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Tenant-based Vouchers

Tenant-based vouchers increase affordable housing choices for very low-income families.  Families with a tenant-based voucher choose and lease safe, decent and affordable privately-owned rental housing. Housing agencies authorized under state law to develop or operate housing assistance programs may apply for funding.

Housing agencies respond to notices of funding availability (NOFAs) published in the Federal Register.  Each NOFA identifies allocation areas, amount of funds available per area, and the selection criteria for rating and ranking applications. Very low-income families (i.e. families with incomes below 50% of area median income) and a few specific categories of families with incomes up to 80% of the area median income.  These include families that are already assisted under the 1937 U.S. Housing Act, such as families physically displaced by public housing demolition, and owners opting out of project-based Section 8 housing assistance payments (HAP) contracts.  (HUD determines median income levels for each area annually.)

To determine if a family's income is eligible, the Jonesboro Housing Authority compares the family's annual income (gross income) with the HUD-established very low-income limit or low-income limit for the area.  The family's gross income CANNOT exceed this limit.

To obtain tenant-based vouchers, families apply to the Jonesboro Housing Authority, which administers this program.  When an eligible family comes to the top of the housing choice voucher waiting list, the Jonesboro Housing Authority issues a housing choice voucher to the family. 

It is the responsibility of a family to find a unit that meets their needs once they are issued a voucher.  If the family finds a unit that meets the housing quality standards, the rent is reasonable and the unit meets other program requirements, the Jonesboro Housing Authority executes a HAP contract with the property owner.  This contract authorizes the Jonesboro Housing Authority to make subsidy payments on behalf of the family.  If the family moves out of the unit, the contract with the owner ends and the family can move with continued assistance to another unit.  THE UNIT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AN APARTMENT.  It can be a single-family dwelling, duplex, triplex, townhouse, condo or mobile home.

The Jonesboro Housing Authority pays the owner the difference between 30% of adjusted family income and the payment standard OR the gross rent for the unit, whichever is lower.  The family may choose a unit with a higher rent than the payment standard and pay the owner the difference as long as it does not exceed 40% of their adjusted gross income.

After the first twelve months, families do not have to lease a unit in the jurisdiction where the Jonesboro Housing Authority issued the voucher. Families may choose a unit anywhere in the United States where there is a housing agency that administers a tenant-based housing choice voucher program. However, the family may only use the voucher to lease a unit in an area where the family's income is eligible for admission into the program.

 

Family Unification Vouchers (Q & A)


Q: What are Family Unification Vouchers?

A: Family unification vouchers are made available to families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the separation, or threat of imminent separation, of children from their families or in the prevention of reunifying the children with their families.  Family unification vouchers enable these families to rent decent, safe and sanitary housing that is affordable in the private housing market.


Q: How can a family obtain this voucher?

A: Interested families should contact the Jonesboro Housing Authority at (870) 935-9800.


Q: What family is eligible to apply for them?

A: Families are eligible to apply for these vouchers if they meet the following two conditions:

  1. The Department of Human Services has certified that this is a family for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the imminent placement of the family's child, or children, in out-of-home care, or in the delay of discharge of a child, or children, to the family from out-of-home care.
  2. The Jonesboro Housing Authority has determined that the family is eligible for a housing choice  voucher.

Q: How does the Housing Authority determine if a family's income is eligible for the Family Unification Program Voucher?

A: The Jonesboro Housing Authority compares the family's annual income (gross income) with the HUD-established very low-income limit or the low-income limit for the area.  The family's gross income cannot exceed this limit.


Q: How does the family obtain an apartmenyt once they have received a voucher?

A: It is the responsibility of a family to find a unit that meets their needs.  If the family finds a unit that meets the housing quality standards, the rent is reasonable, and the unit meets other program requirements, the Housing Authority executes a HAP contract with the property owner.  This contract authorizes the Housing Authority to make subsidy payments on behalf of the family.  If the family moves out of the unit, the contract with the owner ends.


Q: How much rent does a voucher cover?

A: The Housing Authority pays the owner the difference between 30% of family adjusted gross income and the Housing Authority determined voucher payment standard or gross rent, whichever is lower.  The family may choose a unit with a higher rent than the payment standard, and pay the owner the difference if approved by the Housing Authority.


Q: Do families have to lease a unit in the jurisdiction where the housing authority issues the voucher?

A: Yes, during the first twelve months, then the family may choose a unit anywhere in the united states where there is a housing authority that administers a tenant-based voucher program. However, the family may only use the voucher to lease a unit in an area where the family's income is eligible for admission into the program.