Housing Authority of Lancaster
Welcome to HAL’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV). This tenant-based program assists low income families in locating safe, decent, and affordable housing in the private market by offering assistance payments directly to the owner on behalf of the family. The subsidy remains with the family; it is not attached to the dwelling unit. The amount of subsidy is based on the family’s income and household composition. Landlords participation is an integral part of the HCV Program. Without the assistance of landlords, HAL would not be able to help the community as effectively.
How do I list my property?
The HCV (Section 8) Prospective Housing Form is available on here or you can pick up a copy of the form at the main lobby of our offices.
Who determines the rent for my property when I rent it to a program participant?
The owner states the contract rent for the property. The PHA will determine if the requested rent amount by the owner is reasonable. It must not exceed the rent charged for comparable, unassisted units in the same market area
How does the Section 8 process work for Landlords?
- Owners use their own criteria to screen a potential tenant for suitability as a renter. The Housing Authority does not screen participants.
- The owner and prospective tenant completes the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) and return it to the Housing Authority.
- The owner must provide a lease and this should be the same as that used for unassisted tenants.
- The dwelling unit must pass the program’s housing quality standards initially and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments.
- The owner must submit a W-9 and Direct Deposit Form to HAL.
- The Housing Authority and the Owner sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract. Housing assistance payments will begin effective the day the voucher holder is leased up to move into the unit.
- At least once a year participants will meet with Housing Authority staff to update information about household composition, income, assets, and deductions. An inspection of the rental unit will also be made bi-annually to ensure the home is still meeting basic housing quality standards.
- HAL should be copied on all correspondence with the tenant, especially those relating to tenant damage or non-payment of rent.
- Request for Rent Increases Form should be submitted in writing at least 60 days prior to the tenant’s anniversary dated.
- Please notify HAL immediately if you have sold your rental unit, hired a new property management company or your contact information has changed. All updates must be received in writing.
HAP payment are issued between the 1st and the 5th of each month as long as the participant remains in good standing with the program and the unit continues to meet HUD Housing Quality Standards. Payment are made by check or Direct Deposit. All landlords are encouraged to complete Direct Deposit Forms. Tax Information will be provided to the IRS for those who receive payments.
Once my property is rented what are my responsibilities as a landlord?
As a landlord, you have the following responsibilities:
- Treat HCV renters the same as non-subsidized renters.
- Comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payment Contract, executed with the PHA.
- Conduct normal landlord functions during the term of the lease, including inspections and enforcing non-compliance. Copies of correspondences or documents to the tenant are to be provided to HAL.
- Comply with all applicable fair housing laws and discriminate against no one.
- Maintain the housing unit by making necessary repairs in a timely manner. The issued of damages to the unit is between the landlord and the family. The tenant can be charged for tenant caused damages.
- Must adhere to provisions on modifications to a dwelling unit occupied or to be occupied by a person (s) with disabilities.
- May not lease property to a relative (parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother) of any member of the assisted family, unless approved by PHA for handicap accessibility.
- Lease may not require more than sixty (60) days moving notice from tenant.
- Collect rent due from the assisted family (provide receipt) and otherwise comply with and enforce provisions of the dwelling lease. Evections are performed by the landlord in accordance with state and local laws.
- Security deposit cannot exceed the amount charged to unassisted tenants.
- Payment for owner-supplied utilities and services.