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HCV Program (Section 8) - Frequently Asked Questions

HCV Program (Section 8)
What is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program?

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8) provides tenant based assistance in the form of a voucher to low-income families for rental units of their choice in the private market. Program applicants choose from a variety of housing options, including apartments, duplexes, single-family homes, and townhomes. Vouchers can also be used to help families buy homes.

How does the Housing Choice Voucher Program work?

Program participants who are issued a housing voucher are responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of their choice from an owner agrees to rent under the program. The unit may include the participant's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the San Angelo Housing Authority.

A housing subsidy is paid to the property owner directly by the Housing Authority on behalf of the participant. The participant then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the property owner and the amount subsidized by the program. A participant's rent is usually about 30 percent of their monthly income.

What are the requirements to be in this program?

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 maximum household income based on the number of family members in the household. Only applicants who meet the following income limits are eligible.

HCV Income Limits
1 persons          $20,950 2 persons          $23,950
3 persons          $26,950 4 persons          $29,900
5 persons          $32,300 6 persons          $34,700
7 persons          $37,100 8 persons          $39,500

I have applied for the HCV Program. What do I do next?

It is recommended that you begin collecting birth certificates, social security cards, and Photo Id's of all family members in the household during your wait. You will receive a preliminary meeting letter by mail when your name has come up on the waiting list.

How long will my wait be?

The average wait is 8-12 months; however this could take longer depending on funding and voucher availability. You will be invited to a preliminary briefing in the order that you applied according to date/time.

What should I do if my address, family composition, and/or family income changes while I'm on the waiting list?

You must notify the Housing Authority in writing of any change in contact information (address or phone number) or family composition. If you do not notify the Housing Authority in writing of a change of address, and any correspondence sent to you is returned, or if you do not respond to a scheduled appointment or any request for additional information, you will be removed from the waiting list and will need to reapply.

I received the appointment letter /checklist for the preliminary meeting, what should I do next?

Keep the appointment letter and information checklist in a safe place so that you do not lose your appointment date and time. You will need to organize all documents requested so that you can bring them with you to your appointment. If you will need assistance with reading/writing, please contact the Housing Authority in advance to ensure that someone will be available to assist you.

What if someone in my family does not have a Social Security number/card?

It is required that Social Security cards are submitted for everyone in your household who has a Social Security number. If any family member does not have a Social Security number, they must submit a signed certification that they have no number. If you cannot find your card or you've never had a Social Security number, we will accept copies of documents that show your proof of eligible immigration status.

What if someone in my family does not have a photo I.D.?

It is required that photo I.D.'s are submitted for everyone in your household over the age of 18 years.

What if someone in my family does not have a birth certificate?

It is required that either birth certificates or passports be submitted for everyone in your household.

What will the preliminary meeting be like?

During the meeting, the Housing Authority will make copies of all requested documents. You will then be asked to complete a certification packet that the Housing Authority will use to verify your eligibility. You will meet your caseworker and she/he will review all of your paperwork to make sure that everything is complete. You will be asked to return any documents that you failed to provide at this meeting within 10 calendar days. This appointment may last up to 2-3 hours, so plan your schedule accordingly. Please do not bring children to this meeting.

What happens after I leave the preliminary briefing?

Your caseworker will review all of your paperwork to determine eligibility. A criminal background check is conducted to verify that no household members have been arrested for drug or violent crimes. Your income is evaluated to make sure that you are income eligible. Those who are over income, Registered sex offenders, anyone convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine, those who are on a 3-year ban, and those who owe any Housing Agency money, are not eligible. Once you have provided all requested documents, you will receive a determination letter by mail within 60 days of your preliminary meeting.

I received a denial letter, what do I do next?

If you are denied due to income, you will be removed from the waiting list as you are not eligible for the program. If you are denied due to criminal background or a 3-year ban, you may request a grievance hearing within 10 calendar days of the date on the letter. A grievance request form is provided with the denial letter. You must complete this request and have it submitted to our office by the specified deadline. Failure to request a grievance hearing will result in your application being removed from the waiting list. You would then have to reapply.

I received an appointment letter to attend the Certification Briefing, what do I do next?

Congratulations! By receiving this letter, you now know that you have been approved for the HCV Program. Keep the appointment letter in a safe place so that you do not lose your appointment date and time. This appointment can last up to 2-3 hours so plan your schedule accordingly.

What will the Certification Briefing be like?

The program will be explained to you in great detail and you will receive all necessary documents to begin searching for a unit. You will leave knowing how the program works, what unit size you are able to search for, and what price range you must stay within.

Policy References