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Housing Subsidy Programs

Understanding and finding affordable housing is hard to do
in our current economy. Terms such as, ‘Section 8’ and
‘subsidized’ are used interchangeably when in fact, they are
different programs with different processes for becoming
eligible. Below are some definitions of low-income housing
options in Dane County.

Section 8 Voucher Program - This program is
administered by the Community Development Authority
(CDA) within the City of Madison and the Dane County
Housing Authority. Individuals who have this benefit are
given a voucher that allows them to pay 30% of their
income as rent at any apartment in Dane County. The rest of
the rent is subsidized by the federal government. This
program is currently closed to new applicants.

Section 42 - This is a program where entire buildings offers
a fixed lower rental rate for all residents who must qualify
based on income. ‘Section 42’ buildings agree to offer low-income
housing, and they get a reduction in tax liability that
allows them to reduce rental rates.

Public Housing - The CDA owns 766 units (apartments and
townhouses) in the City of Madison that they rent to low
income individuals who then pay 30% of their income as
rent. These individuals do NOT have a ‘Section 8’ voucher,
but they must apply to live in one of the public housing
units. People can sign up to be placed on waiting lists for public
housing, however individuals can wait a year or more for a
unit to become available.

Subsidized Housing - Privately owned apartments and
townhouses can also contract with the federal
government to provide low income units in which residents
pay 30% of their income as rent. The entire building
consists of subsidized units, and each resident pays a
different rental rate. Individuals who live in subsidized
housing do not need a ‘Section 8’ voucher to take advantage
of the 30% of income rental rate.

Content from NESCO, North/Eastside Senior Coalition