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The Housing Authority of the City of Hagerstown is a public agency that provides subsidized housing to low and moderate income individuals and families. The Authority administers two distinct housing programs.
Public Housing is development-based assistance. This means that the housing assistance is "attached" to a specific housing development, owned and managed by a PHA. When a vacancy occurs in that development, the PHA offers you the apartment. If you accept, you agree to live in that apartment in that public housing development. As long as you live in the apartment, you should receive the benefit of rental assistance. If you move out of the development, the assistance "stays" with the apartment and the next family to move in will receive the assistance.
Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers are tenant-based assistance. This means that assistance is "attached" to you and your family, in the form of a Housing Choice Voucher issued to you by the PHA. With the Housing Choice Voucher, you find rental housing on the private housing market and the PHA agrees to assist you with your rent in that house or apartment. The housing must meet certain basic quality standards, the rent must be reasonable, and the owner must be willing to participate in the Sec. 8 program. When you leave that housing, you can take the assistance with you to a different house or apartment on the private market, and receive assistance there.