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What is the Housing Choice Voucher 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.
How the Process to become a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Landlord Works:
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.
Steps to Landlord Participation:
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:
- Request for Tenancy Approval
- Tenancy Addendum
- Owners Certification
- Management agreement (if applicable)
- Lead Based Paint disclosure statement
- request for taxpayer identification and certification (IRS Form W-9), and
- A copy of the residential lease agreement
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.
Responsibilities of the housing authority, owner and assisted families:
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.
The Housing Authority’s Responsibilities:
- Reviews all applicants to determine families’ eligibility for the program.
- Explains the rules of the program to families and property owners/managers.
- Issues vouchers to families.
- Inspects the housing assisted units for compliance with housing quality standards.
- Makes housing assistance payments to the owner in a timely manner.
- Re-examines the family’s income and composition annually
- Adjusts the rent when the household income or family composition changes.
- Ensures owners and participants comply with the program rules.
- Provides prompt, professional service to owners and participants.
The Owner’s Responsibilities:
- Thoroughly screens and interviews families who apply.
- Maintains the property by making necessary repairs in a timely manner.
- Collects application fees, security deposits, and the tenant’s monthly rent portion.
- Manages the property and enforces the lease.
- Complies with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payment contract and HUD Tenancy addendum.
- Complies with all fair housing laws.
- Notifies the housing authority if a tenant vacates the unit and returns any excess housing assistance payments.
- Immediately notifies the housing authority of an owner changes.
The Family’s Responsibilities:
- Provides the housing authority with complete and accurate information pertaining to the family income and composition.
- Reports changes in income and family composition that happens throughout the year.
- Locates a suitable unit, pays the application fee and security deposit to the owner.
- Attends scheduled appointments and returns documents on time.
- Maintains their housing unit.
- Complies with the terms of the lease.
- Pays their portion of the rent on time to the owner.
- Complies with all family obligations under the Housing Choice Voucher program.
The Housing Authority of Bexar County
1954 E. Houston Street, Suite 104
San Antonio, Texas 78202
Phone: 210-225-0071; Fax: 210-225-6976