A tenant-based housing choice voucher (HCV) is portable. This means that a family with a voucher can take it with them when they move and use it to help pay the rent on their next home or apartment. If eligible, the family can even take the voucher to another state. This portability is one of the important advantages of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. Project-based vouchers are not portable.
If you would like to relocate within our jurisdiction, please contact your housing specialist to start the process. Also fill out our Intent-to-Move form. If you are interested in relocating outside of our jurisdiction, please continue to read this section for important information about portability and its requirements.
Portability is the process of taking your voucher to another housing authority’s jurisdiction for use in that area. This allows program participants to utilize their housing assistance anywhere in the United States. There are two housing authorities involved in the port process.
- Initial Housing Authority – This is the housing authority that issued your voucher for the first time. When you submit a request to port, you are asking to leave the jurisdiction of the initial housing authority.
- Receiving Housing Authority – This is the housing authority that administers vouchers in the jurisdiction where you are requesting to move and utilize your assistance. When you submit a request to port, you are asking to use your voucher in the jurisdiction of the receiving housing authority. The receiving housing authority will administer your voucher assistance.
If your request to port is approved, your voucher will either be absorbed or remain in billing status. Here is what this means:
- Absorbing – The receiving housing authority accepts you into their program. Your voucher will be issued by the receiving housing authority and they will have full control over your housing assistance.
- Billing – The receiving housing authority takes you into their program as a resident and administers your voucher, but they will bill your previous housing authority for its share of your monthly rent. In this situation, the initial housing authority retains some control over your housing assistance.
Moving out of our Jurisdiction
There are only certain situations where a THA program participant is eligible to port. These reasons vary depending upon the type of assistance you receive from THA. There are additional requirements you must meet before THA will approve your request.
Generally, you must have lived in THA’s jurisdiction for at least one year before you become eligible to port. The only exceptions to this policy are through a reasonable accommodation or a situation protected under The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
In order to be eligible to port, you must also be in good standing with THA’s program requirements. This means you cannot be in violation of any THA participant obligations at the time of your port request. Program participants whose file is under review for termination of assistance are not in good standing and are not eligible to port.
The following are the only circumstances we will consider a request to port:
- A household member has an approved Reasonable Accommodation to port out of THA’s jurisdiction;
- A household member has a situation that is approved under VAWA;
- A household member has secured employment that is 20 hours per week or more and is located 35 or more miles from the Tacoma city limits;
- A household member is enrolled at least part time at a College/University that is located 35 or more miles from the Tacoma city limits;
- A household ported in from another housing authority and THA has not absorbed the voucher; OR
- The housing authority the household is interested in porting to is absorbing.
To start the port out process, please complete the port request form and intent to move form and submit both documents to our office. If you are unsure of what type of voucher you currently have please contact your Housing Specialist.