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If a family is interested in transferring their voucher to Columbia Housing, they must first contact their Initial Housing Authority (IHA) and request to port. The Columbia Housing jurisdiction covers the City of Columbia and Richland County.

Completed Portability Packets can be sent to:

Columbia Housing
1917 Harden Street
Columbia, SC 29204

Attn: Portability Specialist
Phone: 803-254-3886 Ext 239
Fax: 803-376-6182 (preferred method)

Once the completed portability packet is received from the Initial Housing Authority, the family will be mailed a packet to complete and return to Columbia Housing with all requested documentation. Once completed packet and all documentation is received, a voucher briefing date will be scheduled and letter mailed to the family. The family must attend a briefing class in Columbia to receive a voucher. Should the family move from their currently assisted unit, they will need to contact Columbia Housing and fill out appropriate paperwork to update their contact information. Columbia Housing must have the following for all household members:

  • Copies of Birth Certificates
  • Copies of Social Security Cards
  • Copies of Driver's License/picture ID for anyone 18 and older in the household

The Receiving Housing Authority (RHA), Columbia Housing, abides by the issue and expiration dates of the voucher that was issued by the family's Initial Housing Authority. Columbia Housing will automatically extend the expiration date of the voucher an additional 30 days in accordance with HUD portability policies. Please use voucher time wisely and be aware of the expiration date. The family will need to contact their Initial Housing Authority (IHA) to request any additional extensions on their voucher and the IHA will need to send Columbia Housing the updated paperwork. If there are any special needs, the family may request a reasonable accommodation. Please be sure to inform Columbia Housing, in writing, if you move from your current unit in your leased jurisdiction and provide current mailing information.

Columbia Housing is not responsible for any rental assistance until the unit has passed inspection and the Dwelling Lease and Housing Assistance Payment Contract have been executed.



If a family is interested in porting their voucher to another jurisdiction, they must submit their request for portability in writing at the time of their annual recertification. When a family requests portability, the location where they intend to port must be identified in the request and a 30 day notice to vacate will need to be submitted. Columbia Housing will contact the receiving PHA in that jurisdiction and advise them of the family's intent and to determine if the receiving PHA is administering or absorbing portable vouchers. Once response is received, Columbia Housing will determine if the portable voucher will be issued. Portability will only be approved if the receiving PHA is absorbing the portable voucher or if the payment standard is less than the payment standard of Columbia Housing for the voucher size. If the portability is approved, a voucher and corresponding portability documents will be issued to the family. The family's portability packet will then be sent to the receiving PHA. The family is responsible for contacting the receiving PHA regarding their portability once paperwork has been sent. The family must comply with the receiving PHA's procedures for portability. Please use voucher time wisely and be aware of the expiration date.

Applicants must reside within the jurisdiction of Columbia Housing for a period of one year prior to exercising portability options.

Columbia Housing will not permit families to exercise portability if there exists ground to deny a move because of the family's action or failure to act including violations of family obligations under their Housing Choice Voucher; the family owes money to Columbia Housing; or the family has vacated the assisted unit in violation of the lease agreement.