Housing Choice Voucher Program (Rural Section 8)

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program helps families to secure affordable, safe, and sanitary housing by paying a portion of the rent in an approved dwelling unit. HRDC administers Section 8 in Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, and greater-Yellowstone counties (not including the City of Billings).

Click here to find a list of commonly failed items for Housing Quality Standard Inspection.


Families and individuals with incomes at or below 50% of the area median family income for their county are eligible. Income guidelines can be found here toward the bottom of the page.

How much will my portion of the rent be?

Your portion of the rent will be determined based on the size of your family and your income. Normally, you’ll pay 30%-40% of your income for rent and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program will pay the other portion directly to the landlord.

How to apply:

First, apply online at by clicking here. We are Region 5 and the city of Billings is Region 11. Mail paper application to Montana Department of Commerce, Housing Assistance Bureau, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, PO Box 200545, Helena, MT 59620-0545. It is recommended to complete the online application to ensure prompt receipt and processing. You do not need to submit any verification at this time.

If approved, you will be placed on a waiting list. Then, when selected from the waiting list, you must attend an orientation where you’ll complete a federal application and your eligibility will be verified.

*Please note that you will never be asked to pay for applying online.

How to check status of of application

You can check your status or position number anytime at waitlistcheck.com.

How to change mailing address or area

You should call MDOC at (406) 841-2830 to request a Waitlist Change Form to make the address change.

What to bring to orientation

At the orientation, you’ll have a one-on-one meeting with an eligibility specialist. Please bring:

  • Social Security cards for all household members
  • Birth Certificates for all household members
  • Valid photo ID’s for all household members over age 18
  • Verification for all earned and unearned income for the past 30 days for all household members (paystubs, TANF, Per Capita, Child Support, Food Stamps, Social Security, Pensions, etc.)
  • Banks statements for the past 30 days for savings account, two months for checking account

If you are determined eligible and your application is complete, you’ll be issued a Housing Choice Voucher and will have 60 days to find a suitable unit. The unit will need to be inspected by the HRDC Housing Inspector to ensure it meets the housing quality standards.

How to find approved Section 8 unit

You may use your current unit with landlord’s consent, or you may shop for a suitable unit in the local housing market. The unit must undergo an inspection and meet housing quality standards before approved.

What if my family size changes when I’m in a Section 8 unit?

You are required to inform the HRDC Section 8 field office of any changes in your family size within 30 days of the change. Failure to do so may result in termination from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

What if my income changes or I no longer receive Child Support?

You are required to inform the HRDC Section 8 field office of any change in your family income (job loss, raise, benefit change, etc.) within 30 days of the change. Your rent portion may increase or decrease depending on the change. Failure to inform us of the change may result in termination from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

I’m in a Section 8 unit, but want to move to a different unit. What do I need to do?

You are required to complete a 12-month lease, then give the landlord and the HRDC Section 8 field office a 30-day written notice of your intent to move. You may continue to receive Section 8 rental assistance in another dwelling unit as long as the unit undergoes an inspection, meets housing quality standards, and meets the rent limitations for the area.

For more information

Call (406) 247-4732 or Email info@hrdc7.org

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The Home Center’s mission is to further equal access to affordable, sustainable and healthy housing.

The Home Center provides Financial Literacy Classes, Homebuyer Education Classes, Counseling Services, and Rental Information. Services offered at the Home Center are offered to the entire community and is not income based.

Counseling Services

Certified Housing Advisors help guide you through the steps of homeownership and provide support when purchasing a home. Counselors at the Home Center offer a variety of services like how to build and improve your credit, creating a realistic budget, going over mortgage options, and more.

First Time Homebuyer Education 

The purpose of First Time Homebuyer Education is to teach potential homeowners about the process of purchasing a home. The successful completion of a First Time Homebuyer Course is often a requirement for many down payment assistance and loan programs. This is a great program for both new and experienced home buyers and provides a good opportunity to become a more educated home buyer and homeowner.

Topics include:

  • Budgeting for your household and determining affordability
  • Understanding and evaluating your credit and how to use credit wisely
  • Understanding the title insurance and closing process
  • Working with a real estate agent who really grasps your needs and price range
  • Understanding the scope and value of home inspections
  • Choosing insurance policies
  • Maintaining your home so it continues to be an appreciating asset

*Home Buyer Education Courses are offered every second Saturday of the month.

To register for our In-Person or Online Homebuyer Education Course or if you have any other questions please call 406-206-2717 or email homecenter@hrdc7.org.

If you have special needs such as those covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act please let us know and we can make accommodations for you.

Homebuyer Education classes are funded in part by the Montana Board of Housing, NeighborWorks Montana, and philanthropic donors.

3124 1st Ave North – Billings, MT – 59101     Phone: (406) 206-2717    Click here to Email

This project is funded in whole or in part under a Contract with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The statements herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Department.

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