How to Transfer From One Low-Income Housing to Another

May 7th 2016

Reasons to Transfer

You may file a request to transfer if your family size changes due to birth, more family members moving in or the death of someone living with you. Family members could move in for several reasons, such as a court order or for emergencies. Victims of domestic violence could request a transfer if someone's life is in danger if an abuser discovers where a victim lives. If your dwelling becomes uninhabitable through no fault of your own, you may transfer to another unit.

Length of Time

Unless an emergency happens or someone's life is in danger, transfers generally take time to process and carry out. For people living in an apartment too large for their needs, the housing authority may increase rent by 150 percent if you do not transfer to a smaller-sized apartment. Residents must be up-to-date on rent, late fees and any charges stemming from damages made by residents.

Housing Authority

The local housing authority handles any requests for transfer or if any families reside in a unit of inappropriate size. Officials within the housing authority move families to correct overcrowding or undercrowding in the case of too many or too few people in one unit. The authority also transfers people in case a unit needs repairs or renovations.

Pubic Housing vs. Vouchers

If you want to transfer between public housing units, the housing authority finds an appropriate housing unit for you based on your request and the availability. With the voucher system, the amount of your subsidy changes based on the family size. At this point, you find your own housing unit in which to live based on the money given to you as your family grows or shrinks.


Subsidized housing experts believe mobility, the technical name for transferring, represents a way for families to move out of low-income neighborhoods and apartment complexes. Although transferring may not happen immediately, the voucher system gives someone more freedom to move closer to work, school or other family members provided landlords allow the person to move into the unit. Contrarily, public housing transfers must occur among apartment buildings already within the public housing system.


People living in low-income housing may have several reasons to transfer from one type of low-income housing to another. In general, requests must be made in writing, and transfers may take a long time. Find out what to do when you transfer from one low-income housing to another.

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