What Types of Rental Units Qualify for Section 8 in Colorado?

The rental unit must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection, be located within the program’s jurisdiction, and be rented at or below the Fair Market Rent (FMR) established by the program to qualify for Section 8 rental assistance Colorado.

In this article, we’ll provide all the information you need about the types of rental units that qualify for Section 8 in Colorado.



Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection

All Section 8-eligible rental units must pass the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. HQS inspections guarantee that rental units are safe, clean, and satisfy health and safety standards. HUD-approved inspectors thoroughly evaluate the rental unit’s interior and exterior. To qualify for Section 8 in Colorado, rental units must meet several HQS criteria, including:


1. Structural Soundness

Colorado Section 8 rentals must be structurally sound. The rental apartment must not have serious faults or risks that could harm tenants. This involves maintaining the rental unit’s roof, walls, foundation, and other structural features to endure typical wear and tear.

Landlords must assess rental units regularly for structural faults and risks. To protect tenants, they may have to perform repairs or upgrades. Penalties, fines, or Section 8 rental assistance may arise from structural soundness violations.


2. Sanitary Conditions

In order for a rental property to qualify for the Section 8 program in the state of Colorado, it must be free from any unclean or hazardous circumstances that could put the tenants’ health or safety at risk. In order to comply with this obligation, landlords are obligated to undertake routine inspections and make any necessary repairs. Tenants are provided with a safe and habitable rental apartment when the sanitary conditions standard is met, and the likelihood of tenants experiencing health issues or damaging their property is decreased.

3. Adequate Space and Security

Colorado Section 8 rental units must be safe and spacious. Each resident must have ample space and the rental unit must be safe. Landlords must secure rental units. This involves fixing and upgrading doors, windows, locks, and other security elements. Section 8 rental aid may be revoked if proper space and security are not met.


4. Working Utilities

One of the requirements for rental units to qualify for Section 8 in Colorado is that they must have working utilities. This means that the heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems must be fully operational and provide safe and reliable service to tenants.

Landlords are responsible for maintaining the rental unit’s utilities and ensuring that they are in good working order. They must conduct regular inspections and make necessary repairs to ensure that the rental unit meets the working utility requirement. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in penalties or loss of Section 8 rental assistance.

5. Compliance with Local Codes

Colorado Section 8 rentals must meet local housing laws and ordinances. Landlords must meet city-specific safety, building material, and zoning regulations. Local codes are essential for tenant safety, legal protection, and property value.

Finally, Colorado Section 8 rentals must pass the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. Safe and healthy affordable housing for low-income households is inspected. Section 8 landlords and tenants must understand and fix HQS criteria before an inspection. Ensuring HQS inspection and Section 8 participation.



Section 8’s “program jurisdiction” is the area where local housing authorities administer the program. HUD uses population, poverty, and housing availability to define this jurisdiction. Section 8 exclusively accepts rental properties in the program jurisdiction.

Section 8 serves some Colorado counties and communities. Ten counties—Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Pueblo, and Weld—offer the program. The program covers Aurora, Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Greeley, Lakewood, Longmont, Loveland, Pueblo, Thornton, and Westminster.

Before applying for Section 8, landlords and tenants should verify their rental unit’s program jurisdiction. Section 8 cannot accept rental units outside of its authority. If the rental unit satisfies certain conditions and the local housing authority approves it, Section 8 voucher holders may rent outside the program’s area. Section 8 eligibility in Colorado depends on knowing the program’s jurisdiction.


Fair Market Rent (FMR)

HUD sets Fair Market Rent (FMR) for each Section 8 region. FMR is the local rent for a decent, safe, and clean apartment. HUD bases FMR on the local housing market, supply, and demand. The current FMR rates for different types of rental units in various areas of Colorado are as follows:

Adams County: Studio/efficiency: $1,184

  • 1-bedroom: $1,327
  • 2-bedroom: $1,689
  • 3-bedroom: $2,339
  • 4-bedroom: $2,721

Arapahoe County: Studio/efficiency: $1,164

  • 1-bedroom: $1,337
  • 2-bedroom: $1,691
  • 3-bedroom: $2,315
  • 4-bedroom: $2,686

Denver County: Studio/efficiency: $1,135

  • 1-bedroom: $1,306
  • 2-bedroom: $1,661
  • 3-bedroom: $2,275
  • 4-bedroom: $2,640


The HUD website’s FMR search tool lets landlords find their rental unit’s FMR. Landlords can enter their property’s zip code or county to get the FMR for their rental unit size. Landlords must know the current FMR rates to charge fair rent and understand Section 8 rental subsidies. Landlords can price rentals and participate in Section 8 by monitoring FMR rates.


Private vs. Publicly Owned Units

Private landlords or companies own privately held rental units, whereas the government or public housing authority owns publicly owned flats. Both types of rental units in Colorado must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection and charge Fair Market Rent (FMR) to participate in Section 8.

Colorado landlords must engage in Section 8 and pass an HQS inspection for privately held rental units to qualify. The rental unit must meet HUD FMR rates and be in the program jurisdiction.

Public housing authorities and LIHTC-funded apartments may qualify for Section 8 in Colorado. HQS inspection and FMR charges apply to these rentals. They must also be rented to low-income households, usually 80% of the region’s median income.

Public housing complexes like the Denver Housing Authority’s Mariposa development and LIHTC-funded rental units like Colorado Springs’ Cedar Springs Apartments may qualify for Section 8 in Colorado.


Additional Requirements

In addition to meeting the basic requirements, rental units that participate in the Section 8 program in Colorado may have additional requirements that they must meet, such as:

1. Smoke-Free Policy

Colorado Section 8 rentals must be smoke-free. It eliminates secondhand smoke, which can cause respiratory issues and cancer, to protect tenants. Smoking-related fires harm rental units and endanger renters and neighbors.

Landlords may regularly inspect rental units for smoking-related damage or residue to verify policy compliance. Smoke-free policies and penalties may be included in a lease addendum. Non-compliance can result in eviction, fines, or Section 8 rental aid loss. Landlords can safeguard renters, property, and the public from secondhand smoke by enforcing the smoke-free policy.


2. Lead-Based Paint

To ensure that rental units with lead-based paint are safe for tenants, landlords are required to comply with the EPA’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule. This rule requires landlords to use lead-safe work practices when renovating, repairing, or painting the rental unit to minimize the risk of lead exposure.

Failure to comply with the disclosure or renovation rules may result in penalties, fines, or loss of Section 8 rental assistance. By complying with these regulations, landlords can help protect the health and safety of their tenants and ensure that their rental units meet the necessary requirements for participation in the Section 8 program.


3. Accessibility

Rental units that participate in the Section 8 program must comply with accessibility requirements for people with disabilities, as outlined by the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. This may include features such as wheelchair ramps, wider doorways, and accessible bathrooms.

These rules protect tenants’ health and ensure that rental flats are habitable. Landlords who don’t comply may face fines and inspections. If a rental unit fails these standards, tenants may sue.



Colorado’s Section 8 program assists low-income renters. The program requires rental properties to pass a Housing Quality Standards inspection and charge Fair Market Rent. If they meet these criteria, private and public rental units can qualify. Smoke-free or wheelchair-accessible rentals may also be required.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, we encourage you to take advantage of the Section 8 program. It can provide much-needed financial assistance to help you secure safe and affordable housing.

Table of Contents