Houston Housing Authority Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List Information

THE BASICS

THE HCV WAITLIST IS NOW OPEN.

Interested applicants can apply here now.

The Houston Housing Authority (HHA) is opening its Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) waitlist.

Interested applicants will apply here.

The voucher applications will be available online for a limited enrollment period from Monday, September 19, 2016 at 8 a.m. to Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.

It makes no difference if applicants are the first or last to apply; you stand the same chance to be selected for the waiting list.

Applications can be completed and submitted 24 hours a day at our website. Paper applications are not available or accepted at any HHA property or office.

All applicants will be entered into a lottery from which 30,000 will be selected for the wait list. A computer-generated random lottery will be conducted September 29, and applicants can check Lottery AppChecker to determine if they have been selected to be placed on the waiting list for housing benefits.

ABOUT THE HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8) helps low-income families, senior citizens and persons with disabilities rent safe, affordable homes in and around Houston. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the Houston Housing Authority 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. The Houston Housing Authority administers the voucher program with funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Does the Houston Housing Authority assign families housing under the voucher program?

No, program participants select where they want to live. The landlord must agree to participate in the program.
HHA provides links to available units at web-based sites like www.socialserve.com. Rental housing must meet program requirements including minimum standards of health and safety.

How much do the vouchers cover?

As part of the issuance of the voucher, an estimate will be provided based on the number of eligible family members, number of bedrooms needed, current area rental market rate, and household income. Participants generally pay about 30% of their monthly family income for rent and the voucher covers the remainder.

ELIGIBILITY

Who is eligible?

Income eligibility limits for the voucher program are set by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as percentages of the local area median income. The incomes below are the current maximum household income based on the number of family members in the household. Only applicants who meet the income limits are eligible.

No. of Family members Income Limit
1 $24,250
2 $27,700
3 $31,150
4 $34,600
5 $37,400
6 $40,150
7 $42,950
8 $45,700

Do I and my family need to be U.S. citizens to apply?

U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and others with eligible immigration status, including refugees may apply Assistance provided, is based on the number of eligible family members.

WAITING LIST APPLICATION PROCESS

Can I apply at the Houston Housing Authority’s offices?

No, the voucher applications are available only online. Applications can be completed by clicking here. Applications can be submitted 24 hours a day from 8 a.m. September 19 through 11:59 p.m. September 25, 2016. Paper applications are not available or accepted at any HHA property or office.

What if I don’t have Internet?

The Houston Housing Authority coordinated with the City of Houston and Harris County libraries, which provide public access to computers with internet, to help anyone without home internet to access the application. If necessary, the application website can be accessed through a smartphone as well.

What if I can’t log in due to server issues?

If you run into an error or delay, please wait a few minutes and try again. It makes no difference if you are the first or last to apply; you stand the same chance to be selected for the waiting list.

Is the program first-come, first-served?

No. It makes no difference if applicants are the first or last to apply; you stand the same chance to be selected for the waiting list.

How and when will the lottery take place?

A computer-generated random lottery will be conducted September 29, and Housing selected applicants can check Lottery AppChecker to determine if they have been selected to be placed on the waiting list for housing benefits.

If I am chosen for the wait list and am eligible, how long will it be before I receive the voucher?

Families may be drawn from the list and provided housing vouchers as early as the end of 2016. The Houston Housing Authority expects to go through the wait list in its entirety within five years.

THE APPLICATION FORM

What if I have a question about the application form?

Questions can be answered at 1-713-260-0500 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ADDITIONAL ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

To be eligible for admission, an applicant must meet HUD’s criteria, as well as criteria established by the Authority.

HUD criteria for eligibility require that an applicant must:

  1. Be income eligible
  2. Provide Social Security numbers for every family and household member who has a Social Security number or certify that a family member has no social security number
  3. Have at least one member who is a US Citizen or an Eligible Immigrant
  4. HUD’s and the HHA’s requirements related to the criminal history of adult family members

PREFERENCES

Homeless Preference for Admission

Each year HHA gives a preference to no more than 200 applicant households meeting all of the following criteria:

  1. Meet the federal definition of homeless
  2. Are referred to HHA by a homeless service provider with whom HHA has executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the provider’s responsibilities with respect to the provision of housing search assistance and supportive services for the referred household
  3. Have received a written commitment from the referring homeless service provider for housing search assistance;
  4. Have received a written commitment from the homeless service provider for supportive services to help the household’s transition from homelessness to permanent housing
  5. Have received a written commitment from the homeless service provider for supportive services to help the household comply with Housing Choice Voucher program rules

If it is determined that an applicant referred by a homeless service provider, as described in 2. above, does not meet the criteria described therein, the applicant is removed from the waiting list, but retains their place on any HHA waiting lists they were on prior to their referral by the service provider.

Persons transitioning out of Shelter Plus Care/Supportive Housing Programs/Supported Housing Programs/Rapid Re-Housing into permanent housing will be included as a priority group as part of this preference.

Transition Age Youth (TAY) Aging out of Foster Care Preference for Admission

HHA is conducting a four year demonstration program that gives a preference to up to 200 applicants during the demonstration period. The intent is to preference 50 Transition Age Youth (TAY) Aging out of Foster Care annually, but unused slots will rollover each year until the final year of the demonstration. The four-year total may not exceed 200 participants.

Each year during the demonstration HHA gives a preference of up to 50 (increasing as described above if applicable) applicants meeting all of the following criteria:

  1. Applicant must be TAY Aging out of Foster Care
  2. Are referred to HHA by a service provider with whom HHA has executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the provider’s responsibilities with respect to the provision of supportive services for the referred household
  3. Have received a written commitment from the service provider for supportive services for a minimum of one year to help the household’s transition from foster care to permanent housing
  4. Have completed the housing component of the PALS program in the last 6 months

Applicants shall first be referred to these providers who will then provide a certified referral to HHA.

WHAT ARE THE MAINSTREAM, MODERATE REHABILITATION AND PROJECT BASED VOUCHER LISTS?

What is the Mainstream program?

Mainstream vouchers provide rental assistance to enable persons with disabilities (elderly and non-elderly) to rent affordable private housing.

HHA will use a lottery to put 500 households on this list.

What is the Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod. Rehab.) program?

The moderate rehabilitation program provides project-based rental assistance for low income families. Assistance is limited to properties previously rehabilitated pursuant to a housing assistance payments (HAP) contract between an owner and a Public Housing Agency (PHA).

HHA will use a lottery to put 500 households on this list.

What is the Project Based Voucher (PBV) program?

Under the Project-Based Voucher program, HHA enters into an assistance contract with the owner for specified units and for a specified term. HHA refers families from its waiting list to the project owner to fill vacancies. Because the assistance is tied to the unit, a family who moves from the project-based unit does not have any right to continued housing assistance. However, they may be eligible for a tenant based voucher when one becomes available. None of our current PBV units has more than one bedroom.

HHA will use a lottery to put 500 households on this list.