Browse Frequently Asked Questions in the sections below.
How can I receive immediate housing?
The Bloomington Housing Authority does not provide immediate emergency housing. Call the Indiana 2-1-1 hotline or view the City’s Resource Directory to learn about emergency shelter options in the greater Bloomington community.
How can residents access services that help families?
Residents can learn more about services and programs available by visiting the Resident Services webpage or by contacting the Step Up program coordinator, Tara Todd, at 812-339-3491 x 115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In general, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the lease.
If, at reexamination your family’s income is sufficient to obtain housing on the private market, the BHA may determine whether your family should stay in public housing. You will not be required to move unless there is affordable housing available for you on the private market.
How do I request repairs?
You may request a work order at any time by calling 339-3491 Ex. 121.
What is an emergency work order?
Examples of emergency work orders are: Broken pipes, refrigerator not working, furnace not working in the winter, or any health or safety situations.
When will my repairs be done?
Emergency work orders will be completed within 24 hours; Regular work orders will be completed in the order that they were received.
Will I be charged for repairs?
Tenant will only be charged if damages are due to resident neglect or abuse.
What do I do about my trash?
BHA provides dumpsters close to all housing units at no additional charge. However, any garbage or debris found in your yard or on your porch / patio must be removed by the tenant, or the BHA will remove the items and the tenant will be charged a fee. See Maintenance Policy under forms for more information.
Can I open my windows or doors?
Yes, but certain rules apply. If the furnace or air conditioner is on all windows and doors must be closed.
Can I have a pet?
See the Pet Policy. For additional questions, contact the Public Housing Property Manager at 339-3791 ext. 112.
Do I pay utilities if I live in one of the BHA properties?
Most utilities are included in the rent paid if you reside in one of the BHA properties. You will be required to pay a small monthly fee if you have a washer and dryer, deep freeze, or dishwasher, or use air conditioning in the summer.
What is a reasonable accommodation?
A change in a landlord’s rules, policies, practices, or services that is needed to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy an apartment. If you need a reasonable accommodation please contact your Property Manager.
Can I have a garden?
See the Yard Policy. For additional questions, contact the Public Housing Property Manager at 339-3791 ext. 112.11
Can I add someone to my lease?
Yes. You must complete an addition to lease form as well as a change form. You may obtain copies at the Housing Authority or contact your Property Manager. If the person you are adding to your lease is over 18, you must make an appointment. You will need to provide copies of the person’s social security card and birth certificate. Once the appropriate forms are received, the housing authority will conduct criminal background check and landlord screenings. As a reminder it is a violation of your lease to allow someone who is not on your lease to live with you.
May I have visitors?
Yes. You may have visitors as long as those visitors do not stay more than 14 days. You may get permission from the property manager to extend that time, put only under special circumstances. Your lease has further information regarding this issue. If you need further information about visitors please contact the Property Manager.
Why am I being charged for cleaning my yard?
To maintain the complex in a decent and enjoyable environment the grounds are picked up on a daily basis. If you have violated the yard policy and unapproved items are in your yard /porch you will be accessed a fee for the clean-up of those items. It is necessary to charge residents who violate this policy in order to maintain our complex in an enjoyable environment.
What if I cannot pay my rent?
Rent payments are due by the 5th of every month. If you are not able to pay your rent you may contact community agencies that may be able to assist you. However, if your rent is not kept current, the Housing Authority is required to collect your rent and if it is not paid an eviction may be filed. If you have questions about your rent payments please contact your Property Manager.
Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Questions
Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8)
How can I find out my placement on the waiting list?
Please click here to be directed to the online waiting list check.
Is the Waiting List Open?
For current information on all HCV waiting lists, please navigate to the Waiting List by clicking here.
What is the process for reporting changes in family income and/or family composition?
All changes to household income or composition must be reported in writing to BHA within 10 days of the occurrence. Please click here to access the Interim Change Reporting Form.3
How can I ensure my dwelling unit passes inspection?
Click hereto be directed to the HQS Inspection Guidelines.
I would like to move. What do I need to do?
You will first need to schedule an appointment with your HCV Case Manager to be certified to move. A staff directory with contact information can be found here. Your case manager will assist you with providing your current landlord the required notice to vacate. Please note you may be ineligible to move with continued assistance if you are within your initial 12 month lease term, if you owe money to the BHA, or if BHA has filed for termination of your assistance.
Can I use my voucher assistance in a different city? How about a different state?
Yes, your voucher assistance is portable and can be used anywhere within the United States served by a Public Housing Authority. For more information regarding the portability process, please navigate to the Portability section by clicking here.
