What are Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV)

The Housing Authority of Travis County’s (HATC) housing choice voucher program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded program created to assist very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary rent in the private market. Families and individuals can use their vouchers to find their own housing including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments throughout Travis County.

Once approved, the participant is free to choose housing beyond the units located in subsidized housing projects. Any housing that meets the requirements are eligible for the participant to use their awarded voucher.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family’s choice where the owner/landlord agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family’s present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by HATC.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by HATC on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

HATC uses a waiting list to award the funds to eligible individuals and families. Names are selected for the waiting list randomly using a lottery process. 

HATC'S VOUCHER PROGRAMS

HUD- Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) is a collaborative program between HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA case managers may connect these Veterans with support services such as health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling to help them in their recovery process and with their ability to maintain housing in the community. Veterans must comply with a case management program through the VA in order to continue receiving assistance. The VASH program is administered in accordance with the regular HCV requirements.

The VASH program was established in 1992 and is a key component to reducing homelessness among veterans and their immediate families. The program utilizes a housing first approach. Housing first approach allows for rapid access to housing due to low barriers for acceptance into the program.

Housing Choice Vouchers are awarded by HUD based on community needs and Public Housing Authority (PHA) performance. The Housing Authority of Travis County (HATC) was awarded 15 VASH vouchers in 2016 and subsequently received 15 additional housing choice vouchers for utilization in 2020. VASH participants are selected by the local VA clinic through the Coordinated Assessment system and referred to HATC for final eligibility screening and enrollment.

If you are a veteran and are experiencing homelessness, contact your local VA clinic to inquire about permanent housing or complete a coordinated assessment by visiting Goodwill of Central Texas at 1015 Norwood Park Blvd Austin, Texas 78753 or The Southwest Health and Wellness Clinic at 2901 Montopolis Drive Austin, Texas 78741.

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WAITLIST OPENING

The Housing Authority of Travis County (HATC) announces a limited waitlist opening for Mainstream Housing Choice Vouchers. No other waitlists will be open at this time. Pre-applications were only accepted online between 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. This opening was ONLY for individuals and families who have a family member who:

  • Is non-elderly (between ages 18 and 61), AND
  • Has a verifiable disability, AND
  • Are transitioning out of institutional or other segregated settings, currently experiencing homelessness, previously experienced homelessness and currently a client in a permanent supportive housing or rapid rehousing project, or those at risk of experiencing homelessness.


Eligible applicants experiencing homelessness may also be added to the waitlist through a coordinated referral by the following partner agencies: Ending Community Homelessness Coalition and Integral Care. If you are currently homeless, please visit www.austinecho.org/ca for information about Coordinated Assessment.

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