What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program’s Rental Assistance?
The housing choice voucher program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.
Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies(PHAs). The PHAs receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program. The Jonesboro Housing Authority’s jurisdiction is Craighead County.
A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family’s choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family’s present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the PHA.
A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.
Clients are expected to comply with the landlord’s lease and the program requirements, pay rent on time, maintain the unit in good condition and notify the housing authority of any changes in income or family composition. All responsibilities and rights are directed by federal law, in contrast, most rights and duties of private tenants are set by the landlord.
Why the Housing Choice Voucher Program is For You to Am I eligible?
Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the PHA based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family’s income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. By law, a PHA must provide 75 percent of its voucher to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location.
The PHA must review each complete application received and make a preliminary assessment of the family’s eligibility. Applicants will be placed on the waiting list according to any preferences(s) for which they qualify, and the date and time the complete application is received by the PHA. Placement on the waiting list does not indicate that the family is, in fact, eligible for assistance. A final determination of eligibility will be made when the family is selected from the waiting list. During this process, the PHA will collect information on family income, assets, and family composition. The PHA will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance payment
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT OUR APPLICATION TECHNICIAN AT (870) 336-9812.
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