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What is the Section 8 – HCV Program?

  • The Section 8 program allows private landlords to rent apartments and homes at fair market rates to qualified low income tenants, with a rental subsidy administered by HHA.
  • “Section 8” is a common name for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • Qualified Low-income residents apply through HHA for a rent assistance voucher.
  • Qualified tenants can choose rental property in Madison County that accepts Section 8 rent assistance vouchers, meets HHA’s housing quality standards,  and has a reasonable rent on par with comparable units in the area.
  • Prospective Tenants negotiate a lease directly with the landlord. The housing choice 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 family is required to pay the additional amount. By law, whenever a family moved 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.
  • The rent subsidy is calculated to determine the maximum amount of housing assistance allowable. The maximum housing assistance is generally the lesser of the payment standard minus 30 % of the family’s monthly adjusted income or the gross rent for the unit minus 30% of monthly adjusted income.
  • Landlords can still use their own lease agreement just as they would any other applicant.

HCV rental responsibilities:

Each party involved in a HCV rental has responsibilities towards the other partners of the agreement.

Landlord Responsibilities

The owner is responsible for: performing all of the owner’s obligations under the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract and the lease. The owner is responsible for: Performing all management and rental functions for the assisted unit, including adequate screening techniques to determine if the family is suitable for tenancy. Maintaining the unit in accordance with Housing Quality Standards, including performance of ordinary and extraordinary maintenance. Complying with equal opportunity requirements. Preparing and furnishing to the Huntsville Housing Authority information required under the Housing Assistance Payments Contract. Collecting from the family any security deposit and tenant contribution of the rent. Any charges for unit damage by the family. Enforcing tenant obligations under the lease. Paying for any utilities not paid directly by the family. Making reasonable accommodations for unit reconfigurations to assist the disabled.

Tenant Responsibilities

The Tenant is responsible for: Supply information determined necessary by HHA or HUD to administer the program, including completion of scheduled income reviews. Pay utilities that are not supplied by the landlord. Provide and maintain the appliances for which they are responsible. Correct damages inflicted to unit by family member or guest, in specified time period. May not commit serious or repeated violation(s) of the lease. Notify HHA and the owner 45 days in advance, prior to moving or terminating the lease.

HHA’s Responsibilities

HHA is responsible for: Pay landlord no later than the third business day of each month. Regularly evaluate family eligibility. Inspect units at least once a year. Investigate potential fraud or program abuse by tenants or landlords. Provide quality customer service to HCV landlords and tenants. Notify landlord of any change in subsidy amount.

Still have questions? try the landlord FAQ