The purpose of the HCV program is to provide rental assistance to eligible families. The rules and regulations of the HCV program are determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The PHA is afforded choices in the operation of the program which are included in the PHA’s administrative plan, a document approved by the board of commissioners of the PHA.
The HCV program offers mobility to eligible families because they may search for suitable housing anywhere in the PHA’s jurisdiction and may also be eligible to move under portability to other PHAs’ jurisdictions.
When a family is determined to be eligible for the program and funding is available, the PHA issues the family a housing voucher. When the family finds a suitable housing unit and funding is available, the PHA will enter into a contract with the owner and the family will enter into a lease with the owner. Each party makes their respective payment to the owner so that the owner receives full rent.
Even though the family is determined to be eligible for the program, the owner has the responsibility of approving the family as a suitable renter. The PHA continues to make payments to the owner as long as the family is eligible and the housing unit continues to qualify under the program.
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 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;
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.
MHA asks that you complete and sign two different releases: HUD #9886 gives MHA the ability to gather certain federal information about you, such as Social Security , SSI, pension or VA benefits. MHA #410 allows us to gather certain local information about you, such as wages income, child support, and permission to obtain a criminal background check.
The Grounds & Obligations form is the cornerstone of how to fulfill the numerous rules, regulations, and procedures that MHA must enforce in administering this program. You are asked to execute this document at your initial briefing and every year thereafter in order to keep you current on any and all provisions.
At Initial briefing, you are required to sign an acknowledgement that certifies that you have received our handbook and all the documents and brochures that it consists. The Initial Briefing Acknowledgement is a comprehensive listing of all required information.
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 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.
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.
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:
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