We are pleased that you are interested in becoming a participant in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program and helping us promote and realize the mission of the Raleigh Housing Authority (RHA). RHA’s mission is to provide safe, quality, affordable housing to low and moderate income families in the greater Raleigh community; and to promote personal responsibility and self-sufficiency of residents while maintaining the fiscal integrity of the agency.
The Housing Choice Voucher program, commonly known as Section 8, is a HUD subsidized program, also referred to as “Voucher” or “HAP” (housing assistance payment). This income-based program provides rental assistance for low-income families. The HCV program is a partnership between the Raleigh Housing Authority, the tenant, and the owner/landlord of the rental property.
TO BECOME A SECTION 8 LANDLORD:
- You will need to advertise that you are willing to accept a renter who has a Section 8 voucher. Unfortunately, RHA does not maintain a list of prospective units. However, if you have an available property for rent, you may opt to advertise it in the local newspapers or list it on the following websites: NC Housing Search ; Go Section 8 ; Social Serve ; NCHFA ; Craigs List .
- If contacted by a prospective tenant, the owner/landlord must screen the prospective tenant carefully to ensure s/he is a suitable renter. RHA conducts a criminal background check on program participants, however, we do NOT conduct credit checks or provide rental histories. It is strongly advised that the owner conducts any or all of the following screening procedures: credit check, criminal background check, landlord reference check, etc. RHA encourages all of these screening methods as long as the owner does not discriminate. Discrimination includes any tenant selection based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, country of birth, handicap or familial status.
- After a family finds a suitable housing unit and the owner screens and approves the family, the family will submit a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) package (also known as the “leasing” packet) to the owner to be completed. Once the packet has been completed, it is the responsibility of the family to submit the packet to RHA for approval. Upon submission of the RFTA package, RHA staff will complete an income calculation to determine if the tenant can afford the rent requested based on their income and determine the portion of the rent that the tenant and RHA is estimated to pay. NOTE: RHA also conducts criminal background checks on all owners/landlords participating in the Section 8 program for the first time. Therefore, each individual is required to complete an OWNER APPLICATION after the RFTA has been submitted. ***Owner applications can only be submitted AFTER an RFTA has been submitted for a specific tenant and unit.***Owner Applications can be downloaded here.
- Once the RFTA paperwork has been processed, the information will be forwarded to the RHA Inspection Division in order for a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection to be scheduled. The unit must be ready for a move-in inspection. All utilities must be turned on and the appliances (range and refrigerator) must be in the unit. After the HQS inspection is conducted, HUD requires that RHA determine if the requested rent amount is reasonable. A Rent Reasonableness Comparison is completed by comparing the unit to unassisted units in the private market based on size & age of unit, amenities, etc. Landlords will be contacted directly if the rent is deemed unreasonable. Be aware that a unit is not officially approved for leasing until it has passed the HQS inspection AND the rent is deemed reasonable. A passed inspection letter will be mailed once the unit has been approved. After the initial inspection, RHA inspects the property annually to ensure continue compliance with HUD’s HQS requirements.
- AFTER the unit passes inspection and the rent has been approved, the tenant is allowed to sign a lease and move into the unit. A copy of the signed lease agreement between the tenant and landlord MUST be submitted to RHA. The initial term of the lease must be for at least one year. IF THE TENANT MOVES INTO THE UNIT PRIOR TO THE UNIT PASSING INSPECTION, THE TENANT IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FULL CONTRACT RENT. Also, RHA does not provide assistance with security deposits. The owner may collect a security deposit; however, the Housing Authority prohibits security deposits in excess of private practice and in excess of amounts charged by the owner to unassisted tenants.
- Once the tenant moves into the unit, a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract must be executed between RHA and the owner within a processing period of approximately 4 to 8 weeks. The effective date of the HAP contract is the latest date between the lease start date and the passed inspection date. After the processing period, RHA pays its portion retroactively to the effective date of the HAP contract. HAP payments via direct deposit are issued to the owner on the 1st business day of the month as long as the family continues to meet eligibility criteria and the property qualifies under the program.
It is our hope that this overview of the HCV program is helpful as you decide if you would like to become a Section 8 landlord. Thank you again for your interest. If you need additional information, please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.