In 2015, HOC launched Housing Path, an online wait list portal for affordable rental housing programs. Housing Path allows people to apply online and manage or update their applications at anytime. The online application walks people through a simple step-by-step process and takes about 30 minutes to complete. HOC Housing Path is currently available in two languages: English and Spanish. HOC Housing Path matches applicants to affordable housing programs based on household size, income, age and other factors. To apply, go to www.HOCHousingPath.com.
The agency’s main vehicle for rental assistance is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. HOC currently administers 7,144 vouchers which provide a rent subsidy to clients so they can afford safe and quality affordable housing in Montgomery County. The subsidy amount is based on a payment standard set by HOC and the client’s household information so that the client pays no more than 40% of their income on housing.
There are two main types of vouchers: Project-Based and Tenant-Based. Project-Based Vouchers are assigned to a specific building and clients must reside in the building to receive assistance. Families with Tenant-Based Vouchers can use their assistance at any home, apartment or other private market residence that meets household requirements, safety standards and rent reasonableness.
HUD sponsors the VASH program to provide housing assistance, case management and clinical services to homeless military veterans who are eligible for healthcare assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
HOC only receives VASH referrals through the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. If you or someone you know is interested in the VASH program, please call (202) 745-8338 and ask about the “Homeless Outreach” programs.
HOC does not provide shelters for people in crisis. However, there are programs available in Montgomery County and the State of Maryland that offer assistance. Those programs include:
- Shelter Plus Care provides permanent subsidized housing units for approximately 45 households who are either homeless or include someone with a diagnosed mental illness. Candidates are selected from Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services’ homeless programs and are evaluated by case managers and the Mental Health Association who administer referrals. HOC can only accept referrals from service providers.
- Rental Allowance Program (RAP) is a program that offers temporary rental assistance housing, usually one to two years, to families and individuals who are homeless or in need of emergency housing. Participants receive a subsidy which allows them to rent units in the private rental market. Participants must work with a case manager for the duration of the program to secure permanent affordable housing before RAP assistance is terminated. Eligible households must be currently working with a case manager through a service provider agency, most are enrolled in Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services programs. HOC can only accept referrals from service providers. For more information, please contact HHS at (240) 777-4400.
- Transitional Housing helps homeless individuals and families by providing housing assistance in combination with case management and supportive services in areas such as employment, college tuition, day care and transportation subsidies. Referrals are made by one of the following agencies:
- Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
- Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless
- Baptist Home for Children and Families
Scattered site unit rentals are coordinated through HOC’s East Deer Park office in Gaithersburg; however, participants must submit an application to HOC’s wait list to be considered. For more information, please call (240) 627-9800.
The Rent Supplement Program (RSP) provides rental assistance to approximately 300 households. These households reside in multi-family developments throughout Montgomery County and receive a maximum rent subsidy of $600 per month.
There are additional affordable housing programs which offer below-market rents and other assistance to individuals and families. Some of these programs are not managed by HOC and may have their own wait list, income requirements and application process. The programs are:
- In-House Section 8 Developments
- Section 236
- Privately-Owned Developments
- Section 8/ Mod Rehab
- Opportunity Housing
- Senior/ Disability Programs
There are several developments in Montgomery County that administer their own housing assistance. Most of these properties set aside approximately 20% of their units for affordable housing. These units are not owned or managed by HOC. The housing assistance offered is connected to the unit and cannot be transferred to another property. If you’re interested in a unit, please contact the property directly and ask about the ‘In-House Section 8” program.
Current PHA Fiscal Year Plan & 5-Year Plan The PHA Plan is a comprehensive guide to public housing agency (PHA) policies, programs, operations, and strategies for meeting local housing needs and goals.
Admissions & Continued Occupancy Policy The Admissions & Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) document defines the policies for the operation for the Public Housing Program of the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC), incorporating Federal, State and local law. It includes Fair Housing, Reasonable Accommodation, re-certifications, unit transfers, inspections, pet policy, deposits, and more!