Housing Authority of Lancaster
Moving and responsibilities
One of the great advantages of the Housing Choice Voucher is that it enables the participant to move to another housing unit and continue to receive assistance. There are two types of moves in the voucher program:
- Mandatory Move – A mandatory move is when the participant is required to move to another unit because the landlord fails to make the repairs required under the Federal Housing Quality Standards or the landlord has violated some other program requirements.
- Voluntary Move – A voluntary move is when the participant chooses to move to another unit. It is the policy of HAL that voluntary moves can only occur one time each year and only at the time of the annual recertification.
Regardless of the type of move, the participant is required to be issued a new voucher to start the search for a new unit.
If a family is interested in porting their voucher to another jurisdiction, they must submit their request for portability in writing . When a family requests portability, the location where they intend to port must be identified in the request and a 30 day notice to vacate will need to be submitted. HAL will contact the receiving PHA in that jurisdiction and advise them of the family’s intent and to determine if the receiving PHA is administering or absorbing portable vouchers. Once response is received, HAL will determine if the portable voucher will be issued.
If the portability is approved, a voucher and corresponding portability documents will be issued to the family. The family’s portability packet will then be sent to the receiving PHA. The family is responsible for contacting the receiving PHA regarding their portability once paperwork has been sent. The family must comply with the receiving PHA’s procedures for portability. Please use voucher time wisely and be aware of the expiration date.
Participants must reside within the jurisdiction of HAL for a period of one year prior to exercising portability options.
HAL will not permit families to exercise portability if there exists ground to deny a move because of the family’s action or failure to act including violations of family obligations under their Housing Choice Voucher; the family owes money to HAL; or the family has vacated the assisted unit in violation of the lease agreement.
If a family is interested in transferring their voucher to the HAL, they must first contact their Initial Housing Authority (IHA) and request to port. Completed Portability Packets can be sent to:
The Housing Authority of Lancaster
Attn: HCV Coordinator
P O Box 1235
Lancaster, SC 29720
Once the completed portability packet is received from the Initial Housing Authority, HAL will contact the participant to set up an appointment to sign additional paperwork and be issued a voucher. Should the family move from their currently assisted unit, they will need to contact HAL and fill out appropriate paperwork to update their contact information. HAL must have the following for all household members:
- Copies of Birth Certificates
- Copies of Social Security Cards
- Copies of Driver’s License/picture ID for anyone 18 and older in the household
The Receiving Housing Authority (RHA), HAL, abides by the issue and expiration dates of the voucher that was issued by the family’s Initial Housing Authority. Please use voucher time wisely and be aware of the expiration date. The family will need to contact their Initial Housing Authority to request any additional extensions on their voucher and the IHA will need to send HAL the updated paperwork. If there are any special needs, the family may request a reasonable accommodations.
HAL is not responsible for any rental assistance until the unit has passed inspection and the Dwelling Lease and Housing Assistance Payment Contract have been executed.
Housing Choice Voucher participants may participate in any elective programs offered by the HAL. These programs include Family Self Sufficiency (FSS), MAPS to Success and use of the HALs computer labs. See the Support/Resources page for additional information.
Family obligations included but are not limited to:
- Provide HAL with complete and accurate information
- Cooperate in attending all scheduled appointments and supply any information requested by the HAL or HUD for use in a regularly scheduled reexamination or interim reexamination of family income and composition.
- Comply with HCV Program rules and regulations, including the Family Obligations
- Comply with the terms of the lease with the Owner. The family must not commit any serious or repeated violation of the lease. Serious and repeated lease violations will include, but not be limited to, nonpayment of rent on time, disturbance of neighbors, destruction of property, or living or housekeeping habits that cause damage to the unit or premises and criminal activity.
- Permit housing inspections (HQS) at reasonable times and after reasonable notice.
- Report changes in income. Sources of income include but are not limited to; wages, government benefits (Social Security, SSI, VA, and TANF), unemployment benefits, pension, child support and regular contributions and/or gifts from friends and family members. This includes all household members. Failure to do so will result in being subject to pay all monies owed and possible prosecuted for fraud.
- Report changes in household composition. The family must promptly notify the HAL in writing of the birth, adoption, or court-awarded custody of a child. The family must request HAL approval to add any other family member as an occupant of the unit prior to the person moving into the unit.
- Notify the HAL and the owner before moving out of the unit or terminating the lease.
- Maintain the unit in good condition throughout the term of the lease
- Payment for tenant supplied utilities and services. The family must pay all utility bills. Failure to do so will result in a 24 hour notice to comply.
- Provide and maintain any appliances that the owner is not required to provide under the lease.
- Family members must not commit fraud, bribery, or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with the program.
Failure to comply with these responsibilities is grounds for denial or termination of rental assistance. Providing false statements and/or information are punishable under Federal and/or State Law and HAL will pursue accordingly.