I have received a notice of termination of my assistance. What can I do?
You will need to request an appeal in writing within 10 days from the date of your termination notice. The written appeal request must be submitted to BHA within the 10-day window. Once BHA has received your written request for an appeal, a hearing will be scheduled.
Family Self-Sufficiency Program Questions
Family Self-Sufficiency Program
What is the purpose of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program?
The purpose of this program is to connect our clients with public and private employment, social and economic resources to affect positive changes in their lives, leading to independence from all forms of public assistance. FSS is ultimately an employment focused program.
Who can participate?
To participate in the FSS Program, the head of the household must be a tenant of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, be 18 years of age or older, be committed to entering a job training and/or educational program, be currently in “good standing” with the BHA and be willing to enter into a FSS Contract of Participation. Other members of the household may participate and receive social services as well.
What can FSS do for me?
FSS can help families become self-sufficient by helping you to create an Individual Training and Services Plan (ITSP) that will encourage progress towards your educational and career goals. The BHA’s FSS Coordinators will work with each family to identify the barriers they may have encountered in becoming self-sufficient and determine possible solutions.
Are there any benefits and incentives of being a participant in the FSS program?
Yes! If the family’s earned income increases, the BHA compares the family rent to the baseline rent when a Contract of Participation (COP) is signed, and in most cases the difference is escrowed. Upon the successful completion of the FSS program, the family will be given a check for the amount in their escrow account which they can spend towards whatever they choose. Many families have spent their escrow funds towards paying off credit card debt, school loans, purchase of a car or down payment for a home.
What are my responsibilities as an FSS participant?
When you first decide to participate in the program, you will have an appointment with a FSS program coordinator. In that appointment, you will be helped in identifying your needs, goals and identifying obstacles. Your coordinator will network with other agencies to help you overcome those obstacles and to achieve your goals. You will also be signing an Individual Training and Services Plan (ITSP) and be expected to seek and maintain employment.
What is an Individual Training and Services Plan (ITSP)?
An ITSP is a specific plan designed to assist you with identifying your strengths, goals, challenges, needs and abilities. Once identified, together we have a realistic idea of what it is going to take and possibly how long it will take to accomplish the goals to ensure your long and short-term success. The following criteria are necessary to create an ITSP:
An ITSP is essential and must coincide with your Contract of Participation (COP).
Other adult family members can choose to have an ITSP. Available resources and services will be noted.
Your ITSP it will have short and long term goals. O
One final goal is always obtaining and maintaining suitable employment. Another final goal is to be free from all TANF (welfare) 12 months before your COP expires (typically a COP is for five years).
What is a Contract of Participation (COP)?
The Contract of Participation is a signed agreement between the BHA and the participant acknowledging the client’s desire and willingness to work with the FSS coordinator to achieve self-sufficiency over a 5 year period of time.
What is considered earned income?
Earned income includes income from wages and salaries, overtime pay, commission, tips, bonuses, military pay, self-employment and other compensations for personal services. Only adult household member (over 18 years of age) income counts towards earned income.
What is an escrow account?
An escrow account is a special savings account created specifically and only for FSS participants as an incentive reward for attaining self-sufficiency. As a Section 8 recipient and FSS participant, you are eligible to escrow a percentage of any increase in your earned income since your Contract of Participation date. If the families earned income increases, the BHA compares the family rent to the baseline rent, and in most cases, is escrowed.
What happens if I lose my job?
Your escrow stops until you find another job and earn income. It will remain “frozen” until then.
Does everyone in FSS get a savings account?
No. If there is no increase in earned income, then there will be no savings account.
How do I get this money and when?
Upon graduation from the FSS program, you will have a check issued to you in the amount you have escrowed since you began your contract plus interest.
What happens to the escrow if I quit FSS or don’t complete the contract?
Remember, this isn’t your money until you complete the program. If you quit or don’t complete the program, the money is forfeited and lost to you and your family.
Can the escrow help me pay a debt that I have?
Yes, upon graduation, the escrow can be used for anything you like, including paying debts, buying a home or car and paying school loans. If you owe money to the housing authority however, we will automatically deduct the amount owed from your escrow before giving it to you.
What is meant by seeking and maintaining employment?
It simply means that the head of the Section 8 household is obligated to find and continue to be gainfully employed. If employment is not met, then it is up to the head of the household to prove that they have made consistent attempts at employment. We do this through written and verbal notice. Employment is based upon each individual’s applicable circumstances and is defined by those circumstances. It is acceptable to work part-time and go to school part-time, or even go to school full-time. Participants must obtain employment before their contract expires.