Housing Choice Voucher Program Basics
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program is a federally funded rental assistance program which allows income eligible families to go out into the private rental market to find housing. The families pay approximately 30 – 40% of their income for rent and the housing authority pays the remaining portion of the rent based on the program rules and the family’s income.
To be successful, the Housing Choice Voucher program requires the cooperation of each: the housing authority, the tenant and the landlord. Each party has separate responsibilities that, when met, will ensure a mutually satisfactory housing experience for all.
The partner responsibilities are as follows:
The housing authority will:
- Meet with families and secure documentation to verify that they qualify for assistance
- Explain HCV Rules and Reporting Obligations to families who qualify.
- Issue a voucher.
- Inspect the housing unit selected by the family to ensure that it meets Housing Quality Standards.
- Verify that the owner has proof of ownership for the unit which allows for its participation in the program.
- Ensure that the unit is affordable and approves the rental amount.
- Approve the signed lease.
- Establish a Housing Assistant Payment (HAP) Contract with the owner.
- Make housing assistance payments in a timely manner.
- Ensure both the family and unit continues to qualify under the program.
- Annually inspect the housing unit.
- Conduct an annual re-certification of tenant.
- Ensure that owner and family comply with the program rules.
- Provide families and owners with prompt, professional service.
The family/tenant will:
- Provide the housing authority with complete and accurate information on documents as required establishing their eligibility for service.
- Report in a timely manner (generally defined as within 10 days) any aspects of their situation that will affect their rental determinations, or housing situations including all changes in income (loss of job, increase in hours, etc. for any household member), change in family membership, intent to move or other changes in housing location, etc.
- Seek and find a place to live. This housing unit must be suitable for the size of the family, must be affordable and must qualify for the program funding under the HCV program rules.
- Cooperate and follow the program regulations allowing required inspections, submitting required documentation and attending all scheduled appointments.
- Regularly and consistently pay their portion of the monthly rent to the landlord in a timely manner.
- Pay their monthly utilities.
- Keep the housing unit clean, organized and in good condition.
- Report maintenance issues to the landlord in a timely manner.
- Comply with the terms of their lease with the owner.
- Comply with the Family Obligations of their Voucher.
- Comply with other requirements of the HCV Program.
The owner/landlord will:
- Screen families for their suitability to determine if they will be good renters.
- Comply with Fair Housing Laws, and not discriminate against any family.
- Comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract between the Housing Authority and landlord.
- Enforce the provisions of their lease with the tenant.
- Report violations of the lease to the housing authority in a timely manner.
- Maintain the unit in good repair and in a manner that meets or exceeds the Housing Quality Standards.
- Complete necessary repairs in a timely manner.
- Collect the rent due by the tenant each month.