Section 8 / Housing Choice Voucher
About the Program
The Housing Choice Voucher program is a national initiative of the federal government and its purpose is to help very-low income households afford private market rental housing that is decent, safe and sanitary. Rent subsidies are provided to eligible families who receive a housing voucher. A family includes elderly, disabled and single person households. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funding to Public Housing Agencies (PHA’s) throughout the country to administer the HCV program in a specific locality and the Raleigh Housing Authority (RHA) administers the program in Wake County, North Carolina.
RHA receives funding from HUD to provide housing vouchers to a fixed number of eligible very-low income households. Interested individuals are required to apply to the RHA waiting list from which names are selected to receive a housing voucher when one becomes available. Families can rent housing of their choice in communities of their choice. Families typically pay between 30% and 40% of their adjusted annual income towards housing costs. Vouchers are used to assist families in paying their rent in properties where the owners willingly agree to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher program. HUD publishes Fair Market Rents (FMR) each year for “modest” rental housing by locality. FMR is established for each bedroom size and each PHA establishes a voucher “payment standard” which is between 90% and 110% of the FMR. The HCV monthly subsidy is the difference between 30% of the household’s monthly adjusted income and the applicable payment standard.
The program functions as follows:
- Families must apply to the waiting list
- RHA selects from the waiting list and determines eligibility
- RHA issues a housing choice voucher and the family searches for housing
- Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection is conducted
- RHA determines whether the rent to owner is affordable and reasonable
- Landlord lease and Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract executed
- Housing Authority Role
Voucher Holder/Family Responsibilities
- The family must supply any information that the Raleigh Housing Authority or HUD determines is necessary in the administration of the program, including submission of required evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status. Information includes any requested certification, release or other documentation.
- The family must disclose and verify Social Security Numbers and must sign and submit consent forms for obtaining information and all information supplied by the family must be true and complete.
- The family must use the assisted unit for a residence by the family. The unit must be the family’s only residence.
- The Raleigh Housing Authority must approve the composition of the assisted family residing in the unit and the members of the family must not commit fraud, bribery, or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with the program.
- The members of the family may not engage in drug-related criminal activity or other violent criminal activity.
- The family must pay the family’s share of the rent directly to the landlord each month according to the terms of the lease and must pay for any utilities not included with the rent. Except for normal wear and tear, the family must not damage the dwelling unit and must also abide by the lease in all other respects. The landlord may evict for unpaid rent and/or failure to comply with the lease. RHA may terminate the family from the HCV program for providing false information and/or for failure to comply with program rules and regulations.
If you are a current participant in Raleigh Housing Authority’s (RHA) Housing Choice Voucher program, you may transfer your assistance outside of RHA’s jurisdiction as long as there is another agency operating a voucher program covering the location to which you are moving. When you request portability, we will brief you on the process and advise you how to contact and request assistance from the other agency. We will notify the agency of your intention and mail or email the required portability documentation. Your bedroom size will be determined by the initial agency.
If you have a Housing Choice Voucher and would like to move to Raleigh, your first step is to inform your current housing authority that you would like to relocate to our jurisdiction. When you or your housing authority contacts RHA regarding your move, we will inform your housing authority if we will bill for the assistance paid on your behalf or if you will be absorbed into our voucher program.
Portability documentation should be sent to the attention of:
Raleigh Housing Authority
Attn: Portability Section
900 Haynes Street
Raleigh NC 27604
Faxed copies are not accepted.
Once the portability documentation has been received, a letter will be mailed to your last known address to notify you that you are scheduled for a portability briefing where you will be issued a voucher. Portability briefings are scheduled within 10 business days of receipt. You must bring original documents with you to the briefing. Faxed copies will not be accepted.
All household members 18 years of age and older must attend the briefing to sign the necessary documents.
The following documents are required at the briefing appointment:
COPIES OF BANK STATEMENTS (for assets over $50,00.00)
COPIES OF CERTIFIED BIRTH CERTIFICATES (for all family members)
COPIES OF SOCIAL SECURITY CARDS (for all family members)
COPIES OF PICTURE IDENTIFICATION (for members 18 and older)
COPIES OF PROOF OF INCOME RECEIVED BY ALL HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS (including, but not limited to, Wages, Child Support, Social Security Benefits, Unemployment, Pension, Military Pay, Self-employment, Regular Contributions, etc.)
RHA will determine your family bedroom size based on HUD subsidy standards. The rent limit will be determined based on our payment standards and your household income. This will occur at the time of your briefing appointment.
Once all documents are provided, RHA will calculate your income and issue you a voucher. You may then begin your search for housing and submit a Request for Tenancy Approval during the term of the voucher issued by RHA. Your voucher in Raleigh will expire at the same time as the voucher issued by your original housing authority. RHA will grant voucher extensions with permission from your original housing authority.
Lease and Contract Execution
The family and the owner must sign a lease for an initial twelve-month period and the owner must attach the HUD Tenancy Addendum to the lease. RHA does not sign the lease. The family may also be required to pay a security deposit directly to the owner. RHA does not subsidize or assist with paying the security deposit. The owner is responsible for collecting the security deposit and the family’s share of the rent directly from the family. The owner and RHA must sign the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract no later than 60 days after the lease start date or the passed inspection date, whichever is later. RHA will pay the rent subsidy directly to the owner.
Housing Authority Role
RHA must make initial determinations of eligibility of all families and must re-determine family income and family composition annually in order to calculate family rent to the owner. RHA must also inspect all subsidized rental units in its voucher program each year to ensure that they still meet HQS. RHA is responsible for making rent payments to property owners and ensuring that owners and tenants abide by the rules of the program.
The Leased Housing Department is located at
900 Haynes Street
Raleigh, NC 27604
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