What Can I Afford? (HCV/Section 8)

Cost of Rent

Moline Housing Authority (MHA) calculates a household’s maximum housing voucher subsidy, or the total amount that MHA will pay toward rent each month. This amount is based on the payment standard and the cost of rent and utilities for a unit by bedroom size.

Calculate Your Rent

The maximum amount MHA can pay toward rent is calculated by subtracting 30% of the household’s monthly adjusted income from the payment standard. If the unit rents for less than the payment standard, the household will still pay 30% of its monthly adjusted income.

For example, your voucher is for a two-bedroom. If the payment standard for a two-bedroom is $885 and your household monthly adjusted income is $800, MHA will pay a maximum of $645.

$885 Payment Standard – $240 (30% of $800; amount you will pay) = $645 (maximum amount MHA will pay toward your rent)

Your family may rent a unit with more bedrooms than the number on your voucher, but the payment standard amount is based on the unit size for which your family is eligible. Your family may also rent a unit with fewer bedrooms than is listed on your housing voucher but must meet certain state and federal laws. For example, there can be no more than two persons per living/sleeping room.

Your family’s rent and utilities will depend on the unit you choose. If the apartment rent amount is higher than the payment standard, your family will pay more than 30% of its monthly adjusted income. Your family cannot pay more than 40% of your adjusted income. If the unit is higher than the payment standard, MHA will determine if it is rent affordable.


If the utilities are not included in the rent, you will have to pay for the utilities yourself. This does not necessarily mean that you will be paying more of your monthly income toward housing costs because the unit you choose should have a lower rent if the utilities are not included.

If utilities are included in your rent, you will not have to pay any separate utility companies. The amount subsidized is based off the utility allowance schedule. You will pay your landlord your portion of the rent.

If utilities are not included in your rent, you are responsible to pay the utility bills directly to the utility company or companies. It is important to plan accordingly and budget to make these payments on time! Even if utilities aren’t included in your rent, the utility amount is considered when calculating your rent share. In other words, you won’t get a lower rent subsidy if utilities aren’t included and paid to your landlord with rent.

Landlord Request for Rent Increase

Your landlord may request a rent increase after you have been in your apartment for one year. If the rent request is made, your landlord is required to give you and MHA a 60-day notice. MHA will determine if the rent increase amount is reasonable. If MHA approves the request, your rent will adjust with a 30 day notice.

Annual Recertification

Every year, MHA is required to ask tenants in the Housing Choice Voucher program to submit income verification and update household information (also called family composition). Tenants must provide this information to remain in the program. If your income and/or family composition changes at any time during the year, you must report the change to MHA within ten business days on the request for interim change form. Changes made throughout the year (and not during Annual Recertification) are called Interim Recertification. These changes could have an impact on how much you pay for your rent.