How Your Rent is Set

Your landlord sets the value of your rental. Home Forward sets the value of your rent voucher. The amount you pay is the difference.

The value of your rent voucher depends on your income level, the size of your family, deductions that you might qualify for, and other factors from your application.  The amount is calculated so that a family renting an average apartment will pay 28.5 - 31% of their monthly income for rent and utilities. 

You have the option of renting an apartment or house that is larger than the number of bedrooms on your voucher or more expensive than average. If you do, then the amount you pay will be higher as a result. At the time you start your lease, the maximum you are allowed to pay in rent and utilities (and still receive your voucher) is 50% of your gross monthly income.

Subsidy Standards

We calculate the number of bedrooms that are subsidized based on the size of your family.  One bedroom is assigned for the head of the household, or for a couple living together in a spousal relationship.  For each two additional family members (regardless of age and/or gender), we assign one more bedroom. This allows you to afford a home that has at least one bedroom for every two people in your household.

  • Two unrelated adults who meet all other eligibility requirements and need to provide support to each other because of a disability, may be issued a two-bedroom voucher.
  • A child who is temporarily away from home because of placement in foster care will be counted when determining family size, unless the child is expected to be out of the home for more than six months.
  • A live-in aide, approved by Home Forward to care for a family member who is disabled will be counted in determining the number of bedrooms your voucher will subsidize.
  • Home Forward will grant exceptions to the above standards if we determine that the exceptions are justified by a disability or other individual circumstances. For an exception to be considered, you must provide written documentation justifying the need.

Utility Allowances

We maintain specific allowances for the monthly costs of utilities such as gas, oil, water, and electricity, based on the number of bedrooms in your rental unit. Go to the Landlord Forms page to view the Utility Allowance Schedule for current details.