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Public Housing / Low Rent Program

Q:  What is the Public Housing program?

A:  Here is what HUD’s website has to say:  Public Housing Program   An easy to understand explanation is when a housing authority owns units and the housing authority enters into a lease with the participant.  There is no voucher issued to participants of the Public/Low-Rent program.

 

Housing Choice Voucher Program

Q:  What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

A:   Here is what HUD’s website has to say:   HUD Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet  An easy to understand explanation is a participant enters the program through a waiting list offered at a housing authority, is issued a voucher, selects a property of their choice, and then complies with all applicable regulations.  The voucher program is an income based program.

 

Q:  How long can I participate in the program?

A:  Currently there is not a time limit.  However, the participant must remain in compliance with all Federal Regulations and Housing Authority Policies and Procedures governing the program.  A tenant can be terminated from the program for not adhering to these governing practices.

 

Q:  Do you offer emergency housing?

A:  Plano Housing Authority does not provide any form of emergency housing.  Please click the External Resources tab at the top of this page to see a list of agencies that may be able to meet these needs.

 

Q:  How does a person apply to receive a voucher?

A:   If you are interested in applying for a voucher, contact the local PHA.   For further assistance, please contact the HUD Office nearest to you.   You can see the details of the Plano Housing Authority’s waiting list status by clicking the Waiting Lists link on our website.  Many housing authorities are not able to open their waiting lists due to budget restrictions imposed by the Federal Government.  If you do learn of an open waiting list you should apply as soon as possible.  You should also apply with as many housing authorities as possible.  Each housing authority manages their own waiting list in accordance with Federal Regulations as well as their own Administrative Plan.  Some housing authorities have residency restrictions and local preferences which can determine your potential eligibility.  Some housing authorities will require you to complete a paper application; others may offer the ability to apply online.  Once you have applied there is no way to estimate how long the wait could be.  Be sure to keep your contact information up to date at all times.

 

Q:  I have received my voucher…what now?

A:  You should start searching for your new home.  Use www.GoSection8.com, the local newspaper or contact a local real estate agent for a list of available rental properties.   You choose your own property.  Just be sure that the new property owner is going to participate in the Voucher program.  Property owners do not have to participate in the program – it is their choice.

Plano Housing Authority has a 25 mile radius jurisdiction from our Administrative Building located at 1740 Ave G, Plano TX  75074.  Click the map below for a larger version.

Operating Area of 25 mile radius

The property you select must be within the operating area.  If your property is outside of the operating area you will be ported to the housing authority that operates in that area.

Present the RFTA (Request for Tenancy Addendum) packet of information you were provided in the briefing to the property owner.  The owner will complete their part of the packet.  The packet needs to be filled out completely.  Once the packet is completed bring it to the office along with a Sample Lease.  A Sample Lease is an unsigned copy of the lease to be executed between you and the property owner.  We recommend that you do not mail the packet as it could be lost in the mail.  We do not accept faxed copies of the packet.  We must have the original in our office.  When you bring the packet to the office we will review the packet and verify that the proposed rent requested is affordable according to the HUD requirements of the Voucher program.  As long as the unit is affordable we will let you know right then.  If the unit is not affordable we will also let you know.  The next step is inspecting the unit.

 

Q:  What is the SAFMR (Small Area Fair Market Rent) and how does it affect me?

A:  HUD SAFMR  This link gives a description of what this HUD program accomplishes.  Basically, all Housing Authorities in the Dallas TX Metropolitan area are also included in this list.  The average housing authority has a single payment standard for each voucher size.  Housing Authorities participating in this project have a payment standard for each zip code.  Since you have to choose your property first, the housing authority cannot tell you how much your voucher will subsidize up front.  Click the Allowances & Payment Standards link for a chart showing all of the payment standards.

 

Q:  What about the initial inspection?

A:  The RFTA packet has a specific form that asks when the unit will be ready to be inspected.  This is NOT the date we will be inspecting the unit.  This is the date the unit is ready to be inspected.  We will inspect the unit on or after this date.  All housing authorities use the same Federal inspection form:  HUD 52580 Inspection Form.  We will contact the property owner to schedule an inspection for this unit.  The utilities must be on (in the property owner’s name) and the unit should be ready when the inspector arrives.  Do not…we repeat…do not sign a lease with the property owner until the unit has passed the inspection.  If you sign a lease prior to the unit passing inspection we will not pay any portion of rental assistance until the day the unit passes inspection.  If the unit never passes inspection we will not pay any form of rental assistance at all and you will be responsible for 100% of the rent.  Once the inspection has passed, the landlord and tenant are eligible to execute a lease.  The executed lease should be submitted to the Housing Authority to enable the process to generate a HAP Contract.  The date of the executed lease should be on or after the date of the unit passing inspection.

 

Q:  Are there any other inspections?

