What is Section 8?
The Section 8 program provides assistance for low income families in the private rental market through the Housing Assistance Payments Program. Rental Voucher Holders select a unit from the private rental market. Rental assistance makes market rate housing affordable. Program participants normally pay no more than 30% of their monthly adjusted income towards rent and utilities. The Housing Assistance Payment subsidizes the balance of the rent to the landlord.
How Can I Be Assisted By This Rental Assistance Program?
The Housing Authority determines the eligibility for a rental voucher based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to U.S. citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. The family’s income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. HUD publishes the median income levels which may vary by location. The Housing Authority can provide you with the income limits for this area and family size. The Housing Authority will collect information on family income, assets and family composition during the application process. The Housing Authority will verify the information collected with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine your eligibility and the amount of the rental assistance payment.
If the Housing Authority determines that your family is eligible, your name will be put on a waiting list unless the Housing Authority is able to assist you immediately. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, the Housing Authority will contact you to issue to you a rental voucher and schedule a time for program orientation.
Can I Live Anywhere?
Once your family has been issued a Housing Choice Voucher by the Housing Authority, you may begin to search the community for a unit in the private rental market that is ‘decent, safe, and sanitary’, according to the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) established by HUD and the local Housing Authority. (To guide you in finding a unit that meets these standards you may request a copy of the HUD booklet “A Good Place to Live!” , available from the Housing Authority.) Once you have found a suitable unit and the owner agrees to lease the unit to your family under the Housing choice Voucher Program, the Housing Authority will inspect the unit to assure that it meets the Housing Quality Standards. After the unit passes the HQS inspection and the rent has been approved, the landlord and the tenant enter into a lease for an initial term of one year. The Housing Authority and the landlord will sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract through which the rent is assisted on your behalf. You will be responsible for the monthly payment of the difference between the total rent and the Housing Assistance Payment.
Can I Move And Continue To Receive This Assistance?
A family may need to move with changes over time in family size, job locations, and for other reasons. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is designed to allow families to move without the loss of rental assistance. Moves are permissible as long as the family notifies the Housing Authority ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the appropriate provisions, and finds acceptable alternate housing. A new voucher holder may choose a unit anywhere in the United States if the family lived within the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority issuing the voucher when the family applied for assistance. Those new voucher holders not living within the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority at the time the family applies for rental assistance must initially lease a unit within that jurisdiction for the first twelve months of assistance. A family that wishes to move to another Housing Authority’s jurisdiction must consult with the Housing Authority that currently administers their assistance to verify the procedures for moving.
What is the Term Of The Lease And Contract?
The lease is renewed after one year for a specified period of time (month-to-month, six months, etc.). You may vacate with notice after the term of the lease expires. If you remain in the unit, you are re-certified for eligibility and the unit is inspected annually for Housing Quality Standards, at which time the landlord may request an annual adjustment rent increase which must be approved by the Housing Authority. This request must be submitted in writing to the Housing Authority and to you sixty days prior to renewal.
Where Do I Apply?
If you are interested in applying for a voucher, contact the Housing Authority at the 601 S. Cedar Ave, Marshfield, WI 54449 or 715-387-0528.
What Roles Do The Tenant, The Landlord, The Housing Authority, and HUD Have?
Once the Housing Authority approves an eligible family’s lease and housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and, at the same time, the landlord and the Housing Authority sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract which runs for the same term as the lease. Everyone, the tenant, the landlord and the Housing Authority have obligations and responsibilities with the voucher program. Tenant’s Role: Once a family selects a housing unit, and the Housing Authority approves the unit and lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at least one year. The tenant may be required to pay a security deposit to the landlord. After the first year, the landlord may initiate a new lease or allow the family to remain in the unit on a month to-month lease. When a family is settled in their new home, the family is expect to comply with the lease and the program requirements of paying its share of rent on time, maintaining the unit in good condition and notifying the Housing Authority of any changes in income or family composition. Landlord’s Role: The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program’s housing standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. The landlord is also expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with the Housing Authority. Housing Authority’s Role: The Housing Authority administers the voucher program locally. The Housing Authority provides a family with the rental assistance that enables the family to search out suitable housing. The Housing Authority enters into a contract with the landlord to provide rental assistance payments on behalf of the family and if the landlord fails to meet his/her obligations under the lease, the Housing Authority has the right to terminate the assistance payments. HUD’s Role: HUD provides funds to allow Housing Authorities to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the families and covers program costs. HUD also pays the Housing Authority a fee for the costs of administering the program. Housing Authorities may make application for additional rental vouchers to assist more families when funds become available. HUD reviews these applications and funds are awarded to the selected Housing Authorities on a competitive basis.