Housing Choice Voucher Tenants FAQ

History: The Section 8 program was created by the Housing and Community Development act of 1974.  It consisted of Certificates, Mod Rehab, and Vouchers. The Mod Rehab program expired in 2000 and HUD combined the Certificates and Vouchers into what is now known as Housing Choice Vouchers.

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Housing Choice Program is administered by the Beloit Housing Authority (BHA) in compliance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The BHA administers 598 Housing Choice Vouchers. The program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. 

The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects. A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. If the Beloit Housing Authority (BHA) approves a family's unit and tenancy, the BHA contracts with the owner to make rent subsidy payments on behalf of the family. The BHA contract with the owner only covers a single unit and a specific assisted family. If the family moves out of the leased unit, the contract with the owner terminates. The family may move with continued assistance so long as the family is complying with program requirements. The BHA may not approve a tenancy unless the rent is reasonable. The family generally pays 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income for rent, but in some cases the family may pay more, depending on the unit.

Am I eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

To be eligible for participation, an applicant must meet HUD's criteria.  HUD eligibility factors are:

  • The applicant must be a "family" (see below)
  • The family's annual income may not exceed the applicable income limit (see table below).
  • All family members six months or older must provide a Social Security number or certify they don't have one.
  • Applicant must furnish evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status.

What is the definition of a family?

  • Non-elderly = two or more persons living in the same household.
  • Elderly = head, spouse, or sole member that is 62 or older.
  • Disabled = head, spouse, or sole member that is medically determined physically or mentally impaired for indefinite duration.
  • Single Persons = Any single person who is not elderly or disabled.

What are the income limits for Housing Choice Voucher?

# PersonsIncome Limit

What happens if I am found eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

Applicants for the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list will be placed on the waiting list according to the time and date the application was received. Families may be eligible for priority or local preferences. Families who qualify for preferences will be placed ahead of families with no preferences.

What are the Beloit Housing Authority's preferences? (All preferences require verification)

  • Beloit Resident = You live, work, or attend school within the zip code boundary of Beloit, Wisconsin.
  • Income falls between 0%-30% of the Rock County Median Income.
  • Displaced by Federal, State or Local declared disaster within the last 6 months.
  • An honorably discharged U.S. Veteran.
  • A family needs a special handicap accessible unit because of a disability.
  • Participant in a program for victims of Domestic Violence.
  • Graduate (within last 6 months) of a Transitional Housing Program (verification listing entry and graduation dates required).

How long will I be on the waiting list?

The approximate waiting time for Housing Choice Voucher assistance is determined by the number of applicants and availability of Housing Choice Voucher funds.

The waiting list is purged (updated) once a year. Each name on the waiting list is mailed an update form to the address that is on file with the BHA. The forms must be completed and returned by the deadline, or the applicant's name will be removed from the waiting list. If you move and do not notify the BHA, resulting in your purge letter being returned as undeliverable, your name will be removed from the waiting list. If your name has been removed, you will have to reapply for assistance and provide all new documentation with the application. It is the applicant's responsibility to notify the BHA of address changes in writing. 

When Housing Choice Voucher funds become available, the Occupancy Specialist will pull applicants from the top of the waiting list. The Occupancy Specialist will conduct a criminal history check. Ineligible applicants will be notified and offered an opportunity for an informal hearing. Eligible applicants will then be notified by mail to schedule an appointment with the Occupancy Specialist to complete the application process.

When will I be offered rental assistance?

When a determination has been made that an applicant is eligible and satisfies all requirements for admission, and there are available vouchers, the applicant will be required to attend a Housing Choice Voucher Briefing.

What is a briefing?

When an applicant is selected to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, the PHA gives the family an oral briefing. The briefing will include a description of tenant obligations and how the program works. [24 CFR 982.301] Tenants will be issued a Housing Choice Voucher at this time. [24 CFR 982.302]. It is then the tenant's responsibility to find a unit that fits their voucher size and family needs. The Beloit Housing Authority does not assist families in finding a unit beyond providing a listing of landlords who have worked with our program in the past and may have available units to rent.

Where can I live?

The family may receive rental assistance to lease a unit located anywhere in the jurisdiction of the Beloit Housing Authority. The family is required, by BHA Administrative Policy, to lease up and live in Beloit for the first 12 months in which they are receiving assistance. The family may have the right to receive tenant-based voucher assistance outside the jurisdiction of the BHA under portability in accordance to HUD regulations. Once you are assigned a case worker, they can assist you in determining when you are eligible to move outside the BHA jurisdiction.

How is rent determined?

Your rent is determined by a HUD calculation using a combination of your income minus allowable deductions; the resident pays 30% of their adjusted monthly income for rent. The BHA pays the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) directly to the owner of the unit.

How long can I receive rental assistance?

As long as funding is available, a family is income eligible, and the family is in good standing with the BHA, the family may continue to receive rental assistance.

Can I be denied assistance?

The Beloit Housing Authority may deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other residents, or on the property's environment.

Reasons for denial may include, but are not limited to:

  • Insufficient or false information supplied by applicant.
  • Eviction from Public Housing, or a Housing Choice Voucher Program.
  • Drug activity, violent criminal activity, and/or history of criminal activity.
  • Owing money to any Housing Authority throughout the United States, including the Beloit Housing Authority [CFR 982.552 (5)(c)(v)]

How do I apply for Housing Choice Voucher assistance?

A person may apply by doing one of the following:

  • Pick up an application at the Beloit Housing Authority(BHA) office Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday 8:30 am-4:30 pm or Wednesday 12 noon-4:30 pm.
  • Download and print the complete application, release of information form and zero income questionnaire (if no household income).
  • Submit the completed application with all appropriate documentation as outlined on the cover page of the application packet for processing in person Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.
  • Applications returned without all required documentation will not be processed and will be returned to the applicant with instructions to complete the application.
Last updated 5/4/2017 8:35:20 AM