Housing Choice Voucher

(Section 8)

The BHA’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program allows low-income families to rent quality housing in the private market via federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Through the HCV Program, BHA pays a portion of eligible families’ rent each month directly to the landlord. Families can use their vouchers to rent a house or apartment in the private market throughout Monroe County. Because there are more families who need rental assistance than there are funds available, BHA uses a waiting list to administer the program to eligible families.

The following steps summarize the process to become a HCV family:

1

Apply and Interview

2

Attend a voucher briefing

3

Use your voucher

4

Await inspection results

5

Sign the lease

6

Move in, pay rent and utilities

7

Comply with HUD and BHA’s rules and regulations

How to Apply

Applications for the HCV Program (Section 8) can be submitted online when the waitlist is open. Check the status of the HCV application and waitlist by clicking here. We ask that you read the application process instructions before submitting an application. Applications with missing or falsified information may be denied.

How the Program Works

The BHA’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program allows low-income families to rent quality housing in the private market via federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Through the HCV Program, BHA pays a portion of eligible families’ rent each month directly to the landlord. Families can use their vouchers to rent a house or apartment in the private market throughout Monroe County. Because there are more families who need rental assistance than there are funds available, BHA uses a waiting list to administer the program to eligible families.  The following steps summarize the process to become a HCV family:

  1. Apply and interview
  2. Attend a voucher briefing
  3. Use your voucher
  4. Await inspection results
  5. Sign the lease
  6. Move in, pay rent and utilities
  7. Comply with HUD and BHA’s rules and regulations

Waiting Lists and Eligibility

When a family wishes to receive assistance, the family must submit an application when the waiting list is open. Generally, when a voucher becomes available, the next family at the top of the waiting list is contacted and screened for eligibility. The HCV waiting list is not first-come, first-served. The list is ordered and ranked by preference points which the family must verify. The BHA has established the preference point system to quickly serve within our jurisdiction the most vulnerable populations.

Preference Point System for HCV Program and Public Housing

Preference Point Value
Monroe County Resident 4 points
Resident of Surrounding County: Owen, Brown, Greene, Lawrence, Morgan 3 points
Head of Household and Spouse, or Sole Member, is Either Elderly or Disabled 2 points
Any Member of Household is Disabled 1 point
Current Victim of Domestic Violence 2 points
Current Member or Veteran of U.S. Military, or Surviving Spouse of a Veteran 1 point
Working 35 Hours or More Per Week 2 points
Working 20 to 34 Hours Per Week 1 Point

Applicant families must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet HUD’s definition of family
  • Meet income limits specified by HUD
  • Qualify on the basis of citizenship or the eligible immigrant status
  • Provide social security number information
  • Sign required consent forms
  • Pass screening process

In some cases, an applicant family may meet certain BHA’s preference (see HCV’s Administrative Plan) or HUD’s targeted funding criteria (VASH , FUP, Homeless).  In those cases, BHA might move those families to the top of the waiting list.

Portability

BHA is currently absorbing all port-ins. An eligible family that has been issued a housing choice voucher may use that voucher to lease a unit anywhere in the United States where there is a housing agency operating a HCV program. This feature of the program is referred to as portability. BHA’s HCV program allows for families with a voucher from another housing authority to transfer their voucher to Bloomington. This process is called “porting in” to BHA. The process of transferring a voucher from one city to another varies, depending on a number of factors.

Waitlist

Applicants can check their status on the HCV waitlist at any time by clicking here.

Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing

Through a partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the BHA provides Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans. The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines rental assistance with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. The VA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers (VAMCs) and community-based outreach clinics.

The BHA administers 80 HUD-VASH vouchers to eligible homeless veterans referred by our partnering VAMCs. The Bloomington Outpatient Clinic VA HUD/VASH social worker contact information is:

  • 1332 W Arch Haven Ave.
    Suite A
    Bloomington, IN 47403
    Larry Squires: (c) 317-752-9215
    Nathan Floyd: (c) 317-430-0645
    Office: 812-349-4406

Interested VASH participants may visit the Shalom Community Center at 620 S. Walnut St. Bloomington, IN 47401 on Wednesday mornings. A HUD-VASH Social Worker will be available to answer questions.

If you are a current HUD-VASH voucher holder and need assistance, please contact Lorrie Trowbridge phone at 812-339-3491 x 128 or by email at ltrowbridge@blha.net. You may also come by our office located at 1007 N. Summitt St. Bloomington, IN 47401.

If a landlord is interested in leasing their rental units to HUD-VASH Voucher participant, they may contact the agency’s HCV Supervisor to obtain additional information about special lease-up procedures.

Homeownership Program

Overview

The Homeownership Program is offered to eligible BHA HCV (Section 8) participants and allows participants to have their housing subsidy applied towards a monthly mortgage payment after a home is purchased. Residents who wish to join the program must meet certain eligibility requirements and when deemed eligible they are required to attend a homeownership orientation and education course order to prepare for homeownership. Participants select homes for purchase and secure their own mortgage financing through a lender.

Similarities between Renting with HCV and Homeownership

  • Participants contribute 30% of their monthly adjusted income towards either their monthly rent and utilities or a mortgage payment and utilities

  • The Payment Standard amount for mortgages based on family size. This is the same Payment Standard for renting an apartment/house.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a resident in “good standing” with no lease violations or outstanding rent payments
  • Must be a first-time homebuyer
  • Must have been working full time, consistently for one year and earning more than $15,000 per year.   (Full-time = 30 hours/week.) Excluding elderly and/or disabled.
  • Credit scores of 600 or above for mortgage applicants (may be higher based on lender requirements)
  • Participant must be enrolled in the Family Self Sufficiency Program

Eligible Homes

  • Must be located within Monroe County
  • Must be owner occupied
  • Must pass Housing Quality Standards (HQS)
  • A down-payment of 3% of the purchase price of the home is required and 1% of the down payment must come from the participant’s own funds (no gifts or grants are allowed for the participant’s portion).

Duration of Mortgage Subsidy

  • 15 years if the mortgage has a term for 20 years or longer
  • 10 years if the mortgage has a term of 15 years
  • 30 years if resident is elderly (62 years or older) or disabled at the time of purchase.

For more information about the Homeownership Program please contact:

Voucher Holders

Utility Allowance Process

Landlord Resources

Leasing with Housing Choice Voucher Program

If you wish to rent to an HCV family, and enjoy a number of benefits including lower vacancy rates, tenant stability and free property inspections you should inform BHA of the availability of your property. Ultimately, it is the HCV family’s decision whether or not to rent your property. Of course, as the landlord, you would screen the HCV family just as you would any other prospective tenant. The following steps summarize the process to become an HCV landlord:

  1. Attend Owner Briefing
  2. Market your property
  3. Complete and submit a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA)
  4. Pass Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection
  5. Complete suitability screening
  6. Execute lease and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract
  7. Comply HUD and BHA’s rules and regulations (enforce lease)

For more information see the Owner Guidebook.

 HCV Inspections

The housing unit selected by the family must meet an acceptable level of health and safety before the BHA 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 BHA must inspect the dwelling and determine that the rent requested is reasonable. BHA will inspect the subsidized unit annually to determine that it meets HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS). Click here for more information regarding HQS inspection standards.

Frequently Asked 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 here to 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.

Reporting Fraud

Anyone wanting to file a complaint or report fraud of the Public Housing program should fill out this form and return to the BHA.

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