Unit Based Program Overview


The Unit Based Program is an innovative strategy to ensure reliable, long- term affordability of quality housing. The program commits project-based vouchers to privately-developed and owned housing units in properties within Philadelphia’s stable and revitalizing neighborhoods.

The Unit Based Program is PHA’s version of HUD’s Project-Based Voucher (UBV) Program using funds from the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. Under the UBV Program, PHA attaches subsidy to specific housing units in multi-family developments in Philadelphia.

PHA’s Unit Based Program Developments

View the list of developments with units in PHA’s Unit Based Program below.

The list also includes developments under construction or rehabilitation that have entered into an agreement for units in PHA’s Unit Based Program.


Owners of UBV developments maintain their own waiting list.

Applicants must apply directly at the UBV development and are selected by the Owner and not PHA.

Key Definitions:

Development: name of the Unit Based development

Bedroom sizes: size of units available at the UBV development

Neighborhood:  Philadelphia neighborhood where UBV development is located

Address: specific location of development

Tenant Eligibility Criteria:  specific requirements to be eligible to apply for units at the UBV development

Contact information: owner website and phone number to contact the UBV development with questions about application requirements and/or how to apply

UBV Program Objectives:

  • Expand affordable housing opportunities throughout Philadelphia
  • Provide Owners with reliable and straightforward rental income
  • Ensure long-term affordability at quality properties
  • Provide housing options for specific populations such as:
    • Homeless
    • Veterans
    • Persons with specific disabilities
    • Seniors

What is the Difference Between the HCV Program and the UBV Program?

Under the tenant-based HCV Program, PHA issues a voucher to an eligible family and the family selects an available unit of its choice.

Under the UBV Program, the rental assistance is attached to the unit. If the family moves from the unit, the housing assistance remains with the unit.  Under certain conditions a family may move from one UBV unit to another.

How do I apply for a UBV Program Unit?

Owners of UBV developments maintain their own waiting list.  Applicants apply directly at the UBV development and are selected by the Owner from the Owner’s waiting list according to date and time of application and the bedroom size required by the family. PHA may also refer applicants to the Owner from PHA’s HCV waiting list.

What Families are Eligible to Obtain UBV Program Housing?

Upon completion of Owner screening, the family is referred to PHA for eligibility screening for the HCV program, including income eligibility.

Who Screens the Tenants for the Assisted Units?

Owners set their own property-specific tenant screening and selection criteria, which must apply to all the units at a property regardless of whether it receives PHA subsidy.

The lease used for participating properties must comply with the UBV program policies.
PHA will review the Owner’s approved Tenant Selection Plan to ensure compliance with Fair Housing and the UBV Program.

What are Examples of Typical Screening Criteria?

Typical screening criteria include:

  • Payment history of rent and utility bills;
  • Criminal background checks/drug-related criminal activity; and
  • Home visits to assess housekeeping skills/ability to care for a unit.

What are the Income Limits?

The income limit is 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) as established by HUD annually.

How Much Rent Do UBV Program Tenants Pay?

UBV Program tenants pay between to 26-30% of their adjusted income for rent based on their family size or specific UBV program.

The amount of rent that the tenant pays is reduced by a utility allowance if the tenant pays for utilities such as gas and electricity.

How much is the UBV Security Deposit?

The owner sets the security deposit amount, which must be in compliance with State and Philadelphia landlord-tenant laws.

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