What is the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
Section 8 is a free-choice approach to assisted housing. The family may choose any type dwelling unit as long as it meets certain requirements for rent limits, rent reasonableness and Housing Quality Standards (HQS). The landlord retains private property rights, including management, tenant selection and maintenance. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines the rules and regulations for the Section 8 Program.
Responsibilities of the Oklahoma City Housing Authority
- Verify and review family composition and income to determine eligibility;
- Explain the rules of the program to the family and owner/landlord;
- Issue a Voucher to the family;
- Perform HQS inspection to ensure unit meets minimum standards (initially, annually
- Sign contract with owner/landlord on behalf of the family when the selected unit
meets HQS requirements;
- Make housing assistance payments to the owner/landlord in a timely manner;
- Ensure owner/landlord and family continue to comply with program rules;
- Provide family and owner/landlord with prompt, courteous, accurate and
Responsibilities of the Family
- Provide OCHA with complete and accurate information;
- Comply with the Family Obligations listed on the Voucher;
- Cooperate in attending all appointments scheduled by OCHA;
- Locate a unit that is suitable for the family, meets HQS requirements, and meets
rent reasonable requirements (as determined by OCHA when compared to similar unassisted units in immediate vicinity)
- Keep the unit safe and sanitary;
- Comply with the terms of the lease with the owner/landlord;
- Notify OCHA of any changes in income or family composition within 30 days of
- Cooperate with the owner/landlord by informing him/her of any necessary repairs
- Notify OCHA of any known program violations.
Responsibilities of the Owner/Landlord
- Comply with fair housing laws and equal opportunity requirements;
- Comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payments Contract
- Ensure the unit continues to meet HQS requirements;
- Cooperate with the tenant by responding promptly to request for needed repairs;
- Notify OCHA of any program violations;
- Enforce the lease, collect the rent due, any security deposit and charges for
damages to unit by the family;
- Screen families for suitability as renters;
- Provisions on modification to a dwelling unit occupied or to be occupied by a
disabled person. (OCHA can help with referrals to agencies that make funds
available for modifications to units for disabled persons.)
- Notify OCHA in writing of any address or telephone number change; and
- Notify OCHA in writing of changes in ownership (selling property) or agents.
You as the owner/landlord, determine whether to require a Security Deposit and the amount of the deposit. If you do collect a deposit, the amount collected may not be in excess of private market practice, or in excess of amounts charged by you to unassisted tenants.
How to Become a Participating Landlord
When a family has been determined eligible for assistance, they will receive a Voucher (Form HUD-52646). Then they begin their search for a suitable unit. You may post your vacant unit with OCHA by submitting in writing your name, bedroom size, address and accessibility for disabled persons to:
|Oklahoma City Housing Authority
1800 N.E. 4th St.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73117-3808
by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We also recommend you post your vacancy in the local papers and advertise "Section 8 accepted". OCHA will not steer families to specific owners or rental units, but we do furnish families with a listing of owners with available units.
Step 1 – A family contacts you with a Voucher for Section 8 Rental Assistance in hand. Ask to see the Voucher and check the expiration date, (found in upper right hand corner). If the date is current the applicant is eligible for assistance.
Step 2 - Owner/landlord screens the family for suitability as a renter. The OCHA only verifies family income and composition. The OCHA knows that the owner has approved a family for tenancy when we receive the Request for Tenancy Approval (Form HUD-52517) and the lease. The owner/landlord must submit your own lease to OCHA, HUD requires certain language in any lease signed by a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program participant. Therefore, OCHA must approve the lease.
The following items HUD requires in a lease:
- The lease must comply with state and local laws;
- The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract (Form HUD-52641) begins on the
first day of the term of the lease and ends on the last day of the term of the lease;
- The initial term of the lease must be for at least one year; and
- The lease must specify what utilities and appliances are to be supplied by the owner/landlord and what utilities and appliances are to be supplied by the family.
Step 3 - After owner/landlord approves the family, the family and landlord fill out the Request for Tenancy Approval (Form HUD-52517) the family should have in hand. It must be completed in it's entirety and signed. The Request for Tenancy Approval and the lease (if applicable) must be returned to OCHA immediately. We will review the signed Request for Tenancy Approval and determine if the rent is affordable based on the family's income and if the rent is reasonable when compared to units in the private market (Rent Reasonableness). In some instances a landlord may be asked to provide documents showing the rent is comparable to other unassisted units.
HUD publishes a Fair Market Rent (FMR) yearly.
Log on to HUD http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips for HUD regulations and forms
The family portion of rent is calculated as…
- The greater of 30% of monthly adjusted income, or
- 10% of monthly unadjusted gross income, or
- a minimum rent of $50.00, whichever is greater
minus any applicable utility allowance plus any amount that Gross Rent exceeds the applicable payment standard.
