Housing Opportunities Commission Montgomery County Housing Path


Household composed of one or more persons at least one of whom is 62 years of age or more at the time of initial occupancy.


A physical, mental, or emotional impairment that is expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration; substantially impedes his or her ability to live independently; and is of such a nature that ability to live independently could be improved by more suitable housing conditions.


Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both "direct access" (i.e. unassisted) and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers).


  1. An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, meaning:

    1. An individual or family with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground;

    2. An individual or family living in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including congregate shelters, transitional housing, and hotels and motels paid for by charitable organizations or by federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals); or

    3. An individual who is exiting an institution where he or she resided for 90 days or less and who resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that institution;

  2. An individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence, provided that:

    1. The primary nighttime residence will be lost within 14 days of the date of application for homeless assistance;

    2. No subsequent residence has been identified; and

    3. The individual or family lacks the resources or support networks, e.g., family, friends, faith-based or other social networks, needed to obtain other permanent housing;

  3. Unaccompanied youth under 25 years of age, or families with children and youth, who do not otherwise qualify as homeless under this definition, but who:

    1. Are defined as homeless under section 387 of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5732a), section 637 of the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9832), section 41403 of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 14043e-2), section 330(h) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 254b(h)), section 3 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2012), section 17(b) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1786(b)), or section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a);

    2. Have not had a lease, ownership interest, or occupancy agreement in permanent housing at any time during the 60 days immediately preceding the date of application for homeless assistance;

    3. Have experienced persistent instability as measured by two moves or more during the 60-day period immediately preceding the date of applying for homeless assistance; and

    4. Can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time because of chronic disabilities; chronic physical health or mental health conditions; substance addiction; histories of domestic violence or childhood abuse (including neglect); the presence of a child or youth with a disability; or two or more barriers to employment, which include the lack of a high school degree or General Education Development (GED), illiteracy, low English proficiency, a history of incarceration or detention for criminal activity, and a history of unstable employment; or

  4. Any individual or family who:

    1. Is fleeing, or is attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individual or a family member, including a child, that has either taken place within the individual‘s or family‘s primary nighttime residence or has made the individual or family afraid to return to their primary nighttime residence;

    2. Has no other residence; and

    3. Lacks the resources or support networks, e.g., family, friends, and faith-based or other social networks, to obtain other permanent housing.

At Risk Of Becoming Homeless

An individual or family who:

  1. Does not have sufficient resources or support networks, e.g., family, friends, faith-based or other social networks, immediately available to prevent them from moving to an emergency shelter or another place described in paragraph (1) of the “Homeless” definition in this section; and

  2. Meets one of the following conditions:

    1. Has moved because of economic reasons two or more times during the 60 days immediately preceding the application for homelessness prevention assistance;

    2. Is living in the home of another because of economic hardship;

    3. Has been notified in writing that their right to occupy their current housing or living situation will be terminated within 21 days of the date of application for assistance;

    4. Lives in a hotel or motel and the cost of the hotel or motel stay is not paid by charitable organizations or by federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals;

    5. Lives in a single-room occupancy or efficiency apartment unit in which there reside more than two persons, or lives in a larger housing unit in which there reside more than 1.5 people per room, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau;

    6. Is exiting a publicly funded institution, or system of care (such as a health-care facility, a mental health facility, foster care or other youth facility, or correction program or institution); or

    7. Otherwise lives in housing that has characteristics associated with instability and an increased risk of homelessness.

Institutional or other segregated settings

Include, but are not limited to:

  1. congregate settings populated exclusively or primarily with individuals with disabilities;

  2. congregate settings characterized by regimentation in daily activities, lack of privacy or autonomy, policies limiting visitors, or limits on individuals’ ability to engage freely in community activities and to manage their own activities of daily living; or

  3. settings that provide for daytime activities primarily with other individuals with disabilities.

At Serious Risk of Institutionalization

Includes an individual with a disability who as a result of a public entity's failure to provide community services or its cut to such services will likely cause a decline in health, safety, or welfare that would lead to the individual's eventual placement in an institution. This includes individuals experiencing lack of access to supportive services for independent living, long waiting lists for or lack of access to housing combined with community based services, individuals currently living under poor housing conditions or homeless with barriers to geographic mobility, and/or currently living alone but requiring supportive services for independent living. A person cannot be considered at serious risk of institutionalization unless the person has a disability. An individual may be designated as at serious risk of institutionalization either by a health and human services agency, by a community-based organization, or by self-identification.

