A successful Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program depends on our agency being able to contract with property owners who can supply decent, safe and sanitary housing for participating families, elderly and persons with disabilities. There are a variety of reasons why landlords and property owners participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. One of the most common is the desire to help their communities. Participants include families, elderly and persons with disabilities of low to moderate income trying to keep pace with the rising cost of rental housing.
In the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, the PHA does not perform the property management functions; however it does many administrative tasks, such as accepting applications for assistance, maintaining a waiting list, determining applicant eligibility, rent to owner, inspections and recertifications. There is a three (3) way partnership among the PHA, the participant and the owner/landlord.
The following are some of the responsibilities of the PHA and of the Owner:
Owner responsibilities include the following:
- Screen families who apply for tenancy, to determine if they will be good renters.
- Comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payment Contract.
- Conduct normal landlord functions during the term of the lease.
- Comply with all applicable fair housing laws.
- Maintain the housing unit by making necessary repairs in a timely manner.
- Must adhere to provisions on modifications to a dwelling unit occupied or to be occupied by a person (s) with disabilities.
- May not lease property to a relative (parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother) of any member of the assisted family, unless approved by PHA for accessibility.
- Lease may not require more than sixty (60) days moving notice from tenant.
- Collect rent and otherwise comply with and enforce provisions of the dwelling lease.
- Security deposit cannot exceed the amount charged to unassisted tenants.
- Payment for owner-supplied utilities and services.
Most owners who participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program comply with the program rules and the terms of the HAP Contract. However, owners that violate the rules and/or contract may be banned from future participation.