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Programs and Assistance for Renters

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Who We Are

The Housing Division administers the federal housing programs for the state of Montana.  We are here to provide financing options to private developers and communities who build affordable rental housing and who then offer this rental housing to low income renters.  We also administer the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.  We are committed to providing affordable housing options for those who need it.  Please use this website to learn about what we do and how we might be able to help you and your family find safe, sanitary and affordable housing. 

What We Offer

Two options that are offered for Montana renters are the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and Low Income Housing Tax Credit Housing. These are federal programs offered to provide afforable housing for Montanans.

This page describes the two programs and gives information about eligibility.  There is also links to affordable housing apartments in each county, along with contact information for each property.

These privately owned apartments are affordable for households earning 60 percent or less of the median income in their area. 

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

What is the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?  
One option for families who need rental assistance is a Housing Choice Voucher.  If found eligible, they receive a voucher and they then find their own housing.  The renter will pay 30% of their adjusted gross income as rent and the balance is paid by the Section 8 program, funded by the Department of U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  They may also choose to live in a unit in a qualified property that has been designated as a Project-Based Section 8 housing unit.  These operate with vouchers that are virtually tied to a unit in a property. The Montana Department of Commerce Public Housing Authority reserves 20% of their vouchers for this program. Click on the Section 8 heading for our projects and listings.


Who is eligible?
Any eligible family or individual living in Montana who's income is 30% less than the state median income. See Section 8 Annual Income Limits to see if you qualify.
How do you obtain a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher?
You must apply for a voucher.  There is a wait list for Montana that generally takes 18 months.  Apply online
How much rent does the voucher cover?
The PHA pays the owner the difference between 30% of the family income and the gross rent for the unit. For example: if a family makes $1200 a month and the rent is $900; then 30% of $1200 is $360, and the difference between $900 and $360 is $540. So the voucher will be for $540 and the family will pay $360.
Who generally applies for Section 8 Housing?
The program was designed to assist anyone who makes less than 30% of the AMI.  Many times this includes low-income seniors, single parents with children and individuals with disabilities.
Click Here for a list of available Section 8 Project-Based Housing properties.  These units are available to persons with a voucher.
Please also check out property listings in Montana on Montana Housing Search.  This rental search website includes a feature that indicates which units of housing will accept vouchers.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program

What is Low Income Housing Tax Credit Housing?  

Housing that is developed by using tax credits as part of the financing.  The results are housing units that provide qualified tenants with safe, sanitary housing at an affordable price. Montana receives an allotment of tax credits from the Treasury Department each year and allocates these credits via a competitive application process.  Developers of rental housing sell the tax credits to investors to be used as a reduction in their tax liability over a 10 year period. The cash generated is used to reduce debt service costs which allows for a cash flow while the property receives reduced rents.

Who is eligible for Low Income Housing?
Anyone may apply. Eligibility will be determined by income, a background check, student status, etc. Please see the Income Limits and Maximum Rents Chart to determine if you qualify for this type of housing.
Click to see what projects are available. You will need to contact the property management and ask for an application.  They may or may not have vacancies, but you can be added to the wait list for their property.
How much rent to live in these units?
The rents for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program are based on HUD's estimated Area Median Incomes and so they differ county by county. Click here to see the Income Limits and Maximum Rents Chart
Who generally applies for low-income housing?
Individuals who generally apply for low income housing are individuals who make 30% to 60% of the local median income.  The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program was designed to assist low income working families.
Please also check out property listings from Montana Housing Search

Additional information for Renters:

Contact your local Public Housing Authority.  They have public housing units, project-based units, and vouchers.  They may also have advice for other housing opportunities in your area.

Search for for rental housing on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development website.  They are another major funder of affordable housing in Montana.


Homebuyers, Homeowners, Renters, Special Needs

Seeking accessible/affordable apartments?

Looking for public housing?

Renters' rights and responsibilities

Path to homeownership

Section 8 Housing Programs

Low-Income Housing Programs

Multifamily Housing Programs

Special Needs

Rental Developers, Owners, Managers, Landlords

Lenders, Servicers, Builders and Real Estate Agents

Local Government and Nonprogits

Forms and Resources

About Us

Tenant-Based Section 8

301 S Park Ave Room 240
Helena MT 59601

Mailing Address
PO Box 200545
Helena MT 59620-0528

Phone: 406.841.2830
Fax: 406.841.2810
TDD: 406.841.2702
Toll Free: 800.761.6264

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