Wednesday, December 13, 2017
 
Housing Choice Voucher Program

What are Housing Choice Vouchers?

The Housing Choice Voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.  Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.

The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.

Housing Choice Vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies (PHAs).  The PHAs receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program.  This unit may include the family's present residence.  Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the PHA.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the PHA, on behalf of the participating family.  The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.  Under certain circumstances, if authorized by the PHA, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.

Am I eligible?

Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the PHA based on the total annual gross income and family size, and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status.  In general, the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live.  By law, a PHA must provide 75 percent of its voucher to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income.  Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location.  The income limits for your area and family size are as follows:

1 person

2 person

3 person

4 person

5 person

6 person

7 person

8 person

$44,750

$51,500

$57,550

$63,900

$69,050

$74,150

$79,250

$84,350


Participant Obligations

HOUSEHOLD INCOME 
You must: 
Report in writing full and complete financial information for every household member at all annual and interim re-examinations. 
Report all income including, but not limited to, income from jobs, welfare, social security, child support, and all assets such as bank accounts, vehicles, property, etc. 
If you do not report all household income and assets, you could lose your Section 8 Assistance and you may have to repay your subsidy to IHA. 

HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS 
You must: 
Request approval from IHA and the landlord before allowing anyone (including family members, foster children and live-in aides) to live with you. 
Report birth, adoption or court-awarded custody of a child to IHA in writing within two weeks of the event. 
Inform IHA in writing if any household member has moved out or will be absent from the unit within two weeks of when they leave. 

REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION
You must: 
Ensure that all information provided to IHA is true and complete. 
Provide any information IHA requests regarding household income and assets. 
Sign and submit consent forms allowing IHA to obtain income, asset and social security information. 
Disclose and verify the Social Security numbers of all household members upon request. 
Provide evidence of citizenship or immigration status. 
Provide any additional information necessary to administer the Section 8 Program. 

OWNERSHIP OF THE UNIT 
You must not: 
Own or have an ownership interest in the unit. 
Rent from a relative who is the parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, sister, sister-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, spouse or domestic partner of you or anyone in your household (unless IHA approves it as a reasonable accommodation for someone with a disability). 

HOUSING QUALITY STANDARDS (HQS)
You must: 
Allow IHA to inspect your unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice. 
Maintain the unit in good condition. This includes paying for any utilities that are your responsibility and supplying and maintaining any appliances you agreed to provide. 
Repair any damage caused by you, any household members or your guests in a timely manner. 

RENTAL AGREEMENT 
You must: 
Use your unit primarily as a residence. 
Get approval from IHA and the property owner before operating a business out of your unit. You must not: 
Commit any serious or repeated violations of your lease agreement, such as not paying your portion of rent on time every month. 
Pay the landlord more than your portion of the rent. 
Sublet or rent part of your unit or your entire unit to someone else. 
Have more than one residence. 

MOVING & EVICTIONS 
You must: 
Give the landlord written notice by signing an IHA Mutual Rescission Form before moving out. 
Give IHA a copy of the Notarized Mutual Rescission Form. 
Give IHA a copy of any eviction notice you receive within 5 days. 

FRAUD & CRIMINAL ACTIVITY 
You or any member of your household must not: 
Commit fraud, bribery or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with Section 8. 
Engage in violent or drug-related criminal activity, or other criminal activity that threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by persons living near you. 
Engage in, or threaten, abusive or violent behavior toward IHA staff. 
Receive more than one form of housing assistance for the same unit or different units.