After your initial 12-month lease ends, you can use your voucher with any Section 8 program in the country. The steps you must take to move with your voucher depend on the are where you plan to live.
For immediate housing search assistance, contact an HCV Housing Counselor at HCVHousingCounselors@seattlehousing.org or at 206-239-1739. You can also review our Neighborhood Guide for some helpful information about neighborhoods in Seattle, find rental listings at SHA's rental listing website, and review other rental listing websites found here
Moving within Seattle
Seattle Housing Authority will continue to manage your voucher if you move within the City of Seattle. We recommend you start the moving process 30 to 45 days before you plan to move.
The moving process takes seven steps:
- Decide whether you want to move. If you're thinking about moving, review our current voucher payment standards first. This will show the highest amount Seattle Housing Authority will pay each month to help you with rent and utilities. SHA will only allow you to move with your voucher one time each year.
- Notify SHA at least 30-60 days before you plan to move. Fill out the Request to Move form. You must give your planned move-out date when you make your request.
- Notify your landlord. Give your landlord plenty of notice of your intention to move. You are required by Washington State tenant landlord law to give notice to your landlord at least 20 days in advance of moving out of your unit. SHA will be in touch with your current landlord once they have received your request to move to verify that you are current on your rent and utilities.
- Complete any required moving forms. If you have had any recent changes in your household circumstances, you must provide information about those changes to SHA in advance. Failure to report these changes could result in delays to your voucher issuance. SHA will be in touch with you after you have submitted your Request to Move if any additional paperwork is required. SHA will also notify you if you are not eligible for a move voucher.
- Collect your voucher. SHA will schedule a voucher issuance orientation for you. You must attend to receive your voucher to move.
- Have the new landlord fill out the Request for Tenant Approval form. Send the completed form to SHA. If the rent is seasonable, a housing inspector will set up a time to go through the home with your new landlord. Do not move into the home until it passes inspection.
- Move out of your current home by the date you listed in Step 1 (above). Return the keys to your landlord. Ask for a receipt from your landlord that lists that date you returned the keys.
If you need to delay or change your move, notify SHA by filling out a new Request to Move and indicating "Delay" or "Cancel".
Moving Outside of Seattle (Porting Out)
You may take your voucher outside of Seattle only if you have already leased a unit with your voucher in Seattle for at least one year, you are in good standing with SHA, and you are in good standing with your landlord.
If eligible, you can move anywhere in the Unit States that has a Housing Choice Voucher program. However, different rules may apply once you leave Seattle. Other housing authorities may have different payment standards. You may not be able to rent a home with the same number of bedrooms. Both of these affect the type of home you can rent. Make sure you ask the new housing authority about their rules before you make your final choice.
Once you know where you want to move, fill out a Request to Move form. You must notify SHA of your planned move-out date.
Moving To Seattle from Somewhere Else (Porting In)
If your voucher is currently being managed by another housing authority and you would like to move to Seattle, you can begin the move process here. Please review a map of the jurisdiction in our Neighborhood Guide before making your final decision to move. Please note that Seattle Housing Authority issues studio vouchers for single households.
The move process takes four steps:
- Contact the housing authority that currently manages your voucher. Tell them you would like to port to Seattle. They will forward all documents to SHA to begin the move process.
- Contact the Portability Specialist to complete any additional forms from SHA. You can reach the Portability Specialist by filling out the Request to Move form or by email at email@example.com.
- Attend an orientation and collect your voucher. We cannot schedule an orientation until we have received information listed in step 1 (above). You must meet SHA's eligibility criteria in order to be issued a voucher.
- Have the new landlord fill out the Request for Tenant Approval form. Send the completed form to SHA. If the rent is seasonable, a housing inspector will set up a time to go through the home with your new landlord. Do not move into the home until it passes inspection. Confirmation of moving from your previous unit may be required. SHA must confirm that the original housing authority has processed your move before SHA can make payments to your new landlord.
Note for originating Housing Authorities: SHA is currently billing for all port-ins. Documents can be sent by mail or emailed with encryption to firstname.lastname@example.org. The portability specialist can be reached directly at 206-239-1640.