Moving Within the Rochester Area

Program Description

If you are a current participant of the RHA Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program and wish to move within our 5-county area (Monroe, Orleans, Livingston, Ontario & Wayne counties) you must be a participant in good standing, which means:

  • You have no outstanding debt owed to your landlord or any federally funded Housing Authority.
  • You have no outstanding "tenant caused" HQS violations.
  • You have been under contract with your current landlord for one year or more
    • You MUST give your landlord a valid 30 day written notice that you intend to move.
    • Review the “Information When Moving” document.



If you receive voucher assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher program (also known as Section 8), the initial term of your lease will generally be 12 months. If you want to start using a voucher for a unit in which you have already been living, a new lease will be required.

Landlords use the same lease for voucher-assisted tenants that they use for other renters, as long as the lease includes:

  • The names of the landlord and tenant
  • The address of the unit, including apartment number
  • The monthly rent paid to the landlord
  • A list of utilities and appliances supplied by the landlord
  • A list of utilities and appliances supplied by the tenant


How to Lease a Unit:

After you are given a voucher and have been educated on how to use it, you can begin the leasing process.

 1. Find a Suitable Unit

It is your responsibility to find a suitable unit and explain to the landlord that you have rental assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher program.

There are many free resources available to renters when searching for an apartment including newspaper advertisements, online rental listing websites such as, and, which allows landlords to list properties that is easily accessible to renters. and other rental listing websites are not managed by the Rochester Housing Authority (RHA). They are third-party websites, that are not overseen by any State or Federal entity or regulatory organization. Participants should always be vigilant and aware of potential scams when searching for a unit and abide by all guidance and steps provided by your Housing Specialist.

Your Voucher will expire after 60 days and the Rochester Housing Authority must receive your Request for Tenancy Approval paperwork prior to the expiration date. Rochester Housing Authority may only grant extensions upon a written request submitted before the voucher expiration date.

 2. Give the required documents to the landlord

When you are issued a voucher, you will receive Leasing Paperwork that you will need to give to the landlord once they have approved your application (if applicable).

 3. Once the tenant and the property owner have completed all of the required documents, either the tenant, or the property owner must submit them to the Rochester Housing Authority.

The landlord should complete, sign, and date the leasing paperwork as soon as possible.

You must also sign and date these forms.

The Leasing Paperwork must be returned along with an unsigned lease, To RHA. They can be hand-delivered to the Leasing Operations office at 675 West Main Street, or the landlord can e-mail them to .

IMPORTANT NOTICE:If you choose to place a security deposit on a unit, always ask if it is refundable and always get a receipt.

 4. RHA reviews the documents and approves the proposed rent

Once RHA receives all required forms, they are reviewed to ensure the information provided is complete and accurate. The unit selected must be affordable for you with a reasonable rent for the neighborhood. If not, the landlord will be asked to negotiate a lower rental amount. Landlords are never required to lower rent; however, if they do not agree to a rent that meets both above requirements, you must find another unit.

 5. RHA inspects the unit

If the proposed rent is affordable and reasonable, RHA will contact the landlord to schedule a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) unit inspection. These inspections ensure that your housing is decent, safe, and sanitary. The inspector may find items that must be fixed before the unit is approved for the program. In that case, the landlord will be given a reasonable amount of time to fix the problems, and the unit will be inspected again.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: You should not move in before the unit passes inspection. If you do, you will be solely responsible for paying the entire rent amount due during that period.

6. The unit passes inspection and the contract and Tenancy Addendum are mailed to the landlord

Once the unit passes the HQS inspection, you may sign your 12-month lease and move in.

Leasing help

If you have any questions about this process, please contact your Housing Specialist directly.

Victims of Domestic Violence 

If you are a victim of domestic violence contact your Housing Specialist immediately and make them aware of your need to move.  Your Housing Specialist will require that you complete and submit form HUD-50066 and include any related documentation, such as police reports, etc.