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Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV)

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The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV - Section 8) is a rent subsidy program designed to assist very low-income families in paying rent for private housing of their choice. The Housing Authority is currently providing assistance to more than 2,500 families through this program. Applicants are limited to very-low income families, elderly, handicapped or disabled persons and families physically displaced by public housing demolition. To participate the program, the family must meet all of the eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Qualify as an individual - 18 or older - or family
  • Eligibility is based on you income and family size
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or have eligible immigration status 
  • Income from assets included with other income does not exceed the income limits
  • No indebtedness to Durham Housing Authority
  • Has not committed fraud, misrepresentation or falsification of information
  • Has not violated any family obligation
  • Has not breached repayment agreement
  • Criminal background is checked by the housing authority, but is not automatically disqualifying
  • No history of violent criminal activity
  • Family composition conforms to occupancy standards

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, the family's authorization to search for housing, is issued after the family has been determined eligible and oriented on the Section 8 Program requirements. This applies to new families and families requesting to move to another apartment or house.

How Do I Apply?

  • Waiting lists open periodically.
  • Complete application online.
  • You will be notified of whether or not you have been placed on the waiting list.
  • Your wait time (an average of 24 months) depends upon voucher availability and your compliance with the eligibility process. 
  • While on the waiting list, keep DHA informed of changes to your address, income, and family status.  

Selection From The Waiting List

  • When your name is selected form the waiting list, DHA will contact you and invite you to a mandatory orientation session.
  • At orientation, the program staff will explain the program more fully.
  • At this stage, your full application is completed, your income and household composition are verified and your eligibility is determined.

A Voucher Is Issued

  • When your eligibility is determined, your voucher will be issued based on bedroom size that fits your family.
  • You will have 90 days to locate an apartment or house that meets your needs for location and cost.
  • When you find a unit, you and the landlord complete a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) showing what you've agreed to.
  • With the RFTA, the Housing Authority will determine if the rent amount is considered "reasonable" and affordable; then schedule a Housing Quality Standard (HQS) inspection of the unit. 
  • Once approved, you move in date is set, you sign your lease agreement with the landlord. 

When a Housing Choice Voucher becomes available, a family receives a package of information that includes the necessary forms to be completed on the rental apartment or house selected. The dwelling must be within the Fair Market Rent / Payment Standard and must be inspected by an HQS Inspector to assure that it complies with HUD's Housing Quality Standards. If it is approved, the applicant/participant executes a lease with the owner; the owner executes a Housing Assistance Payment Contract with the Housing Authority, and the applicant/participant moves into the apartment or house.

Identification Verification Policy
Durham Housing Authority is required by Federal Law to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each individual who does business with us. When you visit us, we will ask your name, address and other information that will allow us to identify you. This will likely include asking you for a photo identification, social security number and date of birth. DHA will collect this information to verify the identity of each family member receiving assistance.

Advertising and locating property have never been easier!
The Housing Authority has partnered with www.GoSection8.com, which provides an enhanced program to list rental properties online. Listings are available for search by potential Housing Choice Voucher tenants seeking apartment units, duplexes, single-family homes or townhomes in the private market. If you have any questions regarding registering, creating or viewing property listings, please contact the GoSection8 toll free help line at 1.866.466.7328.

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