Section 8 & Other Programs

What's the Deal with Housing Programs?

Section 8

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) is a federal rental assistance program administered by the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Within the City of Albany, Section 8 vouchers are issued by the Albany Housing Authority. The Section 8 program covers the majority of the monthly rental payment for participating households. In turn, the household would be expected to contribute around 30-40% of their income towards their rent. The maximum allowable rent is based on the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the area. 

Before a tenant with Section 8 can move in to an apartment, the unit must pass a basic inspection (similar to the City of Albany's Residential Occupancy Permit process). Once the tenant moves in, Section 8 rental payments will be issued directly to the landlord. 


"DSS" payments, formally known as Temporary Assistance (TA), are technically not housing assistance. These stipends, issued by the Albany County Department of Social Services (DSS), are paid directly to program participants. These funds can then be applied towards the household's expenses, to include rent and other bills.

Non-Profit Housing Providers

There are many other types of housing programs available in Albany. For a listing of some of the organizations administering these services, scroll down to the next section.

Why Should I Rent to Housing Program Participants?

  1. It's the law: "No Section 8" and similar policies are actually illegal. New York State law forbids landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their source of income. Landlords are required to accept any lawful source of income as payment. 
  2. Get Paid: One of the best benefits of renting to a housing program participant is that the majority of the rent is guaranteed to be paid each month by a government agency or non-profit organization. 
  3. Tenant Screening: Most programs require tenants to apply and pass some sort of screening requirements. For example, the Section 8 program requires tenants to pass a background check before they can be accepted onto the waiting list. In a way, these programs offer landlords a basic "pre-screening" process.
  4. Wraparound Services: Some housing programs offer wraparound services (e.g. mental health treatment, job training and placement, etc.) that can help clients successfully maintain their housing. 
  5. Incentive to Maintain Housing: Many housing programs have very long waiting lists -- some tenants will spend years waiting for their name to come up. This is an incentive for participants to maintain their housing, so that they can avoid ending back up on a waiting list. 

Did You Know? During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers found that housing voucher holders were more likely to pay rent, and they tended to owe less back rent than other tenants.

Albany Housing Program Providers

Albany County Department of Social Services (DSS)

  • Administers Temporary Assistance (TA) program for Albany County
  • Works with individuals and families coming out of homelessness
  • Phone: (518) 447-7300
  • Address: 162 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210
  • Website: Click here

Albany Housing Authority (AHA)

  • Administers federal Section 8 and other voucher programs within the City of Albany
  • Phone: (518) 641-7500
  • Address: 200 S Pearl St, Albany, NY 12202
  • Website: Click here  


  • Oversees regional Continuum of Care for the homeless
  • Phone: (518) 489-4130
  • Address: 200 Henry Johnson Blvd, Albany, NY 12210
  • Email: Send email
  • Website: Click here  

Catholic Charities Housing Office

  • Works with people experiencing homelessness / housing instability
  • Provides rental assistance and other services
  • Phone: (518) 459-0183
  • Address: 41 N Main Ave, Albany, NY 12203
  • Email: Send email 
  • Website: Click here  

Homeless and Travelers Aid Society (HATAS)

  • Rapid rehousing (RRH) provider for the unhoused
  • Phone: (518) 463-2124
  • Address: 138 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12206
  • Email: Send email 
  • Website: Click here 

Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY (LASNNY)

  • Offers STEHP program for families coming out of homelessness
  • Rental assistance (ESG) provider
  • Phone: (833) 628-0087 – Legal Line
  • Address: 95 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12206
  • Website: Click here 

St. Catherine's Center for Children

  • Rental assistance (ESG) provider
  • Rapid rehousing (RRH) provider for the unhoused
  • Phone: (518) 453-6700
  • Address: 40 N Main Ave, Albany, NY 12203
  • Website: Click here

United Tenants of Albany (UTA)

  • Rental assistance (ESG) provider
  • Phone: (518) 436-8997
  • Address: 255 Orange St, Suite 104, Albany, NY 12210
  • Email: Send email 
  • Website: Click here