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Program Summary

The HCV 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 Greensboro Housing Authority (GHA) administers the program in Guilford County, North Carolina with the exception of the City of High Point.

GHA receives funding from HUD to provide housing vouchers to a fixed number of eligible very-low income households and interested individuals are required to apply to the GHA waiting list from which names are selected to receive a housing voucher when one becomes available. Families are selected from the waiting list in sequential order and invited to complete a full application after which GHA verifies the information provided and determines whether they meet the eligibility guidelines which are based upon the family’s income, family size; preference claimed at time of application and a criminal background check. Eligible families are then issued a voucher after which they begin their housing search. GHA’s eligibility determination does not include whether a family is suitable to rent a dwelling unit and does not screen for suitability as a tenant. Families can rent/own housing of their choice in communities of their choice and it is permanent, long term and affordable. Families typically pay between 30% and 40% of their adjusted annual income towards housing costs and GHA provides a subsidy that generally represents the difference between the tenant share and the gross contract rent (rent plus utilities). The subsidy that GHA will pay is called a “Housing Assistance Payment” (HAP) and this payment is subject to limitations imposed by GHA’s Payment Standards. Payment Standards are based upon Fair Market Rents (FMR’s established by HUD

An overview of program functions is as follows:

  • Owners screen voucher holders to select suitable tenants

  • Owners complete a “Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA)”

  • Owner and GHA agree on fair rent and sign contract document

  • Rent subsidy begins

  • Owner maintains unit, enforces lease

  • Property Maintenance Requirements

Owner Screens and Selects Suitable Tenants

Property owners should subject voucher holders to the same screening process as that established for other tenants. This screening may include obtaining landlord references, verifying income, reviewing credit and criminal history and verifying employment. The owner selects the voucher holder of his/her choice, but may not rent to a family if any member of that family is an immediate relative. GHA does not screen or pre-qualify landlords for participation in the voucher program. Owners may list properties available for rent by HCV families by posting the information on a free website at socialserve.com or by calling the toll-free number at 877-428-8844.

Owners Complete a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA)

When an owner selects a suitable tenant, the family will provide the RFTA and other required documentation. The owner must complete the forms and return them to the family who will submit them to GHA. Upon receipt of the completed documentation, GHA will contact the owner to schedule an inspection. Prior to the inspection, the owner must ensure that the unit is clean, in good repair and has working utilities. Any appliances the landlord intends to supply must be in the unit and functioning. An overview of inspection requirements that are based upon HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS) is detailed in the Housing Quality Standards Checklist provided under the “Forms” tab. The owner should be present at the inspection to learn whether or not the unit has deficiencies which should be remedied prior to passing the HQS inspection.

Owner and GHA Agree on Fair Rent and Sign Contract Documents
A fair and reasonable rent is a rent that is not greater than rents charged to non-subsidized tenants in the same building/development for similar rental units and is not greater than the rent charged to non-subsidized tenants in the rental area. GHA will determine that the rent is reasonable based on factors such as location, quality, size, unit type, age, amenities, housing services, maintenance and utilities provided. After GHA completes the Rent Reasonableness Determination, GHA and the Owner will sign the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract which sets forth the terms and conditions under which the Owner will receive the HAP subsidy. The HAP Contract must be executed within 60 days of the effective date of the lease between Tenant and Owner/Agent. The Owner must submit proof of ownership of the unit; submit IRS form W-9 and banking information to enable GHA to deposit subsidy payments directly into a bank account of their choice. The Tenant and Owner must sign a lease; provide GHA with a copy and a copy of HUD’s Tenancy Addendum must be attached to the lease. GHA is not party to the lease between the landlord and tenant.

Rent Subsidy Begins
GHA will begin the rent subsidy after all contract documents have been executed. No payments can be made prior to the execution of the HAP Contract and the receipt of a copy of the signed lease. GHA will pay its share of the rent directly to the Owner who should collect the tenant’s share from the tenant.

Owner Maintains Unit and Enforces Lease
Property owners are required to consistently maintain their rental units in compliance with HQS and must also enforce the lease in the same manner in which they enforce the lease for non-subsidized rental units. HCV families are required to abide by the lease and understand that if they fail to abide by the lease, including non-payment of their share of the contract rent; except for normal wear and tear, damaging the unit and violating the lease in any other respect, the owner can evict. Owners may request a rent increase not more frequently than once annually and must notify the tenant and submit a request to GHA for a rent increase 60 days in advance of the effective date of the increase. Approval of the request is subject to Rent Reasonableness requirements.
 
Greensboro Housing Authority
  • 450 North Church Street
  • Greensboro, NC 27401
  • 336-275-8501
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