A housing voucher is portable. This means that a family with a voucher can take it with them when they move and use it to help pay the rent on their next home or apartment. In most cases, the family can even take the voucher to another state. This portability is one of the important advantages of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program.

Moving Inside Tacoma

A family with a voucher can move to another location inside Tacoma. The households must get approval from the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) at least 45 days in advance, even if the move is within the same complex.

Here are the steps to take to arrange a move:

Step 1: Fill out a Change of Circumstances form in THA's office. If your landlord has given you a notice to vacate or an eviction notice, bring the notice to THA with you and attach it to the Change of Circumstances form.

Step 2: Give at least a 45-day notice to THA and a 20-day notice to your landlord of your intention to move. To do this, use the Notice of Intent to Move form for this purpose.

Step 3: Come into our office to meet with your Lease and Occupancy Specialist (L&O) who will issue you a voucher and a Request for Tenancy Approval packet. At that time, THA will advise you on the rent the voucher will cover and allow you to pay on your next home. You may also request a list of available properties whose owners accept the Voucher.

Step 4: Give THA a completed Request for Lease Approval for the new home or apartment you wish to rent. An inspector will contact the owner and arrange a date and time for an inspection of the unit. At the time of the inspection, the inspector will inform the owner of any needed repairs and discuss permissible rent amounts. Once THA approves the rent amounts and any needed repairs are completed satisfactorily and a re-inspection has been done, the inspector will approve the unit.

Moving Outside of Tacoma

To take a THA-issued voucher out of Tacoma, (this is called a "portability" transfer) a family needs THA's prior approval. This is necessary to make sure that the family can use the voucher in their new location. If you meet the following criteria, you are eligible to port out of THA's jurisdiction:

  • You find a job that is 20 hours a week or more and is located 35 or more miles from the Tacoma City limits. 
  • The head of household or spouse is enrolled at least part time at a College/University that is at least 35 or more miles from the Tacoma City limits.
  • You have an approved Reasonable Accommodation.
  • You have a situation that is approved through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
  • You ported in from another housing authority.

Here are the steps to make a portability transfer:

Step 1: Find out if the area where you plan to move has a housing authority with a Section 8 or HCV Program. Get the name, address, and phone number of the contact person for that housing authority. THA can help you do this.

Step 2: Inform THA of your wish to move outside the Tacoma area at least 60 days in advance. Use a Request for Family Portability form. If you have already given your written notice to your landlord, attach a copy of the notice (it must be signed by the landlord) to your Request for Family Portability form.

Step 3: Inform your landlord with a written notice at least 20 days prior to the date you wish to move. Your lease will tell you when you can move and with what notice. For example, if you want to move in the middle of your lease, you will need your landlord's permission to end your lease early. However, a landlord is under no obligation to do so. You can use the Intent to Move form to give your notice. Send THA a copy of the notice you give to your landlord (it must be signed by the landlord).

Step 4: Make an appointment with your THA Housing Specialist to update your eligibility information. You will be issued a voucher at that time if you are eligible to make a portability move.