Family Obligations

As an applicant or participant in the Section 8 Program, your family has the responsibility to abide by the rules and requirements of the program.

ALL information that you provide MUST be true AND complete.

You must comply with the law, and you are responsible for violations caused by deliberate acts, negligence, and abuse.  If you do not comply with these requirements you may be denied participation or terminated from the program.


Participating families must comply with all Section 8 Program obligations.

Provide Information

You must provide family information that HUD or CHA determines is necessary in the administration of the program, including:

  • Any requested certification, release, or other documentation
  • Social Security numbers and verification of social security numbers
  • Signed consent forms for obtaining information
  • Information on family income and who lives in your household for use in an annual or interim reexamination

Maintain Your Unit

It is important that you keep your unit in good condition.  Do not damage the premises or allow guests to cause damage beyond normal wear and tear, either on purpose or through neglect. 

  • You are responsible for any Housing Quality Standards (HQS) deficiency or inspection failure caused by your family or by anyone that you allow into your unit.
  • You must allow CHA to inspect the unit at reasonable times after reasonable notice.

Meet Your Rent and Other Financial Obligations

  • You must pay your share of the rent on time
  • You must pay for the utilities for which you are responsible according to your lease

Use Your Housing Unit as Your Only Residence

  • Your unit is to be used for residence by your family and must be your family’s only residence

Honor All Provisions of Your Lease and Comply with all Section 8 Program Requirements

  • Know and comply with the conditions of your lease and the Section 8 program’s requirements
  • Provide a copy of any eviction notice to the CHA

You Must Not….

  • Commit any serious or repeated violations of the lease
  • Assign the lease, sublet the lease, rent out a room in the unit, or transfer the unit
  • Own or have any financial interest in the unit
  • Receive Section 8 assistance while receiving another housing subsidy for the same unit or for a different unit under any duplicative housing assistance program
  • Engage in profit-making business or activities in the unit, unless the activities are approved by the landlord or are in accordance with the lease, are legally-permissible, and are not the primary use of the unit
  • Engage in any drug-related criminal activity, violent criminal activity, or any criminal activity
  • Engage in alcohol abuse that threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of other residents


All changes in family composition and/or income must be promptly reported.

Promptly reporting to the CHA is within 10 days of the change.

Changes in Family Composition

Family composition refers to who is living your household.

  • Promptly inform CHA of any changes in family composition between your annual reexaminations.
    • Changes in family composition that must be reported include the birth, adoption, or court-awarded custody of a child, live-in aide, or if a family member lease or is removed from the unit.
  • Obtain CHA approval for any additional family members before the new member moves into the unit.
    • New members 18 years or older will be screen by CHA for history and all criminal activity.

Changes in Income

  • Promptly inform CHA of any changes in income between your annual reexaminations.

CHA may terminate your assistance

if you fail to report a change in family composition and/or income

Other Changes

  • Promptly inform CHA and the landlord before moving out of the unit or terminating the lease with notice to the landlord and CHA. If you move or terminate the lease before notifying CHA, you risk losing your Section 8 assistance.
  • Promptly give CHA a copy of any eviction notice that you receive from the landlord.


You must inform CHA immediately if there is any change in who is living in your household and your household income. 


You must notify CHA immediately if you or a family will be absent from the unit for more than 30 days or more. 

If you do not notify CHA promptly, CHA may terminate your assistance.

You or a family member may be absent from the unit for brief periods, but not more than a total of 180 days in a calendar year.


A guest can stay in the assisted unit no longer than 14 consecutive days or a total of 30 cumulative calendar days during any 12-month period.

Children who are subject to a joint custody arrangement that are not included as a family member because they live outside of the assisted household more than 51 percent of time are not subject to the time limitations of guests.

A family may request an exception to this policy for valid reasons (e.g., care of a relative recovering from a medical procedure is expected to last 40 consecutive days). An exception will not be made unless the family can identify and provide documentation of the residence to which the guest will return.

  • If your lease with the landlord has a more stringent Guest policy, the lease policy must be followed instead.