Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

Lease.jpgWhat is the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program?

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program provides rental assistance to low income households renting decent and safe housing from private landlords throughout Franklin. The program is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

How does the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) process work?

  • Interested people apply for assistance and are placed on a waiting list.
  • The Housing Authority selects families from its waiting list. The applicants are scheduled for update appointments in order for the Housing Authority to obtain the necessary income and family composition information to establish eligibility for the program.
  • Eligible applicants are invited to an orientation, where they are issued a Housing Choice Voucher and given a packet of information about the program. Housing Authority staff explain how the rental assistance program works and answer questions.
  • Voucher holders are given 60 days to look for housing. Voucher holders who were Franklin residents when they originally applied for assistance may elect to transfer their Section 8 assistance immediately to another county. Voucher holders who originally applied from outside of Franklin must reside in the Franklin for one year under the Section 8 Program before they are allowed to transfer their assistance.
  • Owners use their own criteria to select tenants. The Housing Authority does not screen participants.
  • The owner and prospective tenant complete and return paperwork to the Housing Authority.
  • The Housing Authority ensures units are decent, safe, and sanitary by conducting initial and annual inspections. The owner will be provided with a list of repairs, if any, that need to be made before the unit can be approved. Once the repairs have been made, the inspector will re-inspect the residence.
  • Owners may collect their normal security deposits.
  • The Housing Authority and the Owner sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract. Housing assistance payments will begin effective the day after the unit passes inspection or the day the voucher holder moves into the unit, whichever comes later.
  • The first rental assistance payment check to the landlord may be delayed pending return of signed contracts. Subsequent rental assistance checks will be issued during the first week of each month.
  • At least once a year Section 8 participants will meet with Housing Authority staff to update information about household composition, income, assets, and deductions. An inspection of the rental unit will also be made annually to ensure the home is still meeting basic housing quality standards.
  • At least once a year Section 8 participants will meet with Housing Authority staff to update information about household composition, income, assets, and deductions. An inspection of the rental unit will also be made annually to ensure the home is still meeting basic housing quality standards.

How do I apply to the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program?

The Housing Choice Voucher program operates from a waiting list.  Due to the area need and availability, the waiting list is typically closed.  When the waiting list is opened, individuals must apply using the instructions found by clicking here.   

 

Family.jpgThings to Remember:

When you come to your update appointment, please bring verification of family composition, citizenship status, and all of your family's income and assets. Examples include birth certificates, proof of citizenship or legal status, Social Security Cards, picture IDs for all adults, employment information, welfare Passport to Services, verification of disability or unemployment insurance benefits, verification of pensions, alimony, and child support, bank statements, proof of full-time student status if 18 or older, verification of medical expenses if elderly/disabled, and child care expense verification.

Additional Program Information

Your contribution towards rent is based on your family's monthly adjusted income or minimum contribution, the payment standard for the bedroom size allocated to you, and the gross rent (rent plus utility allowance) for the unit you select.

The maximum rental subsidy is the payment standard minus your total tenant payment. The total tenant payment is the highest of:

  • 30% of adjusted income
  • 10% of total monthly income

If the gross rent (rent + utility allowance) is greater than your payment standard, you will pay the total tenant payment plus the amount the gross rent exceeds the payment standard.

At your initial lease-up, if the rent to owner plus utility allowance is more than the payment standard, assistance may only be approved if your family share is not more than 40% of your monthly adjusted income.

The inspector will determine whether or not the amount of rent requested is reasonable based on rents for similar properties. Housing Authority staff will help participants attempt to negotiate a reasonable rent with the landlord. The Housing Authority can not approve assistance for a unit that doesn't have reasonable rent.

Frequently Asked Questions

  What happens when my application is submitted?
  Will my name also be placed on the Public Housing Waiting List?
  How long will I have to wait for a Housing Choice Voucher?
  What happens if my name comes up to the top of the list and funds are available?
  Can I live in my current place of dwelling if the owner is willing to participate in the Housing Voucher Program?

Landlord Information

Everyone Wins With the Housing Choice Voucher Program!

  • Low income families find quality homes with affordable rent.
  • Owners fill vacant units with tenants under an initial one-year contract. Since the tenants' rents are affordable, there is less likelihood that the owner will need to evict participants for non-payment of rent.
  • The local economy is helped by the infusion of money into the community.

Allow the Housing Authority to assist you in marketing your rentals!
The Housing Authority maintains a list of landlords who are willing to accept Housing Choice Voucher Participants. The referral list is provided to individuals and families who receive Housing Choice Vouchers. If you would like to be listed on the referral list, call 757-562-0384, ext.303
Owner Responsibilities:
Screening
The Housing Authority does not screen participants for suitability as renters. Owners should perform their normal landlord reference checks, credit reviews, etc. The Housing Authority can supply owners with the current and previous applicant address and landlord information if known.
Non-Discrimination
The landlord must comply with fair housing laws and not discriminate against any family.
Unit Maintenance
The rental unit must be maintained in decent, safe, and sanitary condition. Repairs must be made in a timely manner. For more information about inspections, click here.
Lease Enforcement
The owner manages his/her own property. He/she collects the rent due from the tenant and enforces compliance with the lease. During the first year of the lease, the owner may terminate tenancy only for good cause, such as non-payment of the tenant's share of the rent or other serious or repeated violations of the terms and conditions of the lease. At the end of the initial term of the lease, the landlord may decline to renew the contract without specifying a cause.
Compliance with the HAP Contract
The owner must comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payments Contract and cooperate with the Housing Authority.

 

 

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