All housing authorities are charged with administering the HCV Program by HUD guidelines. However, each housing authority may accomplish this through different business practices and office procedures. We periodically update our Navigating the HCV Program [see Forms and Documents, Form #1020] to keep families abreast of our current business practices.
There are only three (3) ways that a family may become eligible to enter the MHA Housing Choice Voucher Program:
Enter through the Waiting List. You may apply when our waiting list is open for applications and remain on the waiting list until a subsidy is available. Income and household composition criteria as set forth by our Administrative Plan determines who is eligible to receive a voucher;at this time our waiting list is closed.
Enter through the Portability feature of the HCV Program. Families that have become eligible or participated in another HCV Program may be entitled to port their voucher into the MHA jurisdiction;
Or, enter through special eligibility, such as conversion of existing public housing properties, governmental dislocation or targeted subsidies by HUD.
If you qualify to enter the waiting list by means of one of the three methods above, you must complete an Initial application at the outset of applying to our program(s). Every year thereafter you must complete an application update in order to summarize the household composition, family income, and family member status.
With the application, you are asked to complete and sign two different releases: MHA# 2430 gives MHA the ability to gather certain federal information about you, such as Social Security , SSI, pension or VA benefits. MHA # 2440 allows us to gather certain local information about you, such as wages income, child support, and permission to obtain a criminal background check.
If you meet the criteria for receiving a voucher, one will be issued to you at a briefing session agreed upon with the Occupancy Specialist who is managing the program to which you are entered. The voucher will include the certified bedroom size, the effective date, the expiration date, and the extension expiration date. If you come from an MHA waiting list, we will issue the voucher for the full 120 days; therefore, the expiration date and the extension expiration date will always be the same. If your voucher comes from you porting into MHA, we will issue you a voucher that mirrors the expiration date of the housing authority from which you ported.
While participating on our program, you may be issued another voucher if other circumstances dictate, such as, but not limited to:
A change in household composition that changes the bedroom allocation,
The family gives notice to move from the current unit,
Or, the family gives notice to port out of MHA jurisdiction.
Additional information is provided for your use, such as, the rent range for which you may shop, a current listing of landlords and units available for rent, landlord packet, and a lease approval packet. Your caseworker will answer any questions relating to voucher issuance.
When you select the unit that you wish to rent, you will provide your prospective landlord with the Landlord Packet for their use. This packet outlines the steps that the landlord must take in order to become a landlord on our program.
You and your prospective landlord will complete the Lease Approval packet; you must submit this packet to your caseworker for approval. The packet includes the HUD document, the RTA, that sets the parameters of the rental unit, such as, but not limited to, the contract rent amount, the date the unit is available, what type of unit, what type of utilities are found in the unit, what party supplies that utility, and other comparable unit information. Our schedule of days and time frames for this purpose are found in our document, Navigating the HCV Program and MHA Operations. This document gives all the office routines in current practice at MHA so that you can better utilize our services.
Please see Understanding Your Role in the HCV Program. This document provides a visual illustration between the landlord, MHA, and you. It is important that you understand the relationship between these parties and the documents that govern each.
Your caseworker will submit the Lease Approval documents to the Inspections Department in order to schedule the next available date that an MHA inspector can visit the unit. The inspector will contact the landlord to gain access on the date and time established. The inspection will be conducted according to the HQS guidelines found in the Good Place to Live brochure and the MHA Exceptions to HQS. For more detailed information regarding Housing Quality Standards (HQS), please refer to Getting Ready for Inspection.
A confirmation form is provided to the prospective landlord that asks three (3) critical dates: (1) the date the unit passed the HQS inspection, (2) the date the tenant took possession of the unit, and (3) the effective date of the Lease. (4) After the confirmation form is executed and received in our office, the caseworker will offer your landlord a Contract.
After the caseworker receives a completed Confirmation form, a Housing Assistance Payments Contract [HAP] will be prepared for the landlord signature and MHA. The advisor will also require the landlord to provide other certifications, including, but not limited to;
A copy of the executed Lease between the Landlord and Tenant
MHA will pay the landlord by direct deposit on the next check run date for the portion of the contract rent as set forth by the Contract. These check runs are conducted on the first and fifteenth of each month. The contract is between MHA and your landlord, and we cannot process any payments until all contract documents have been executed.
Each year you will be scheduled for an annual inspection of your unit and an annual re-examination of your household composition and income. The Inspections Department will notify you of the scheduled inspection date and time frame. You are required to allow MHA to gain access to the unit for the inspection. Failure to do so may jeopardize your assistance.
You will also be scheduled for an annual re-examination held in our office. If a disability prevents you from attending, then you may request on a case-by-case basis for reasonable accommodation considerations that may include a home visit for re-certification.
Payment Standards and Utility Allowances usually change from year to year. Your caseload advisor will provide you with any subsequent changes in either chart and how it impacts your rent portion.
You must report any changes in household composition or income within fourteen (14) days of the occurrence. The change(s) must be reported on the form, “Notice of Household Change”. These forms may be obtained by visiting our office or by calling and asking that a copy be mailed to you or accessing the Forms and Documents section of this website MHA 4610.
Moving with Continued Assistance
You must give proper notice according to your Lease in order to move to another unit with continued program participation. You must provide a copy of that same notice to MHA. The notice and the time frame that you are eligible to move will determine when your assistance will be terminated in your current unit. We strongly encourage you to speak with your caseload advisor prior to submitting any notice to move.
Your caseload advisor will also analyze whether the time frame in which you wish to move impacts HUD regulations for re-certification. This time frame may require you to attend another briefing session. If you are required to attend another session, the entire re-certification process must be conducting in order for you to move. This also applies if you want to exercise your right to port out of MHA jurisdiction.
The same process of voucher issuance, lease approval, inspection, and contract execution is followed for the new unit to which you want to move.