The following are commonly asked questions that
will help you understand the program:
We are absorbing any section 8 vouchers coming into our area.
What are housing choice vouchers?
The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's
major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly,
and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing
in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on
behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find
their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and
Housing choice vouchers are administered locally
by public housing agencies. (PHAs) The PHAs receive federal funds
from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
to administer the voucher program.
A family that is issued a housing voucher is
responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's
choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This
unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units
must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined
by the PHA.
A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly
by the NSBHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then
pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord
and the amount subsidized by the program.
Am I eligible?
Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the NSBHA based
on the total annual gross income, criminal background, family
size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of
non-citizens who have eligible immigration status.
During the application process, the NSBHA will
collect information on family income, assets, and family composition.
The NSBHA will verify this information with other local agencies,
your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine
If the NSBHA determines that your family is eligible,
the NSBHA will put your name on a waiting list by date and time
you applied. Once your name comes to the top of the waiting
list the New Smyrna Beach Housing Authority will contact you by mail. It
is very important that the applicant notify
the agency in writing if they change their mailing address.
How do I apply?
The housing authority has to be accepting applications
in order for you to apply. Since the demand for housing
assistance often exceeds the limited resources available to HUD
and the local housing agencies, long waiting periods are common.
Housing vouchers - how do they function?
The housing choice voucher program places the choice of housing
in the hands of the individual family. A very low-income family
is selected by the PHA to participate and is encouraged to consider
several housing choices to secure the best housing for the family
needs. A housing voucher holder is advised of the unit size for
which it is eligible based on family size and composition.
The housing unit selected by the family must
meet an acceptable level of health and safety before the NSBHA can
approve the unit. When the voucher holder finds a unit that it
wishes to occupy and reaches an agreement with the landlord over
the lease terms, the NSBHA inspector must inspect the dwelling
and determine that the rent requested is reasonable.
The NSBHA determines a payment standard that is
the amount generally needed to rent a moderately-priced dwelling
unit in the local housing market and that is used to calculate
the amount of housing assistance a family will receive. However
the payment standard does not limit and does not affect the amount
of rent a landlord may charge or the family may pay. A family
which receives a housing voucher can select a unit with a rent
that is below or above the payment standard. The housing 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 moves 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
The NSBHA calculates 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.
Can I move and continue to receive housing
choice voucher assistance?
A family's housing needs change over time with changes in family
size, job locations, and for other reasons. The housing choice
voucher program is designed to allow families to move without
the loss of housing assistance. Moves are permissible as long
as the family notifies the NSBHA ahead of time, terminates its existing
lease within the lease provisions, and finds acceptable alternate
Participants cannot destroy or leave
unit with damages and expect to move on to another unit
Under the voucher program, new voucher-holders
may choose a unit anywhere in the United States if the family
lived in the jurisdiction of the PHA issuing the voucher when
the family applied for assistance. Those new voucher-holders not
living in the jurisdiction of the PHA at the time the family applied
for housing assistance must initially lease a unit within that
jurisdiction for the first twelve months of assistance. A family
that wishes to move to another PHA's jurisdiction must consult
with the PHA that currently administers its housing assistance
to verify the procedures for moving.
- the tenant, the landlord, the housing agency and HUD
Once the New Smyrna Beach Housing Authority approves an
eligible family's housing unit, the family and the landlord sign
a lease and, at the same time, the landlord and the NSBHA sign a
housing assistance payments contract that runs for the same term
as the lease. This means that everyone -- tenant, landlord and
NSBHA -- has obligations and responsibilities under the voucher
Tenant's Obligations: When
a family selects a housing unit, and the PHA approves the unit
and lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at least
one year. The tenant may be required to pay a security deposit
to the landlord. After the first year the landlord may initiate
a new lease or allow the family to remain in the unit on a month-to-month
When the family is settled in a new
home, the family is expected to comply with the lease and the
program requirements, pay its share of rent on time, maintains
the unit in good condition and notify the NSBHA of any changes in
income or family composition.
Landlord's Obligations: The
role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent,
safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The
dwelling unit must pass the program's housing quality standards
and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives
housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected
to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed
with the tenant and the contract signed with the PHA.
Housing Authority's Obligations: The
PHA administers the voucher program locally. The PHA provides
a family with the housing assistance that enables the family to
seek out suitable housing and the PHA enters into a contract with
the landlord to provide housing assistance payments on behalf
of the family. If the landlord fails to meet the owner's obligations
under the lease, the PHA has the right to terminate assistance
payments. The PHA must reexamine the family's income and composition
at least annually and must inspect each unit at least annually
to ensure that it meets housing quality standards.
The Housing Authority,
landlords, and clients combine the whole to form the Section 8
department. One could not survive without the other. We all must
work together to maintain an understanding and partnership.
Information regarding Section 8 Rental
Listing Services for landlords and tenants can be found at www.floridahousingsearch.org or www.gosection8.com or call toll free (866) 466-7328.
Section 8 tenants can use the website to
view section 8 rentals throughout Central Florida.
Private landlords may also list their properties
by utilizing this website.