I am eligible, and received a Housing Choice Voucher. What is next?
You have 60 days to find a home and complete the process for assistance now that you have a Housing Choice Voucher. The voucher has an expiration date on it. One thirty-day extension will be granted if you request it in writing before the expiration date. A second extension may be granted under certain circumstances if you have not found a unit for reasons beyond your control, or if you need a reasonable accommodation for a household member's disability.
Step 1: Get information
We will give you a copy of the voucher and a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) with a cover letter for prospective landlords. We will also give you a worksheet telling you how your rent was calculated, and the maximum contract rent you can afford.
Step 2: Find an available rental
You will need to look for housing that is currently available with a landlord that accepts vouchers. Some landlords post available housing in our area online at vha.gosection8.com. We also suggest that you use traditional housing search tools such as craigslist.com or the local newspaper.
The landlord will ask you for references and other information to see if you are a good potential tenant. If the landlord does not think you are a good fit for their rental, you will need to find another unit to apply for with another landlord before your time runs out.
Step 3: Return documents to your voucher specialist
When you find a home, you will fill out the Request for Tenancy Approval form with your prospective landlord. You will also need to have a copy of the lease that is not signed or dated yet. These completed documents need to be given to your voucher specialist.
Your voucher specialist will get in touch with the prospective landlord, and ask for any additional information they need.
Step 4: Inspection
If your voucher specialist approves the rental, the Housing Inspector will call and set up an appointment to inspect the unit.
If the rental passes Housing Quality Standards, the Inspector reports to the voucher specialist.
If the unit fails inspection, the landlord is notified of the Required Maintenance. The landlord can:
- Make repairs required to bring the unit up to standards or
- Not repair the unit and not participate in the program
If the landlord chooses not to participate, you still have the remainder of the 60 days to find another unit.
Assistance will not begin until the rental passes inspection.
Step 5: Sign your lease and other documents
The final documents are signed by you and the landlord, and your payments will begin.
Section 8 Residents
Now that you are in a home with Section 8 Program funding, there is additional information that you will need to know about inspections, changes in rent, and more.