How much will I have to pay? How are rents calculated?
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV)
Program is designed so that the assisted family pays no more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income towards rent and utilities.
There is a required minimum rent of $50. If you get a job or a pay raise, or lose a job, you do not lose your voucher. You
MUST report any changes in household income or composition within 10 days of the change on an PHA Income and Family Composition
Report form. The tenant portion of the rent will be adjusted to reflect the new income. Important: All income declared by
a tenant is subject to verification. Unreported income will result in overpaid assistance that must be repaid by the participant
and could lead to termination of housing assistance.
Do I need to pay a deposit?
Yes, your landlord can require a security deposit.
Do I pay for utilities?
Discuss this with the potential landlord.
Read your lease agreement. If you are responsible for a utility payment, you must keep those payments current.
My household composition has changed. I got married,
and I have a new child and a better job. How does this affect my voucher and rent payment?
You are required to report any changes
in household income and composition within 10 days of the change on an PHA Income and Family Composition Report form. Your
rent portion will be adjusted accordingly. Important: You CANNOT allow anyone to move into your unit without permission from
PHA. The person must be an immediate family member (child, parent, brother, sister, spouse or significant other) and if they
are over 18 yrs of age, they must complete an application and be approved prior to moving into the household.
My landlord wants to raise my rent. What do I do?
Your landlord must give you and PHA a 60-day written notice
prior to the effective date of the proposed rent increase. PHA will review the request for rent increase and advise your landlord
if it can be granted.
My landlord has asked for.... is asking for an additional
payment that is not in the contract? Is this legal?
Any payments not specified in the
rental contract are not allowed. Monthly “side payments” are illegal and will result in legal sanctions against
the owner. If the participant has any questions about any charges demanded by the owner, he/she should contact proper PHA
I can’t pay my portion of the rent. What do I
Your rent portion is calculated based
on household income, deductions, utility allowances and unit/voucher size. If you do not pay your portion of the rent as calculated,
you will be evicted by your landlord and you will lose your housing assistance.
What happens if I get a big raise? Can I lose my voucher
assistance? What is a “Zero HAP”?
If, when a tenant family is re-certified
and their income has risen to the point that the total tenant payment exceeds the rent amount plus the utility allowance for
the unit, PHA does not make any payment to the landlord and the tenant family is responsible for the full rent. This situation
is called a Zero HAP. However, the tenant family remains on the voucher program for 6 months. This way, the tenant is protected
in case of a job loss, illness or some other problem. “Zero HAP” tenants must continue to comply with all Housing
Choice Voucher (HCV) program rules. If the “Zero HAP” period ends and the tenant family’s income is still
intact, the family will transition off of the HCV program. You and your apartment…
I don't like my apartment. Can I move? Who do I have
In most cases, you can only move
when the Lease Agreement expires. You may move then with a written 30-day notice to your landlord. A copy of the 30-day notice
must be provided to PHA.
My landlord is not doing maintenance and does not repair
problems in my unit. What do I do?
PHA is NOT a management company.
Read your lease as to whose responsibility the repairs are, and then contact PHA for more information, if needed.
My neighbors are noisy and rude. Can I move?
No. Talk to your landlord or call
the police. You may move when your current lease expires.
I am moving out. My lease has expired. What should
I do? Who do I notify?
You must give 30 day written notice
to your landlord and give a copy to PHA. If you are staying on the voucher program, your voucher will be reissued and you
will need to find a new unit within 60 days from the issue date of the voucher. If you are moving out of the area, you must
notify PHA in writing and follow the process for “portability”.
Can I have a pet?
Ask the landlord. A ‘pet deposit’ may be required
What are my responsibilities when I rent a unit?
Read your Lease Agreement and the materials provided in
the briefing when you are issued a voucher.
I rented a house with my voucher. Do I have to cut
the grass or take care of the lawn?
Read your lease. You must abide by the lease agreement
Can the owner enter my unit?
In general, owners may enter a tenant's
unit for three reasons: 1) emergency repairs, 2) non-emergency repairs or improvements, and 3) apartment inspections. Emergency
repairs require no advance notice to the tenant. Access for all other reasons requires a “reasonable” advance
notice (24-48 hours).
What happens when I move but cannot find another unit?
Can I lose my voucher?
Your voucher is good for 60 days from
the date of issuance (unless you request an extension). If you have not located a new unit and the voucher expires, your voucher
I am having serious issues with the landlord. The owner
is not keeping his part of the contract. What do I do?
The lease is a legal contract between
you and the owner (landlord). PHA is not a party to this contract and cannot enforce its provisions on either party. You and
the owner (landlord) are responsible for complying with the lease. Make sure the lease contains the following information:
lessee (tenant), lessor (landlord / owner), unit address, rent, term of the lease (starting and ending dates, must be for
at least one year), who pays what utilities, and what appliances are provided with the unit. Be sure that the procedures for
repairs and maintenance are clear. Make sure you understand the rules and regulations posted for the property or specified
in the contract. If you have doubts or questions, ask the landlord or his/her representative to provide answers in writing.
If there are disputes, tenants and the owners (landlords) should cooperate with each other and attempt to work out any differences.
PHA may be able to help in some limited cases. However, the PHA does not have the power to force a tenant or owner to take
any desired action. In some cases tenant and owner disputes must be settled through the court system.