A:  Landlords and tenants receive a Notice of Inspection scheduled for the annual inspection of each unit under Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract. All units must be inspected annually even if a tenant is scheduled to move. The Head of Household, co-Head/Spouse, or another adult 18 or over or the Property owner/Management Company agent must be present. The inspector will return calls or emails if you need to confirm the date and time. The inspector does not have the authority to approve reschedules. All inspections scheduled are mandatory.  If the inspector is not able to enter the unit, the inspection will be classified as a No-Show.  A No-Show inspection is defined as a Failed inspection with all of the items marked as deficient.  If a unit fails two consecutive inspections for any failed item the unit will be abated.  This means no further payments will be made.

 

Q:  Are there common reasons why a unit would fail an inspection?

A:  This list shows the most common reasons

Windows

• Severe deterioration or windows allowing drafts and weather inside the unit.

• Broken and missing windowpanes or boarded up windows.

• No window in the living room.

• The bedroom doesn’t have at least one window that opens.

• Bathroom does not have either a working vent fan or a window that opens.

• No locks on 1st floor windows or other windows accessible from the ground.

Doors

• Lack of weather-stripping.

• Inoperable locks or locks installed that require a key to open from the inside, including

security doors.

• Doors that do not close properly preventing the lock from working.

Walls and Ceilings

• Bulging plaster or wallboard, damp plaster from leaks or holes.

Paint (units built before 1978 and occupied by child under age 6)

• Peeling, chipping, flaking, chalking paint on any painted surface in unit, common areas or

exterior.

• Rotting or deteriorated substrate under painted surface.

Electricity

• Outlets and overhead/wall mounted fixtures that do not work or were improperly installed.

• Missing covers on outlets and switches. Exposed, cracked, frayed wiring or wiring not

properly secured.

• Electrical boxes missing knockouts or open spaces in boxes without breakers or blanks.

• Utilities are not turned on.

Safety

• Unit lacks an operable smoke detector in one or more sleeping room or other required

spaces, such as common areas.

• Presence of gas leaks or fumes.

No-Show:  If the inspector is not able to enter the unit, the inspection will be classified as a No-Show.  A No-Show inspection is defined as a Failed inspection with all of the items marked as deficient.

If a unit fails two consecutive inspections for any failed item the unit will be abated.  This means no further payments will be made.

 

Q:  I am a property owner/management company.  Who do I call if I did not receive my HAP payment?

A:  If you have not received your HAP payment by the 3rd business day from the ACH transmission (Direct Deposit), please e-mail (dyoung@planoha.org.), Fax (972-516-0251), or call extension 200.

 

Q:  I am a property owner/management company.  I just spoke with my tenants’ counselor and was informed that my HAP payment was held due to missing/ omitted information or failed inspection; I have since forwarded those documents or corrected the problem and/or had had the unit re-inspected; how soon can I expect payment?

A:  Payments are processed the 2nd business day of each month, the 15th day of the month or the business day before if the 15th falls on a non-business day, and again on the last business day of the month.  Once you have resolved the matter which prevented your HAP payment from being disbursed you may want to follow-up with the counselor at least three (3) business days before the next check-run to make sure that a check request has been submitted and approved in time to be included in the following payment cycle. If the request has not been submitted in time to be processed with the next payment cycle it will not be paid until it has been approved.

 

Q: What do I need to submit if I am a landlord whose property will be managed by an agent? Or I am the landlord and I want to change my management company, what should I do to update my information?

A:  If you are acting as a representative of a landlord, you need to submit:

• A copy of the management agreement ( The agreement must include information on who is authorized to sign leases, who is authorized to accept rent payments, and the name of the party rent checks will be made payable to, etc.);
• W-9 (TIN or SSN provided must match the name that will be shown on your income tax return);
• Owner Information Form (lists contact information of owner/agent and remittance address of HAP payments); and
• Direct Deposit Authorization (are mandatory for all HCV/Section 8 payments) along with a voided check/deposit slip.

All of the documents needed to update this information can be obtained from the Forms link at the top of this web page.

If you want to change your management company/agent the same steps apply; but you must also submit a written notice describing what changes will be made including whether or not the payments should be held until the bank account information needs to be changed (in the case of your payments being posted into the agents/ management company account).

 

Q:  I am a property owner and I want to request a Rental Increase.

A:  All requests must be submitted on the Plano Housing form which is available on the Forms link of the website.  Requests for a rent increase must be submitted a minimum of 60 days prior to the tenant’s annual recertification date which is USUALLY the lease expiration date but may not be. The completed form should be submitted to dyoung@planoha.org or faxed to our office.

 

Q:  I am a property owner and my tenant did not pay their portion of the monthly rent.

A:  A voucher participant is no different from any other tenant that has signed a lease.  Your current lease should have provisions clearly identified which identify the circumstances for late fees and grounds for eviction.  Follow your lease and let the housing authority know as well.  Should you have to file for eviction let the housing authority know right away.  Once the eviction is granted send a copy to the housing authority.  The housing authority is not responsible for the tenant’s portion of rent or for damages caused by the tenant.  The HAP contract that the property owner and housing authority sign governs this scenario.