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Family Orientation Welcome to the Housing Choice Voucher Program! (formerly known as Section 8)

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Presentation on theme: "Family Orientation Welcome to the Housing Choice Voucher Program! (formerly known as Section 8)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Family Orientation Welcome to the Housing Choice Voucher Program! (formerly known as Section 8)

2 In the homes of America are born the children of America; and from them go out into American life, American men and women. They go out with the stamp of these homes upon them; and only as these homes are what they should be, will they be what they should be. Josiah Gilbert Holland 1819-1881 (aka Timothy Titcomb)

3 Todays Agenda What to expect on the program. How much can you afford? How to find your new home. Your best face forward. A good tenant is always welcome! When something goes wrong. Family Self Sufficiency.

4 Required Personal Documents Photo I.D. of head of household/spouse. Birth certificates and custody papers of all minors. Proof of income, checks stubs, W2 forms. Landlord references (past and present) Social Security Cards for each family member. Military records, if applicable. Proof of legal residency for non-citizens. Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID that he just whipped out a quarter? Steven Wright, comedian

5 What to Expect You can expect that all persons will be treated fairly and equally without regard to race, color, religion, sex, familial status, handicap, or national origin in compliance with the Fair Housing Act.

6 What to Expect, continued. You will fill out specific forms. Voucher size and rental obligations determined. You pay 30% of eligible income. You are allowed to pay up to 40% for expensive unit. You should only look for units you can afford. You should only look for landlords who participate. Unit must meet condition and quality guidelines. Price for unit must be same as other similar units. Your situation will be reviewed annually.

7 What Is Expected from You Honesty in all our communications Diligence in seeking a unit Politeness in our relationship Responsibility in tenant occupancy Knowledge of lease requirements Avoid all illegal activity I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Martin Luther King, Jr.

8 Reasonable Accommodation More time to find your unit. More money to pay for an accessible unit Help to find a suitable unit. Lists of accessible properties. See your case manager for instructions. "When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, Find a pass through, tunnel underneath, Or simply stay and turn that mountain Into a gold mine with God's help." Robert H. Schuller

9 Partial List of Family Obligations Pay your rent and utility bills on time. Report all changes in income or family size. Everything must be true on your forms. Additional rent is prohibited. Allow housing authority and landlord to inspect unit. No crime committed by participants. Eviction will cost your voucher. Back Rent = no voucher. It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required. Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

10 How Much Rent Can You Afford? What is Considered: Your Working Income (all family members!) Child Support Disability/ SSI payments Your family size Number of children Elderly or disabled dependents Medical expenses Other family assets –Property/Real Estate –Cash

11 Rent Budget Determined with case managers help. Shop for a unit under the price limit. Know your voucher bedroom size. Remember the voucher limit includes all utilities. If the landlord does not pay utilities, you will from the utility allowance portion of your assistance payment. Know what is the most you can rent for the unit alone when choosing a unit. We didn't actually overspend our budget. The allocation simply fell short of our expenditure. Keith Davis

12 H O W M U C H !?!

13 How To Find Your New Home? The Housing Authority maintains a regularly updated list of participating units/landlords. Classified advertising in the local paper or apartment book. Internet web sites listing available apartments. –Signs in your desired neighborhood –Local real estate companies – – – – – – – – – (general searches, look for other sites here)

14 YOUR BEST FACE FORWARD Remember, you are asking to live in one of the most expensive possessions of the landlord. Can you be trusted to take good care of it? Each person is born to one possession which out values all his others - his last breath Mark Twain

15 A Landlords Dream Tenant Polite and respectful. Clean, neat, showered, clean hair and nails. Dont smoke! No alcohol on your breath. Appropriate language.

16 A Landlords Nightmare Tenant Sloppy, dirty clothes, pajamas. Rude, interrupting, critical. Bad breath. Careless of home during inspection. Telling dirty jokes or cursing. Bad mouthing last landlord. (even if they deserved it)

17 A Good Tenant is Always Welcome! Pay your rent portion and utility bills on time. Know the lease rules and stick to them. Promptly request emergency maintenance involving water or electricity or natural gas/propane gas. If there is danger, leave unit, call 911 then landlord. Dont break or damage anything! Get along with neighbors, as much as you can. Dont call landlord really late or really early. A good time frame is 8am to 6pm unless it is an emergency call. Keep it clean. (reasonably!)

18 When Something Goes Wrong A tenant may request an Informal Hearing when a termination is due to one of the following reasons: 1.Your unit has more bedrooms than your voucher allows. 2.You are accused of failing to perform your responsibilities to the Housing Authority and/or the landlord. 3.Your family is absent from the assisted unit for longer than the maximum allowed time period. 4.You fail to provide enough evidence of citizenship and eligible immigration status.

19 Informal Hearings not Allowed 1.General policy issues. 2.The Utility Allowance Schedule or how much you get for utilities. 3.A request for an extension or suspension of a voucher term has been denied. 4.The Housing Authority did not approve a unit or lease. 5.The unit did not meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS). 6.Unit did not meet HQS because of your family size or composition. 7.Issues concerning the Housing Authoritys dealings with the landlord under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract.

20 Family Self Sufficiency A voluntary program for helping you achieve your dreams! Personal goal established –Home ownership –Education –Saving emergency funds Takes five to seven years Program coordinator from housing authority –Help with program (cheering you on!) –Many extra services –Monitoring progress Interest bearing escrow accounts –Families have received checks up to $14,000! A goal without a plan is just a wish. Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 1944)

21 In Closing….. Questions? A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. Herm Albright (1876 - 1944)

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