Q. What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
A. The housing choice voucher program is a federal government program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled with affordable, decent, safe and sanitary housing. Participants are able to find their own housing including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments within Lake County. The participant is free to choose housing that meets the requirements of the program.
Q. How do I apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
A. When the HCV waiting list opens, public notice of the opening will be made in the local newspapers, radio and on our website – www.lakehousing.org.
Q. Who establishes the contract rent for the program?
A. Owners may request any reasonable rent for their units. The PHA must make a rent reasonableness determination by comparing the rent being charged by the owner to rents for comparable unassisted units in the area and to rents being charged by the owner for comparable, unassisted units on the premises.
Q. Who is responsible for any security deposit?
A. The cost of the security deposit is not covered under the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The family is responsible for any security deposit requested by the owner.
Q. I am a current participant with the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Who is my housing specialist?
A. Your last name begins with:
A – FOS
Debbie, ext. 35 – HCV Certification Specialist
FOT – MEL
Katy, ext. 27 – HCV Certification Specialist
MEM – VIL
Megan, ext. 20 – Senior HCV Certification Specialist
VIM – Z
Carissa, ext. 30 – HCV Certification Coordinator
Stacy, ext. 26
Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program
Emily, ext. 17
Q. What is the moving process for the HCV Program?
A. Participants must live in a unit for the first twelve (12) months on the HCV Program. A family who wishes to move to another housing authority must submit a request in writing to Lake MHA and the landlord 30 days prior to moving.
Q. What are the roles for the tenant, the landlord, Lake MHA and HUD?
A. Once Lake MHA approves an eligible family’s housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and the landlord and Lake MHA sign a housing assistance payments contract that runs for the same term as the lease. The tenant, landlord and Lake MHA have obligations and responsibilities under the voucher program.
Tenant’s Obligations: When a family selects a housing unit and the unit passes the Lake MHA inspection and Lake MHA approves the lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at least one year. The tenant may be required to pay a security deposit to the landlord. After the first year the landlord may initiate a new lease or allow the family to remain in the unit on a month-to-month lease.
The family is expected to comply with the lease and the program requirements, pay its share of rent on time, maintain the unit in good condition and notify Lake MHA of any changes in income or family composition in writing.
Landlord’s Obligations: The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program’s housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards for as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with Lake MHA.
Housing Authority’s Obligations: Lake MHA administers the voucher program locally. Lake MHA provides a family with the housing assistance that enables the family to seek out suitable housing and Lake MHA enters into a contract with the landlord to provide housing assistance payments on behalf of the family. If the landlord fails to meet the owner’s obligations under the lease, Lake MHA has the right to terminate assistance payments. Lake MHA must reexamine the family’s income and composition at least annually and must inspect each unit at least annually to ensure that it meets minimum housing quality standards.
HUD’s Role: To cover the cost of the program, HUD provides funds to Lake MHA to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the families. HUD also pays Lake MHA a fee for the costs of administering the program. HUD monitors Lake MHA administration of the program to ensure program rules are properly followed.