Friday, October 24, 2014
SECTION 8: Housing Choice Voucher Program

SECTION 8: Housing Choice Voucher Program
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The Section 8 tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance program is funded by the federal government and administered by the Boca Raton Housing Authority for the jurisdiction of the City of Boca Raton and County of Palm Beach County. Funded at the federal level through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, rent subsidies (vouchers) allow families to pay a reasonable share of their income toward rent while the program, within specific limits, makes up the difference.

Our mission is to provide safe, decent and sanitary housing conditions for very low-income families and to manage resources efficiently.  The PHA promotes personal, economic and social upward mobility and provides families the opportunity to make the transition from subsidized to non-subsidized housing through its FSS (Family Self-Sufficiency)  and Homeownership Programs.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, (sometimes referred to as “Section 8”) provides rental assistance to low income families in the private rental market. Forming a partnership with participants and landlords the Boca Raton Housing Authority has provided approximately 620 families with the opportunity to secure quality housing in neighborhoods of their choice. 

Applicant Information

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program assists income eligible families to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private rental market. Families can choose their  own units, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of their choice where the owner agrees to rent under the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Rentals must meet the HUD established Housing Quality Standards and the rent must be equivalent to comparable market units.

To be eligible, one must:

  • Meet income guidelines 
  • Pass a criminal background check (Adult family members must have no record within the last five years of any drug related or violent criminal activity). 
  • Have at least one family member who is a U.S. Citizen or has eligible Immigration status.

How to apply:

Applications for this program are available only when the wait list is open. BRHA advertises the opening of the wait list on this website, local newspapers and through local agencies.

Our waiting list is currently closed for waiting list information see waiting list tab.

Participant Information

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program assists income eligible residents to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private rental market. Families are able to find a suitable housing unit of their choice where the owner agrees to rent under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.

Rentals must meet the HUD established Housing Quality Standards and the rent must be equivalent to comparable market units.

FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Finds a suitable unit
  • Provides income and family information needed to verify and certify continued program eligibility 
  • Allows BRHA to inspect unit 
  • Adheres to all lease requirements, including payment of the family portion of the rent 
  • Abides by all family obligations under the Housing Choice program

FAMILY OBLIGATIONS;

HUD regulations for the voucher program permit BRHA to terminate assistance to participants if any household member or guest does not abide by the following family obligations during assisted tenancy:

  1. Supply any information that BRHA determines to be necessary. This includes evidence of citizenship and immigration status, information for use in annual or special certification of family composition, income and deductions.
  2. Disclose and verify social security information and sign and submit consent forms to obtain information. 
  3. Supply any information requested by BRHA to verify that the family is living in the unit or information related to family absence from the unit.
  4. Notify BRHA in writing within 30 days when the family is absent from the unit for an extended period of time. 
  5. Notify BRHA and the owner in writing at least 30 days before moving from the unit in accordance with the lease.
  6. Allow BRHA to inspect the unit at reasonable time and after reasonable notice. 
  7. Maintain unit in safe, decent  and sanitary condition.
  8. Must not participate in illegal drug or violent criminal activity. 
  9.  Must not commit fraud, bribery or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with the program. 

Landlord  Information

Landlord Opportunities and Benefits

The U.S. Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) provides funding for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which allows income eligible families to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. Families are able to find their own housing where the owner agrees to rent under the program. Generally households do not pay more than 40% of their income for rent and utilities. BRHA pays a set amount directly to the landlord and the renter pays the difference.

All units must meet the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) established by HUD. BRHA inspectors conduct annual unit inspections to ensure compliance with these standards. BRHA will also perform a rent comparability analysis to ensure the requested rent does not exceed market rates. Other than expecting a portion of the rent regularly each month from the Housing Authority, owners have the same type of renter/landlord relationship that they have with market renters.

BRHA, the property owner, and the family have different roles and responsibilities as outlined below:

BOCA RATON HOUSING AUTHORITY

  • Maintains and updates the waiting list, conducts background checks, review applications for the Housing Choice Program eligibility.
     Certifies program eligibility and conducts annual re-certifications for continued eligibility.
  • Inspects and certifies that the unit meets Housing Quality Standards and approves units for leasing and contracts. 
  • Determines amounts and pays Housing Assistance Payments to the landlord on behalf of the family. 
  • Explains and provides information about program policies and procedures to current and prospective landlords and families. 
  • Monitors program performance and compliance of participants and owners.

OWNER:

  • Screens tenants
  • Selects family and leases the unit 
  • Performs all management and rental functions 
  • Performs all ordinary maintenance 
  • Complies with the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract 
  • Complies with the lease and assisted lease addendum requirements 

FAMILY:

  • Finds a suitable unit
  • Provides income and family information needed to verify and certify continued program eligibility 
  • Allows BRHA to inspect unit 
  • Adheres to all lease requirements, including payment of the family portion of the rent 
  • Abides by all family obligations under the Housing Choice program

FAIR HOUSING:
Legislation contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1998, Title VIII, as amended, is commonly referred to as the Fair Housing Act. This law established a national policy of providing fair housing throughout the United States. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:

  • Race or Color
  • National Origin 
  • Religion 
  • Sex
  • Family Status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under the age of 18) 
  • Handicap

In the sale and rental of housing, no one may discriminate against families based on the above categories by taking the following actions:

  • Refusing to rent or sell housing
  • Refusing to negotiate housing 
  • Making housing unavailable 
  • Denying a dwelling 
  • Setting different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling.

Fair housing is a right afforded to all persons seeking housing, whether they are Housing Choice participants or private market renters. It is your obligation as an owner to comply with the law that guarantees this right.