Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
What are housing choice vouchers?
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is a federally funded program that enables low-income families to rent in the private market. The Housing Authority of Brevard County (HABC) is a Public Housing Agency (PHA) that administers vouchers used in Brevard County, FL as part of the Housing HCV Program, also known as Section 8. A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice anywhere in Brevard County, FL where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety and pass a Housing Quality Standard (HQS) inspection, as determined by HABC in cooperation with the United States (U.S.) Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations.
HABC receives federal funds from HUD to administer the HCV program. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by HABC on behalf of the participating family. The family is required to pay 30% of their adjusted income for their portion of the rent. The HABC pays the landlord the balance of the agreed upon rent.
Am I eligible?
Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by HABC based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to U.S. citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. By law, HABC must provide 75 percent of its vouchers to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30% of the area median income. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location.
During the application process, HABC will collect information on family income, assets, and family composition. We then verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance payment. If the HABC determines that your family is eligible, we will put your name on a waiting list.
How do I apply and how does the waiting list apply to me?
Since the demand for housing assistance often exceeds the limited resources available to HUD and the local PHAs, long waiting periods are common. In fact, a PHA may close its waiting list when it has more families on the list than can be assisted in the near future. Currently, the HABC’s waiting list is closed and we are unable to receive new applicants.
Housing vouchers - how do they function?
The HABC’s HCV program places the choice of housing in the hands of the individual family. A very low-income family is selected by HABC to participate and is encouraged to consider several housing choices to secure the best housing for the family needs. A housing voucher holder is advised of the unit size for which it is eligible based on family size and composition.
The housing unit selected by the family must meet an acceptable level of health and safety before HABC can approve the unit. When the voucher holder finds a unit that they wish to occupy and reaches an agreement with the landlord over the lease terms, HABC must inspect the dwelling and determine that the rent requested is reasonable.
HUD determines a payment standard that is the amount generally needed to rent a moderately-priced dwelling unit in the local housing market and that is used to calculate the amount of housing assistance a family will receive. A family that receives a housing voucher can select a unit with a rent that is below or the same as the payment standard. The housing voucher family must pay 30% of its monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities, and if the unit rent is greater than the payment standard, the rent must be negotiated. By law, whenever a family moves to a new unit where the rent exceeds the payment standard, the family may not pay more than 40 percent of its adjusted monthly income for rent.
Can I move and continue to receive housing choice voucher assistance?
A family's housing needs change over time with changes in family size, job locations, and for other reasons. The housing choice voucher program is designed to allow families to move without the loss of housing assistance. Moves are permissible as long as the family notifies HABC and the landlord ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the lease provisions, is in good standing, and finds acceptable alternate housing.
What regulations cover this program?
Regulations are found in 24 CFR Part 982.