The family portion of rent plus any applicable utility allowance equals the Total Tenant Payment. The family cannot rent a unit if their Total Tenant Payment exceeds 40% of their monthly-adjusted income if rent is above payment standard. If the unit is not determined affordable or the unit does not meet Rent Reasonableness requirements you and the family will be notified in writing.
Step 4 - Once Step 3 has been completed and the unit is determined affordable and meets Rent Reasonableness requirements, owner/landlord and tenant will receive a telephone call notifying of the inspection date and time. The landlord and the tenant must be present at the time of inspection.
During an inspection, the inspector cannot accept the packet if:
- A change in income or family size has occurred since voucher was issued;
- The voucher has expired and the family has not requested and been granted an
- There is incorrect information such as lease dates and/or rent amounts;
- The Inspector determines the rent is unreasonable. (The Inspector has the
authority to determine at the time of inspection the rent requested is unreasonable
based on unit condition and size.)
If the unit does not meet HQS requirements, owner/landlord will receive a list of repairs and a certain amount of time to make the repairs before re-inspection.
If the unit passes inspection, the family may move in to the unit. OCHA will enter into a HAP Contract with the owner/landlord, and the family will enter into a lease with the owner/landlord. After the contract and lease have been executed, OCHA will begin payments to the owner/landlord for OCHA's portion of the rent effective the date the unit passes inspection. OCHA will prorate the first month's contract rent payment and make all other payments in a timely manner.
LEAD BASE PAINT
The Oklahoma City Housing Authority is required to be in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regulations on Notification, Evaluation and Reduction of Lead-Based Paint that became effective September 15, 2000.
The Regulations require a visual assessment must be performed for deteriorated paint in dwelling units built before 1978 and occupied by families with children less than 6 years of age.
Our Housing Inspectors will conduct visual assessments (when required) on your property including common areas, on-site play areas and equipment to determine if deteriorated paint exists during initial, annual and other inspections.
If deteriorated paint above the de minimus levels is found, certain requirements must be followed. Deteriorated paint must be stabilized in accordance with EPA and HUD regulations.
Deteriorated paint means any interior or exterior paint or other coating that is peeling, chipping, chalking or crackling; or any paint or exterior surface or fixture that is otherwise damaged or separated from the substrate.
De minimus levels are:
- 20 square feet on exterior surfaces
- 2 square feet on any one interior room
- 10 percent of the total surface area on an interior or exterior type of component with a small area. (Examples: window sills, baseboards and trim.)
Stabilization means repairing any physical defect in the substrate of a painted surface that is causing deterioration of the surface before treating the surface. Examples of defective substrateinclude dry rot, rust, moisture-related defects, crumbling plaster and missing siding or other components that are not securely fastened.
Before applying new paint, all loose paint or other loose material must be removed from the surface to be treated.
Acceptable methods for preparing the surface to be treated include wet scraping, wet sanding and power sanding performed in conjunction with a HEPA filter. Dry sanding or scraping is only permitted for electrical safety reasons.
Paint Stabilization includes the application of a new protective coating or paint. All protective coatings and paint must be applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. If the deteriorated paint area exceeds the de minimus levels set by HUD, safe work practices must be followed and a clearance examination must be performed.
Safe work practices include protecting the family from contamination during stabilization, preparation of work site, specialized cleaning activities and notifying the family that stabilization activities will be undertaken and the results of the clearance examination.
Clearance examinations are conducted to determine that stabilization activities are complete. The clearance process includes a visual assessment and collection and analysis of environmental samples. Clearance must be performed by a person certified by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality on Lead-Based Paint Inspections or Risk Assessments.
If a clearance examination is required, a copy must be provided to OCHA at the time of re-inspection. If your property has been inspected by a Certified Lead-Base Paint Inspector and found to be lead-free you may provide a copy of the inspection report to OCHA and the above requirements will not apply.
You are encouraged to obtain copies of the regulation by contacting:
Environmental Protection Agency www.epa.gov/opptintr/lead/index.html
Department of Housing and Urban Development www.hud.gov
National Lead Information Center www.nsc.org or 1-800-424-LEAD
- Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (405) 702-4100
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY CHECK?
Monthly HAP checks are paid once per month. Checks are mailed within the first five (5) calendar days of the month. HAP payments will continue as long as the family continues to meet eligibility requirements and the unit continues to meet HQS requirements. The family is responsible to pay the difference between OCHA's payment amount and the total contract rent. The family portion of rent is paid directly to the owner. Owner may not charge the family in excess of the family's portion of rent.
Need more information?
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