How the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Selection Process Works
Click here for the Waiting List Application.
Placed on the waiting list:
A waiting list must be maintained because the number of applications exceeds the number of vouchers available. To place your name on the waiting list, fill out and submit an online pre-application. ( Click here to apply).
Final application/screening process:
When the applicant’s name comes up on the waiting list, the family will be notified to schedule an application interview to begin the process of completing the final application. The information provided to SAHA by the applicant will then be verified for accuracy and eligibility.
Once the screening process is completed, SAHA will present the family with a voucher, and the family can begin their search for a unit of appropriate size, determined during the eligibility process. Once the family has located a unit of their choice, they must submit all required documents for review and approval. SAHA then determines if the owner’s proposed rent is reasonable and verifies that the family’s portion of the rent does not exceed 40% of their monthly income.
The unit will then be scheduled for a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. Upon completion and approval of these items, the family can move into their new home the date the unit passes inspection.
How the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Office of Inspections Works:
In order to provide for decent, safe and sanitary conditions in all subsidized homes, SAHA conducts annual inspections on 100% of all housing units. In addition to housing quality standards inspections, random quality control inspections are conducted on at least 10% of our entire housing stock to ensure program compliance and to confirm that repairs are consistent within current industry standards. For more information, call (210) 477-6148 or 477-6149, Fax: 477-6147.
How long a wait for Section 8 Housing?
Due to limited funding and voucher availability, applicants should expect to remain on the waiting list for approximately four to seven years.
The Annual Recertification process:
Families on the Housing Choice Voucher Program must meet continued eligibility for housing under HUD/SAHA guidelines to include appropriate unit size, and monthly rent based on family income, and household composition.
SAHA utilizes the Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) system to validate income information reported by participants in both the public housing and Section 8 programs. The EIV system electronically utilizes independent sources, such as those maintained by the Social Security Administration, State Wage Information Collection Agencies, and private vendors, to confirm income figures provided at application and re-certification. Knowingly underreporting income may result in the assessment of back charges, termination of assistance, and/or prosecution through the District Attorney’s office.
Changes of Income and/or Family Composition - All changes in family income must be reported to SAHA within 10 business days of the occurrence. The family must inform SAHA of the birth, adoption or court-awarded custody of a child within 15 days. The family must request SAHA approval to add any other family member as an occupant of the unit. Failure to report changes can result in retroactive rent increases or lease terminations.
Requests for Transfer- All requests for emergency, unit size, and/or reasonable accommodation transfers should be directed to the SAHA office for verification or documentation to ensure compliance with regulations.
- All adult household members must attend the re-certification appointment and sign necessary forms required by SAHA/HUD;
- All adult family members must provide proof of income;
- Must meet the HUD requirements on citizenship or immigration status;
- Must provide Social Security Card, or application for Social Security Number, for household members, age 6 and older;
- Not have an outstanding debt to any Public Housing Authority.
- Not have had a lease terminated by SAHA in the past 5 years..
- Provide residents with access to their records upon request and allow an opportunity to contest data provided (employer, SWICA, and/or SSA) in case of discrepancies.
- Notify family in writing of any changes in rental amounts, through a Notice of Rent Charget, 30 days prior to any increase in rent.
- Families failing to respond to the initial re-examination appointment will be issued a final appointment. Failure to respond to the final request can result in termination.
All federally assisted housing is intended to provide a safe place to live and raise families, not a place to commit crime, to use or sell drugs or terrorize neighbors. It is the intention of the Housing Authority to fully endorse and implement a policy that is designed to help promote and maintain safe, drug-free and violence-free communities.
All screening and eviction procedures shall be administered fairly and in such a way as not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, nationality, religion, age, sex, familial status, disability other legally-protected groups, and not to violate right to privacy. To the maximum extent possible, the Authority will involve other community and governmental entities, as well as resident organizations, in the promotion and enforcement of this Policy. This Policy will be posted on the Authority’s bulletin board and copies made readily available to residents and/or applicants upon request.
Cause for Denial – Definitions
- Drug-related criminal activity – the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution, or use of a drug; or the possession of a drug with intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute.
- Drug-related activity means on or off the premises, not just on or near the premises.
- Violent criminal activity – any criminal activity that has as one of its elements the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force substantial enough to cause, or be reasonably likely to cause, nontrivial bodily injury or property damage.
If information is received that would cause the Housing Authority to deny assistance, the family will be given an opportunity to dispute the information pursuant to the Informal Review Procedures in the Section 8 Administrative Plan.
For information regarding informal conferences, contact: (210) 477-6233 or Fax: (210) 477-6322.