The Housing Choice Voucher Program
If you have a limited income, and you are having difficulty keeping up with your monthly rental payment, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program may be able to help by paying a portion of your rent.
It is the mission of the Stillwater Housing Authority to ensure that residents of the Stillwater area have access to safe, decent, sanitary, and affordable housing. This goal requires the development of a successful working relationship between the property owners/managers, tenants, and the Stillwater Housing Authority.
Who is considered eligible?
Eligibility is determined by family composition, family income level according to number of members, immigration status, student status, criminal activity, and previous compliance with housing regulations. Please visit the SHA website at http://www.stillwaterhousing.org, or contact the Stillwater Housing Authority Monday through Friday, 8:00am to noon, and 1:00pm to 4:30pm for current income limits and pertinent information about the Section 8 Program.
What steps must I take to participate in the program?
1. Complete a Section 8 application form. Applications can be obtained from the Stillwater Housing Authority office, which is located at 807 S. Lowry.
2. Your name will then be placed on a waiting list according to the date and time that the completed application was received in the SHA office.
3. The Housing Authority staff will contact you by mail when your name reaches the top of the list, and if voucher program funding is available.
4. Attend the appointment for the eligibility interview with the Section 8 Coordinator. If eligibility is established, and your income is within the targeting limits, you will receive a voucher.
5. Locate a housing unit that is within the price range for your income level and family size, and obtain the agreement of the owner/manager to participate in the program.
6. The Housing Authority will inspect the unit, and execute Housing Assistance contract if the unit passes Housing Quality Standards.
The Section 8 Waiting List
Applicants at the top of the Section 8 waiting list will only be notified to attend an eligibility interview if adequate funding is available to support the rental assistance payment for an additional family.
Since the funding that the SHA receives from HUD remains fairly consistent, the number of families that can be added to the Section 8 program each month is usually determined by an average of the subsidy used by each participating family, and the number of families that have been removed from the Section 8 program.
Section 8 Targeting Income & Income Limits
Seventy five percent of the families that are admitted to the Section 8 program must have a gross annual income below the 30% income limits. Total family income must be below the Very Low income limit in order to be eligible for Voucher assistance.
What do I consider when choosing a dwelling?
The dwelling unit must be within the SHA jurisdiction, or after being assisted though the HCV program for one year you may request to transfer to another HA. The voucher subsidy will be determined by the Housing Authority, but you may rent a unit that exceeds the subsidy provided that you have adequate income. The dwelling type is your choice, (house, apartment, duplex, mobile home, etc.) as long as it is affordable, and meets Housing Quality Standards.
You should also consider the condition of the residence (clean, well maintained, energy efficient), the neighborhood (schools, shopping, crime, noise) the average cost of utilities, and the amount of the deposit that you must provide.
What is my share of the rent?
The subsidy that will be paid to the landlord is usually based on the Payment Standard minus 30% of your adjusted gross annual income. You will then pay the remaining portion of the rent directly to the landlord.
The portion of the rent that is paid by the tenant must be considered affordable, and can not exceed more than 40% of the adjusted income of the family.
What are my responsibilities?
Your responsibilities as a tenant:
· You must make prompt and regular payment of rent directly to the property owner/manager.
· You are required to provide any utilities (electricity, gas, or water), which are not furnished by the owner.
· You are responsible to provide an maintain any appliance which the owner does not furnish, (such as a stove or refrigerator).
· You must maintain the residence and property in decent, safe, and sanitary condition. This includes preventing any damages beyond normal wear and tear.
· You must permit periodic inspections.
· You must provide the owner/manager and the Housing Authority with 30 days prior written notice if planning to move.
· You must comply with all approved lease requirements such as good housekeeping, pet limitations, or yard maintenance.
Your responsibility to the Housing Authority:
Families who participate in the Section 8 Voucher program are required to comply with certain “Family Obligations”.
The family must supply true and complete information when the HA or HUD determines that it is necessary for administration of the program. This includes a declaration of citizenship or verification of eligible immigration status, and information about family income and household members. The family must disclose and verify Social Security Numbers, and submit consent forms for obtaining information.
The family must use the assisted unit as a residence, and as the family’s only residence.
The members of the family must be approved by the HA, and the family must promptly inform the HA of any additions or changes in family composition.
The family must not sublease or let the unit. The family must not assign the lease of transfer the unit. The family must not own or have any interest in the unit.
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 violent criminal activity.
An assisted family or members of the family may not receive Section 8 Assistance while receiving another housing subsidy for the same unit or a different unit under any duplicative Federal, State or local housing assistance program.