Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a rental assistance program for very low income households. The purpose of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is to meet three primary goals: provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for very low income households while maintaining their rent payments at an affordable level; promote freedom of housing choice and spatial de-concentration of very low-income households of all races and ethnic background; and, provide an incentive to private property owners to rent to very low-income households by offering timely rental payments. The Program also supports the local rental market by encouraging unit maintenance by landlords, responsible tenancy by program participants and self-sufficiency among participating families.
Staff are responsible to maintain a waiting list of eligible families and provide outreach to private homeowners regarding the Section 8 Program. Staff issue vouchers in a manner ensuring the Section 8 Program will remain close to the 100% lease-up rate. On an annual/interim basis, staff recertifies the rental amount, family eligibility, and performs housing quality standards inspections on each residence at least annually.
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program also encourages economic independence among participating families by operating a Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. FSS is a HUD program that encourages low-income families receiving Section 8 Housing assistance to obtain employment that will lead them to economic independence and self-sufficiency. Originally, the program provided slots for 50 households. We are happy to report that due to families graduating from the program we have 33 slots remaining.
All families or individuals receiving Section 8 Housing assistance are eligible to participate in the FSS Program. HA staff and the head of each family execute a FSS contract of participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The 5 year FSS contract specifies goals and services for each family. The FSS contract requires that the family comply with their lease, that all family members become independent of welfare, and that the head of the family seek and maintain suitable employment. An interest bearing FSS escrow account is established for each participating family. An escrow credit, based on increases in earned income of the family, is credited to this account during the term of the FSS contract. If the family completes the contract and no member of the family is receiving welfare, the amount of the FSS account is paid to the head of the family.
Please note that currently the Section 8 Voucher waiting list is full (November 2012).
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