Under HUD's Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, the federal government subsidizes the portion of a low-income family's private market rent that exceeds 30 to 40 percent of their combined household income. This subsidy, or voucher, is portable, meaning that Section 8 tenants can move, even to another jurisdiction, but still enjoy Section 8 benefits. You follow the same general protocol to transfer your assistance to Georgia as you do for other parts of the nation.
Contact the public housing agency (PHA) that administers your current benefits. Inform them that you are lplanning to move to Georgia, but would like to keep your Section 8 voucher and secure Section 8 housing there. Your PHA can help you navigate the portability process.
End your lease with your current landlord, if it has not already expired. HUD requires that all Section 8 tenancies commence with a one-year lease. Even though you receive federal assistance, you still must abide by the terms of your lease with your landlord. Tell your landlord you are going to move and work out an agreement to properly terminate your lease agreement.
Ask your PHA if it will allow you to move. If you are in the initial 12-month period since you were first admitted to the Section 8 program, your PHA does not have to let you move. The Code of Federal Regulations notes, however, that it your PHA can allow you to move if it so chooses. Ultimately, your initial PHA and the PHA that governs the area you wish to move to must agree to allow for the portability of your Section 8 voucher. If you are outside of your initial 12-month term, your PHA has to allow you to move.
Complete the necessary paperwork to begin the portability process. Your initial PHA should have most of the documents it needs on file. For the record, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which runs Section 8 programs throughout most of the state, notes that it must receive your original voucher, birth certificates of all household members, income verification and HUD forms 52665 and 50058. Your initial PHA can facilitate this administrative portion of the process.
Follow up with your PHA to make sure they properly execute the transfer of benefits from their jurisdiction to the new PHA in the area in which you hope to reside. In Georgia, DCA administers the Section 8 program in 149 of Georgia's 159 counties, as of 2010. Local housing authorities run the program in the remaining 10 counties. For example, the Atlanta Housing Authority is in charge of Section 8 for the Atlanta metropolitan area. Your initial PHA knows who to contact after you tell them where you plan to move.
Contact the PHA that covers the area to which you wish to move. If you are not moving to Atlanta metro, this is likely DCA. Search for a Section 8 unit in the area governed by DCA, the Atlanta Housing Authority or one of the other PHAs that administer the Section 8 program in Georgia. Your new PHA can provide you with listings. Alternatively, you can search for Section 8 housing online.
Follow the same process you followed when you secured your initial Section 8 tenancy. For instance, after you find a landlord who is willing to rent to you, you must submit an Approval for Tenancy form -- your new PHA will give you one -- to your new PHA. Your new PHA then inspects the unit into which you wish to move. If it passes inspection, you can sign a one-year lease with your new landlord.
Different jurisdictions use different payment standards and income limits. DCA notes that when you move to Georgia, your voucher may afford you a smaller or larger unit than the one you lived in during your previous Section 8 arrangement.