Housing Programs Acronyms


Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as “Section 8," provides assistance for very low-income households (single or family), the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Participants who receive vouchers search for their own housing, which may include single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments, or even the family's present residence. Housing Choice Voucher assistance is portable anywhere in the United States, including Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. Provided the housing they select meets the requirements of the program, the housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the Housing Opportunities Commission on behalf of the family.


Project Based Voucher program, another component of HUD’s RAD Program, The project-based voucher program is for people with low income who are willing to live in specific housing units that are offered to them. H O C maintains a contract with the owners of these units and when one of them is available, the property management team will offer it to an applicant who is on the PBV waiting list. This is different from the tenant-based program, because if you accept PBV assistance, you do not get to choose the unit you live in but you are offered eligible for a Tenant Based Voucher after resident in the unit for a one (1) year


Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA): As a result of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program, H O C has access to private funds to rehabilitate units. These units are known as Project Based Rental Assistance units. This program allows H O C to use the additional funding from HUD to complete repairs and renovations that will greatly improve the living conditions of our cluster and multi-family Public Housing building customers. While you do not get to choose the unit you live in, the resident is eligible for a Tenant Based Voucher after residing in the unit for a two (2) year term. Initial contract rents cannot exceed the lower of a) the reasonable rent ( as defined under 24CFR 983.303 b. an amount determined by the PHA not to exceed 110% of the applicable FMR ( or applicable exception payment standard), minus any utility allowance or c. the rent requested by the owner.

o Can be mixed with LIHTC funding

o Contract rents are adjusted annually by HUDs OCAF at each anniversary of the HAP contract

o Tenants already in Public Housing would not be re-screened for purposes of being relocated to another unit during mod rehab.

o Residents can return to a subsidized unit if they are relocated to an unassisted unit once rehab is completed


The Voucher Program Conversion VPC originated from a large group of scattered-site Public Housing Units that were disposed of through a Section 18 demolition/disposition activity in accordance with the Housing Act of 1937. VPC is the name of the ownership entity which was developed by, and is owned by, H O C and is the legal owner of this portfolio of disposed Public Housing units. The income limits for the VPC units are calculated by using eighty percent (80%) of Area Median Income (AMI) to calculate income limits for VPC Units.


Rental Assistance Demonstration is a program that gives H O C the ability to convert Public Housing and Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab) properties to long-term Section 8 rental assisted properties. RAD also gives H O C the opportunity to enter into long-term contracts that facilitate the financing of improvements to these units. Since Section 8 programs also set rents at 30% of income like in public housing, most residents will not have rent increases because of RAD. However, if a resident was paying a flat rent in public housing, the new rent will phased in over a few years.


Low Income Housing Tax Credit Partnership: The federal government makes tax credits available to fund affordable housing. Investors, usually local businesses, purchase the tax credits, thus lowering their tax burden, and enter into partnership with owners to purchase housing that is rented to moderate to low income households. Rents vary, but are near 30 per cent off customer’s income. H O C manages and owns scattered site units that were funded under the tax credit program. Applicants may apply online at the H O C website through Housing Path.


Project Based Section 8 (PBS8): H O C also administers a project based section 8 program. This program serves low to very low income households and the subsidy is attached to the unit. Created in 1968 by HUD to provide a rental subsidy to customers of newly constructed or substantially rehabilitated properties. Participating households are required to pay the greater of 10 per cent of their gross annual income or 30 per cent of their adjusted income towards rent. To qualify, a household’s annual income must not exceed the applicable income limit for the area as adjusted by family size.


HUD provides grants to public housing agencies (PHA) to use within the community to fund a range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership. This funding allows the agency to design and implement strategies tailored to the needs of the agency and priorities. H O C uses this funding to rehab and provide rental assistance to low-income families. The income and rent limits for this program change annually and is usually blended with another affordable program such as LIHTC or PBRA. When the HOME program has been blended with another affordable program, HUD mandates that all PHAs must comply with the program that is administered with the most restrictive rules.

State Partnership

The purpose of the Partnership Rental Housing Program is to expand the supply of affordable housing for low-income households. H O C entered a partnership the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to finance projects. This change in the Program is designed to expand affordable housing opportunities for persons with disabilities that are integrated within traditional rental housing developments.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Your web browser is too old to run this application the optimal way. Please upgrade your current browser or use a newer version of another browser to use this application in the most efficient way.


Supported Browsers: Google Chrome | Apple Safari | Mozilla Firefox | Opera | Microsoft Edge/Internet Explorer 10+