HCV Program FAQs
We get lots of phone calls that begin with “I just want to ask you a question…”. So this column is devoted to our most frequently asked questions.
Question: I turned in my landlord packet and the landlord said that my unit passed inspection, can I move?
Answer: The inspector may tell the landlord that their unit passed inspection and the owner would want you to move in as soon as possible so they can begin to collect rent. However, there are a few things you need to know: (1) the inspector may not have given the housing specialist the printed report on your unit yet. They have several inspections each day and don’t return to the office until late afternoon. They may not do the written report until the next day, or a few days later. HUD requires that the written report be received before authorization to move in is given to the client. It’s done that way so that all the steps are documented before a payment is made to the landlord; (2) we may have already paid rent to your current landlord for the month; so we can’t pay your rent for two properties in the same month. Consequently, if you move before the end of the month, you will be responsible for the prorated rent to your new landlord until the beginning of the next month. You will also need to make sure that you don’t move before the date on your “Notice of Intent to Move” signed by your current landlord or you will owe them any outstanding rent until the end date of your lease (or lease extension).
Question: I got my hours cut on my paycheck and turned it in. When will I get a rent change?
Answer: After the change in income has been verified with your employer, the change should be effective beginning the first day of the month following the month in which the change was reported and all required documentation was submitted.
Bear in mind, that if your housing specialist has not received verification from your employer of either a job loss or a loss in wages, new rent calculations cannot be completed. So it might also be necessary for you to provide pay stubs for at least 3 pay periods after the earnings loss. In addition, any change reported after the 23rd of the month will not be effective on the first of the following month. It will be effective on the first of the next month after a 30 day period.
On the other hand, if you report a new job, your rent increase wouldn’t be effective until the first month, 30 days after you report the income. Remember that all changes in household income must be reported within 10 days of occurrence. If while verifying your new income, it is discovered that you did not report within 10 days, your rent increase will be effective the next month from your date of hire and you may be subject to repayment of any overpaid housing assistance to your landlord.
Question: Am I eligible for Section 8 Housing Assistance?
Answer: The program serves families and individuals who are very low and extremely low income. Eligibility will be determined after you are selected from the Waiting List during the eligibility appointment.
Question: When can I apply?
Answer: You may apply for the housing voucher program ONLY when the waitlist is open for new applications. The waitlist is currently closed.
Question: Will placement on the list be based on a first-come, first-served basis?
Answer: No. A third-party software company utilizes a computerized lottery system to select and establish each applicant’s place on the waiting list. You will be contacted in the order of your final ranking on the waitlist.
Question: How do I check the status of my application?
Answer: You may check the status of your application by calling 850-210-1486. Just follow the prompts to the voucher waitlist.
Question: What if I need to change my address or contact information?
Answer: You will need to submit changes to your contact information in writing to your case worker. You can submit them via email, in person, or by mail to:
Tallahassee Housing Authority
2940 Grady Rd
Tallahassee, FL 32312.
Question: How can I reach someone in Section 8?
Answer: Please dial 850-385-6126. We have implemented a call center to track calls and ensure that they are responded to in a timely manner. Each call is logged through a central system (call center). A message is then routed to the appropriate staff person to respond back to you.
Question: How does the HCV (Section 8) Program work?
Answer: When the applicant’s name comes up on the waiting list, he or she will attend an appointment to determine eligibility for the program.
Once the applicant is determined eligible, he or she will be given a voucher and required to locate a unit.
Once the family has located a unit, they must submit all required documents for approval and the unit must pass an initial inspection.
If the unit passes inspection, the requested rent is determined reasonable, and the owner and family settle on terms of the lease, THA can begin making housing assistance payments after move-in and execution of the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract by the landlord.
The family will stay in the program as long as they fulfill their obligations, provide all necessary information to THA, and ensure their units are up to housing quality standards.