will be notified within 180 days by the PHA.

If the Family leases up successfully, the PHA will notify the Initial housing authority within 30 days, and the billing process will commence.

The PHA will notify the initial housing authority if the family fails to submit a request for approval of tenancy for an eligible unit within the term of the voucher.

If the PHA denies assistance to the family, the PHA will notify the Initial housing authority within 30 days and the family will be offered a review or hearing.

The PHA will notify the Family of its responsibility to contact the Initial PHA if the Family wishes to move outside the PHA’s jurisdiction under continued portability.

Regular Program Functions

The PHA will perform all program functions applicable the tenant-based assistance program, such as:

  • Annual reexaminations of family income and composition;
  • Annual inspection of the unit; and
  • Interim Examinations when requested or deemed necessary by the PHA.


The PHA will notify the Initial housing authority in writing of any termination of assistance within 30 days of the termination. If an Informal Hearing is required and requested by the Family, the PHA, using the regular hearing procedures included in this Plan will conduct the hearing. A copy of the hearing decision will be furnished to the Initial housing authority.

The Initial housing authority will be responsible for collecting amounts owed by the Family for claims paid and for monitoring repayment. If the Initial housing authority notifies the PHA that the Family is in arrears or the Family has refused to sign a Payment Agreement, the PHA will terminate assistance to the family.

Required Documents

As receiving housing authority (PHA), the PHA will require the documents listed on the HUD Portability Billing Form from the Initial housing authority.

Billing Procedures

As receiving housing authority (PHA), the PHA will bill the Initial housing authority monthly for Housing Assistance Payments. The billing cycle for other amounts, including Administrative Fees and Special Claims will be monthly unless requested otherwise by the Initial housing authority.

The PHA will bill 100% of the Housing Assistance Payment, 100% of Special Claims and 80% of the Administrative Fee (at the Initial PHA’s rate) for each “Portability” Voucher leased as of the first day of the month.

The PHA will notify the Initial housing authority of changes in subsidy amounts and will expect the Initial housing authority to notify the PHA of changes in the Administrative Fee amount to be billed.