The family must comply with the following obligations in order to continue participation in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program:
1. Supply Information Necessary for SAHA to Administer the Program
The family must supply any information that SAHA or HUD determined to be necessary in the administration of the program, including submission of required evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status. “Information” includes any requested certification, release or other documentation.
- The family must submit any requested information to SAHA within 10 business days of SAHA’s request.
- The family must report to SAHA, in writing, any change of income within 10 business days of the change.
- The family must report to SAHA any change of family composition within 10 business days of the change. Change of family composition includes an addition or loss of a family member due to birth/death, adoption, move, etc.
2. Supply Information to SAHA for Use in Reexaminations
The family must supply any information requested by SAHA or HUD for use in the annual reexamination or special interim reexamination of family income and composition in accordance with HUD regulations.
- Information requested by SAHA may include paperwork that shows proof of all income for the household. Examples of income documentation needed are child support income, unemployment benefits, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), retirement benefits, contributions and employment income.
- Some examples of required documentation for income verification include the last 4 paycheck stubs prior to the date of submission, W2 tax forms and bank statements.
The family must attend all reexamination appointments scheduled by SAHA. The family may reschedule an appointment for good cause or if it is needed as a reasonable accommodation for a person with disabilities.
- “Good cause” is defined as an unavoidable conflict that seriously affects the health, safety, or welfare of the family. Requests to schedule appointments must be made orally or in writing.
The family must disclose and verify social security numbers and sign and submit consent forms for obtaining information.
3. Supply True and Complete Information
Any information supplied by the family must be true and complete.
SAHA uses the Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) system to validate income information reported by participants in both the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs. The EIV system electronically uses independent sources (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.
4. Allow SAHA to Inspect the Assisted Unit
The family must allow SAHA to inspect the unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice.
- Reasonable notice is considered to be not less than 24 hours, except in the case of a life-threatening emergency.
- In the case of a life-threatening emergency, SAHA will give as much notice as possible, given the nature of the emergency.
5. Maintain the Condition of the Assisted Unit and Correct Family-Caused Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Deficiencies in the Assisted Unit
The family must not damage the unit or premises (other than damage from ordinary wear and tear) or permit any guest to damage the unit or premises.
The family is responsible for any HQS breach caused by the family, including the following:
- Tenant-paid utilities not in service;
- Failure to provide or maintain family-supplied appliances; or
- Damage to the unit or premises caused by a household member or guest beyond normal wear and tear (“Normal wear and tear” is defined as physical deterioration which occurs in the normal course of tenancy without negligence, carelessness, accident or abuse of the unit or premises by the members of the household or their guests).
6. Comply with Lease Requirements
The family must not commit any serious or repeated violations of the lease. Serious or repeated violations include any lease violations stated in the lease, stated in Paragraph 8 of the Tenancy Addendum or stated by HUD in 24 CFR § 982.310, regardless of whether or not the owner has initiated the eviction process.
SAHA will determine if a family has committed a serious or repeated violation of the lease based on the available evidence, including, but not limited to, the following:
- A court-ordered eviction;
- An owner’s written Notice to Vacate provided to the tenant;
- An owner’s written notice of lease violation provided to the tenant; and
- Police reports.
Any incidents of, or criminal activity related to, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking will not be construed as serious or repeated lease violations by the victim.
7. Pay Rent
The participating family is responsible for paying its portion of the rent to the landlord. If the family makes a late rent payment, the family is responsible for paying the landlord any applicable late fees, in accordance with the terms of the lease agreement.
- The family is not responsible for paying the Housing Authority's portion of the rent. The landlord may not evict or otherwise penalize the family for any issue regarding the Housing Authority's rent portion.
8. Notify SAHA of Family Move-out, Lease Termination or Eviction
The family must notify SAHA and the owner, in writing, before the family moves out of the unit or terminates the lease.
- The family must provide written notice to the owner of the family’s intent to vacate the unit and/or terminate the lease, in accordance with the lease requirements (typically no less than 30 days in advance).
- The family must provide written notice to SAHA within 10 business days after notifying the owner of the intent to vacate and/or terminate the lease.
The family must promptly give SAHA a copy of any owner eviction notice.
- The family must provide SAHA a copy of any owner-issued notice to vacate or any court-awarded eviction judgment within 10 business days of the date on the notice or judgment.
- If the family appeals an eviction judgment, the family must provide SAHA a copy of an appeal bond or other court-issued documentation within 10 business days of the date the appeal was filed.
9. Use the Assisted Unit for the Family’s Residence and Only Residence
10. Obtain SAHA Approval for Family and Household Composition
The composition of the occupants residing in the assisted unit must be approved by SAHA.
The family must promptly notify SAHA in writing of the following:
- The birth of a child;
- The court-awarded custody of a child; or
- The placement of a child by Child Protective Services.
The family must request SAHA’s approval to add any other family members as an occupant of the unit. No person other than the members of the assisted family may reside in the unit, except for a SAHA-approved foster child or live-in aide.
If SAHA has given approval, a foster child or live-in aide may reside in the unit. SAHA will approve a live-in aide if needed as a reasonable accommodation to make the program accessible to and usable by a family member with a disability. A foster child or foster adult may be allowed to reside in the unit if their presence would not result in a violation of HQS space standards. Foster children will be included in determining unit size only if they will be in the unit for more than 6 months.
11. Notify SAHA When the Family is Away from the Assisted Unit
The family must promptly notify SAHA in writing when they are away from the unit for an extended period of time.
- “An extended period” is defined as any period greater than 45 consecutive days.
- Notice to SAHA must be provided within 10 business days of the start of the extended absence.
- If the family fails to notify SAHA and is found to be absent from the unit for more than 45 consecutive calendar days, the unit will be considered vacated and the family’s assistance will be terminated.
12. The Family Must Not Do the Following:
- Sublease or Let the Unit
- Assign the Lease or Transfer the Unit
- Reside in a Unit Owned by the Family or in which the Family has an interest
- Reside in a Unit Owned by an Unassisted Family Member
- Commit Fraud, Bribery or Corrupt Acts in Connection with the Program
- Engage in Criminal Activity Related to Drugs or Violence or that is Threatening to Neighbors
- Engage in Alcohol Abuse in a Way that Threatens Neighbors
- Receive Any Other Federal, State or Local Housing Assistance
Reasons for Termination of Assistance
- The family has failed to comply with any family obligation under the program.
- Any family member has been evicted from federally-assisted housing or has had assistance terminated by any Housing Authority in the last five years.
- Any family member has committed fraud, bribery, or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with any federal housing program.
- The family currently owes rent or other amounts to any Housing Authority in connection with the HCV program or any related special program.
- A family member has engaged in or threatened violent or abusive behavior toward SAHA personnel.
- Any family member is currently registered as a sex offender under a state registration requirement, regardless of whether it is a lifetime registration requirement or not.
- Any family member habitually loses income prior to recertification without just cause.
If information is received that would cause the Housing Authority to propose the termination of a family’s housing assistance and the family disputes the information, they will be given the opportunity for an informal hearing.
You can find the Informal Hearing Procedures in the Assisted Housing Programs Administrative Plan (Chapter 16, Part III).