Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937 first authorized the payment of federal money for rental housing assistance to private landlords. Most such payments are administered through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and are officially termed Housing Choice Vouchers. Low-income households that receive such vouchers have the right to relocate and use the voucher anywhere in the United States where a landlord agrees to accept the voucher.
Landlords do not have to accept tenants using Housing Choice Vouchers, but neither can local governments prevent recipients from using the vouchers in their communities. The location and number of Housing Choice Vouchers in the Village of Skokie has often been brought up as an issue of concern by residents. Apartment units being inhabited by such voucher recipients are primarily located in the multiple family zoning districts, although a voucher could be used to rent a single family home.
Decline in Voucher Use
Since 2014, the number of vouchers used in the Village has declined, from a high of 461 units to 318 units in 2019. Approximately half of the units are occupied by elderly persons. The Housing Choice Vouchers assist many people with lower paying jobs to afford safe and clean housing in the Village.
Although there is a perception that Housing Choice Voucher users may contribute to crime in the community, there is no evidence that there is a correlation between crime and the voucher holders.