[Skip to Content]

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.

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 update your application online with the correct information or you must notify the HASA in writing of any changes for your application. If you have attended a preliminary briefing or certification meeting, you must notify your assigned caseworker to make any changes. Failure to update this information online or to contact your caseworker that results in returned mail or failure to respond to a scheduled appointment or any request for additional information, will result in removal of your application from the waiting list. You would then need to reapply.

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

Congratulations! By receiving the letter for the certification briefing, 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 if someone in my family does not have a Social Security number/card?

It is required that a social security card be provided for all household members. If a family member does not have a social security number, they must sign a noncontending household member agreement. If you cannot find your card or you’ve never had a social security number, we will accept and review copies of documents that show your proof of eligible immigration status.

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

t is required for all adult household members to provide a current form of photo ID.

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

It is required that either a birth certificate or passport be submitted for all household members.

What should I expect with the preliminary meeting?

During the meeting, the HASA will make copies of all request documents. You will be asked to complete a certification packet that the HASA will use to review and verify your eligibility. You will meet your caseworker and she/he will review your paperwork for completion. You will be asked to return any documents that you did not provide within 10 calendar days of the meeting. Failure to provide the missing documents by that time will result in a follow-up letter with a 30-day deadline. Failure to provide the missing documents by the 30-day deadline will result in a final request with the 60-day deadline. The meeting may take up to 2-3 hours as it is typically a group meeting. The HASA asks that you do not bring children to the meeting if possible.

What happens after I leave the preliminary briefing?

Your assigned caseworker will review all of your paperwork to determine eligibility. Once you’ve provided all requested documents, your packet is complete and the caseworker is able to review all background and eligibility checks.

 A criminal background check is conducted to verify that no household members have been arrested for drug-related, violent, or sexual offenses. A local and national background check is reviewed for all adult household members. If there is an arrest record for a related offense listed above, the household will be on a 3-year ban from the date of the arrest. Furthermore, if there is an arrest for manufacture and delivery of methamphetamine or a controlled substance, this results in a 10-year ban from the date of the arrest. In addition, if a household member is required to register as a lifetime sex offender, this results in a lifetime ban from the program.

 Your household income is also evaluated for income eligibility. If the household income exceeds the applicable income limit, the household will be denied.

Finally, if the household received housing assistance previously and were terminated unfavorably and placed on 3-year ban, the ban would have to be lifted in order to receive assistance. If the household left owing the HASA, another housing authority, or a landlord whilst receiving housing assistance a debt, the debt must be settled in full before receiving assistance.

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

If you are denied due to income, criminal history, or are currently on a ban or owe a debt, you will receive a denial packet in the mail. With the denial packet, you are given 10 calendar days from the date of the packet to request an informal review. An informal review request is provided in the packet. You must complete this request and have it submitted to the HASA by the specified deadline. Failure to request the informal 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 should I expect with the certification meeting?

The HCV/Section 8 program will be explained to you in detail and you will receive all necessary documents to begin searching for a unit to include your Housing Choice Voucher, Rent Estimate Worksheet, Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) Packet, and a courtesy list of available units. You will also receive a folder of information for your review after the meeting.

Policy References