Housing Choice Voucher Program Landlord Guide

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, also referred to as Section 8, is a federally funded rental assistance program administered by the HRA of Mora.  The program is designed to assist low-income families with their monthly rent payment.

Under the HCV Program, families pay at least 30% of their monthly household income toward rent and utilities, but they may pay up to 40% depending upon their income and the cost of the rental property.

Once a property is approved and a Housing Assistance Payments Contract is executed, the HRA will make monthly rental assistance payments directly to the landlord for a portion of the family’s rent.

The HRA of Mora assists families in Chisago and Isanti counties on behalf of the Cambridge EDA.

The Leasing Process from Start to Finish

Step 1:  The landlord screens and selects a suitable tenant.  The tenant provides the “Request for Tenancy Approval” form to be completed by the landlord and signed by both the landlord and the tenant.  The tenant submits the completed form to the HRA.  The form must be received by the 15th of the month in order to begin assistance on the 1st of the following month.

Step 2:  The HRA will determine whether an owner’s requested rent is reasonable in comparison to similar unassisted units in the area.  Rent reasonableness takes into consideration such factors as the size, condition and location of the property, as well as any amenities that are included with the unit.  Once the rent has been determined to be reasonable an inspection will be scheduled.

Step 3:  The inspector will contact the landlord to set up an inspection appointment to ensure the unit passes HUD’s Housing Quality Standards.  HQS is a minimum inspection code that ensures participating units are decent and safe for the families that will be residing in them.  If the unit does not pass the initial inspection the landlord is given up to 30 days to make the necessary repairs.

Step 4:  When the unit passes the inspection, the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract and Lease are signed.  Only after the property passes inspection should the lease between the owner and the family be executed.  The landlord submits the signed Lease, HAP Contract, W-9 form, and payment information to the HRA office.  Once these required documents are received, the initial payment will be made.

After the Lease:  Once the initial leasing process has been completed landlords will receive monthly rental assistance payments on the 1st of each month.  Units are inspected annually and both the landlord and the tenants are notified of the inspection results.  1099s are sent to landlords at the end of each tax year.  Any rent increases or other changes after the initial lease term should be submitted to the HRA in writing at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the change.