When the family has found a housing unit that is satisfactory, they must negotiate a residential lease with the landlord. To do this, the landlord must first agree to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher program. The rent for the unit must be reasonable, according to comparable units in the area.
If the landlord agrees to participate in the program and to lease their unit, the landlord and program participant should conduct a joint inspection of the unit to determine its current condition. The landlord must meet the lease requirements as set by HABC, and complete the documents given to the family which include:
The family will return these documents to the HABC office where they will be reviewed. If all is in order and rent requested is approvable, an inspection of the housing unit will be conducted within 5-10 business days. If the housing unit meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS) set by federal regulations and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the lease will be approved.
A Housing Assistance Payments Contract must be signed by the Landlord and HABC. This contract runs concurrently with the Lease Agreement signed between the Landlord and the Program Participant. A participant can remain on the Housing Assistance Program as long as they continue to be eligible and fulfill their obligations under the federal regulations of the program.
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program increases affordable housing choices for very low-income households by allowing families to choose privately owned rental housing. The Housing Choice Voucher Program creates a partnership between the local housing authority, the participating family and the owner/landlord of the private rental property.
Through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, the administering housing authority issues a voucher to an eligible household, who then locates a unit to rent. If the unit meets the Housing Quality Standards, the housing authority then pays a subsidy directly to the landlord.
The HCV program depends on a cooperative relationship between the housing authority, assisted family and landlord. The program is designed to maintain the regular landlord and tenant relationship. Our main purpose is to subsidize families’ rents; all other aspects of the lease agreement must be resolved between the landlord and the tenant. The following summarizes the responsibilities of each party.