Northwestern Regional Housing Authority

The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious

Frequently Asked Questions

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program allows you to choose your own rental unit anywhere in the NRHA seven-county region. The landlord must agree to be a participant in the program and sign a contract with the Housing Authority. The rental unit must then pass a Housing Authority inspection, and the Housing Authority must approve the rent charged by the landlord as a reasonable rent.

Thre are two types of Section 8 assistance available through NRHA - tenant-based and project-based. A tenant-based Section 8 voucher can be transferred from one rental unit to another if the tenant chooses to move and follows the proper procedures outlined by the Housing Authority. A project-based Section 8 voucher is linked to a specific housing project (development?) and remains with the project (development?) rather than transferring with a tenant who chooses to move outside of the project.

Under the public housing program, NRHA is the owner/landlord of the property. Public housing units are available for rent at below the market rate, based on your income level.

NRHA covers seven counties in the mountains of Northwestern North Carolina, with an office located in each county. Contact the office in the county in which you would like to apply to find out how to obtain an application for that county. Find contact information for each county office.

Yes, you can apply for both programs. However, if you are selected and begin renting under one of the programs and want to remain on the waiting list for the other program, you will be moved to the bottom of that waiting list. Any selection preferences for which you may have originally qualified will no longer apply. You will be selected based only on the date and time of your application for that program.

The demand for Section 8 rental assistance far exceeds the number of available vouchers. Vouchers become available only when current Section 8 participants leave the program.

By accepting more applications than the available housing, applicants can hold a position on the waiting list that will give them priority over newer applicants who do not qualify for a greater number of selection preferences. This process also allows the housing authority to identify applicants with the greatest need and ensures that they will be served according to their level of need.

Your wait time depends on the availability of vouchers, your position on the waiting list, and any special needs you may have that would qualify you for selection preferences.

Most applicants are placed on the waiting list according to the date and time their completed application is received. Some applicants may qualify for selection preferences based on their individual circumstances and are placed on the waiting list ahead of those with no preferences. For these applicants, points are assigned based on each preference for which they qualify. They are then placed on the waiting list according to the number of points they have.

Applications are accepted by appointment only and dated at the time of the appointment. An interview is conducted when you come in for your appointment to determine if you are likely to qualify for housing assistance based on your current circumstances and if any specific preferences will apply.

Your application will remain active until you reach the top of the waiting list or you contact us to remove your name from the list, provided you keep us informed of any change in your mailing address. Periodically, we will mail out letters to all applicants on the waiting list asking if you would like to remain on the list. You will have 30 days to respond. If the letter is returned to us as undeliverable or you fail to respond within this timeframe, your name will be removed from the waiting list, and you will have to reapply.

Families are eligible to participate in the public housing or Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher programs as long as at least one member is a US citizen or eligible immigrant. Families that include both eligible and ineligible members are referred to as "mixed," and their assistance will be prorated to cover only the eligible members.

Yes. You must be 18 years of age to apply for rental assistance as the head of your household.

No. There is no minimum income requirement for eligibility.

In general, your gross household income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county in which you have chosen to live.

You will need to visit the office where you applied and show a photo ID to find out your position on the waiting list. To protect the privacy of our applicants, this information cannot be given over the phone.

You should immediately contact the office where you applied and update your information. This will ensure that you receive any mailings regarding your application. Failure to do so could result in having your name eliminated from the waiting list if we're unable to reach you when necessary.

A letter will be mailed to the address you supplied on your application. The letter will provide details regarding the next steps in the process and give you a specific timeframe during which you must respond. Failure to respond to this letter within the time allotted will result in the loss of your position on the list. Your name will be moved to the bottom of the waiting list, and the next person on the list will be selected in your place. For this reason, it is very important to contact the housing authority immediately if there is any change in your mailing address.

You will be given an appointment to come to the housing authority office for final determination of your eligibility. At that time, you will be asked to verify your current income and any preferences you claimed on your application. You will sign various documents and provide NRHA with documentation verifying your identification and citizenship status.

Your position on the waiting list is based on the time and date of your application as well as any selection preferences for which you claimed eligibility. Other applicants who apply later and qualify for a higher number of preference points will be placed above you on the waiting list, moving everyone below them down on the list.

You can use your voucher in any of our seven counties, but you must live in the county you select for a minimum of one year before you can transfer your housing assistance to a new unit. After the first year, you can choose to transfer to another unit either within the same county or another county within our region. You may also "port out" to any area in the United States that has a rental assistance program, if the receiving housing authority will agree to accept your voucher.

If the county you have in mind is outside our seven-county region, you should apply instead with the housing authority that covers that area.


869 Highway 105 Extension
Suites 10 & 11
PO Box 2510
Boone, North Carolina 28607


Phone: 828-264-6683
Fax: 828-264-0272

Equal Housing Opportunity