Section 8

Individuals and Families

HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER (HCV) SECTION 8 PROGRAM

 

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Section 8 program is a subsidized housing program which allows eligible participants the opportunity to rent housing units in the open market through federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The Binghamton Housing Authority’s (BHA) Housing Choice Voucher Program allows participants to rent qualified units throughout Broome County. If you are on this page as a landlord, scroll to the bottom for applicable information.

 

(HCV) SECTION 8 PROGRAM

WAITING LIST

 

Unfortunately, the need for rental assistance in Broome County is far greater than the funding that is provided to us from HUD, therefore the Binghamton Housing Authority (BHA) uses a waiting list to administer program assistance to qualified applicants as vouchers become available.

 

Applications for the HCV Program are only offered when the current waitlist is considered small enough that we will exhaust the waitlist within the year.   The public will be notified of the dates that applications will be provided and accepted via the local newspaper.  Area non-profit agencies and service providers will be notified. 

 

HUD permits Public Housing Authorities to establish local preferences in the selection from the waitlist.  BHA’s policy is to select all names from the waitlist according to the Date and Time the application was received.

 

When your name reaches the top of the waiting list, you will be notified via USPS mail and required to provide all relevant documents.

It is very important to provide BHA with any updates that may occur with your mailing address or contact information while you are on the waiting list. 

To determine eligibility, we will be verifying information regarding your family composition, your income and assets, your status of previous assistance (if any) with an HCV or Public Housing (PH) program, your residency status, and your household’s citizenship or legal immigration status.  In addition, we will be conducting a criminal background inquiry for all members of the household age 18 and over.

 

Please be aware that if we are unable to reach you via USPS mail, then you may be in jeopardy of being removed from the waiting list.  It is very important to notify our office if you move.

 

 

Briefing/Voucher Issuance

 

If you are found to be eligible for HCV Section 8 assistance, then you will be invited to attend a briefing.  At that meeting, you will be advised of the HCV program rules and you will be provided with all the necessary forms required to apply for assistance with a rental unit.  In addition, you will be issued a voucher.

 

The voucher provides the following information:

  • The number of bedrooms you qualify for.
  • The dates you can search for housing.
  • The list of HCV Family Obligations while on the program.

Subsidy Standards/Unit Size

 

BHA will assign the number of bedroom(s) you qualify for based on your family size. The family may select a different size dwelling than what is listed on the voucher, but Binghamton Housing will apply the payment standard for the smaller of either the bedroom size shown on the voucher or the actual bedroom size of the unit selected by the family.  Housing Quality Standards prohibits more than two people per living/sleeping room to avoid overcrowding.

BHA will determine the bedroom size by using the following guidelines:

  • Head of household or Head and spouse will be eligible for one bedroom.
  • BHA policy is two people per bedroom regardless of age and sex.
  • An exception may be granted upon receipt of a written request, Doctors note or to accommodate a disability.
  • The request for an exception MUST be done in writing.

 

 

Search for Housing

When a unit is located, you must submit a completed Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form and a blank copy of the owners one-year lease, prior to the expiration of your voucher.  Once the RFTA has been submitted, the time on the voucher stops.  If the unit is found to be unacceptable by BHA, you will be given back the time on the voucher from when it was suspended to look for new housing.  You may only have one active Request for Tenancy Approval at a time.

Your voucher allows you to lease a unit anywhere within Broome County under the following conditions:

  • The unit must be deemed affordable according to HCV program regulations.
  • The rental costs must be deemed reasonable for your area.
  • The unit must pass HCV Housing Quality Standards inspection before we may execute a Housing Payment Contract with the owner.
  • Upon approval of the unit, you must provide a copy of the signed one-year lease to BHA.

 

Payment Standards

Payment standards represent the maximum amount of subsidy that the Binghamton Housing Authority can provide to a family. These payment standards are updated annually in accordance with HUD’s published Fair Market Rents (FMR) prices for Broome County.  The Fair Market Rent is a combination of both the unit rent and cost of the tenant paid utilities.

 

Annual Re-examinations

Once you become an HCV program participant, BHA must conduct a reexamination of family income and composition at least annually. This includes gathering and verifying current information about family composition, income, and expenses. Based on this updated information, the family’s income and rent must be recalculated.  You will be notified by mail 120 days prior to your recertification date and given until the 15th of the following month to provide all requested documents.  Failure to recertify will result in termination of assistance.

 

Annual/Biennial Inspections

HUD requires the PHA to inspect each unit under lease at least once every two years to confirm that the unit still meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS).  BHA will perform an inspection of the unit the first year following either a new lease up or a move.  Should the unit pass the first time with no deficiencies, it will not be necessary to inspect again the following year.  Should the unit fail the inspection you will be required to have an inspection again the next year.  You must make arrangements for our inspector to have access to your unit on the date and time we have scheduled.  If you are unable to be present you may have your landlord, or any other adult (over 18 years old) be available.  Failure to allow access to the unit may result in termination of assistance.

 

Interim Changes (add/remove household members, add/remove income)

Family circumstances may change throughout the period between annual reexaminations.  Once you become an HCV program participant, you will be required to report changes with your household composition and income within 14 days. An Interim Review form must be filled out and brought to the office.  Based on this updated information, the family’s income and rent may need to be recalculated.  You will be notified in writing how and when your rent subsidy will be impacted.  Failure to report an increase in income may result in an over payment of subsidy and require the family to enter into a repayment agreement for any excess subsidy that we have paid on your behalf.

 

Relocations

A family’s right to move is generally contingent upon the family’s compliance with program requirements.  If you would like to transfer from one unit to another with continued HCV assistance, then BHA must verify that you will be leaving your previous owner in good standings with no money owed and with damages which do not exceed normal wear and tear.  A valid 30 or 60 day notice must be provided to the landlord and BHA to obtain a voucher to move.

Relocation is only allowed once per year.

 

Portability

Portability is one of the benefits of the HCV program that enables you to use your Section 8 assistance in other cities or states outside of Broome County.  Portability was created to allow you the freedom to choose which area of the country best suits the needs of your family.  Detailed information regarding Portability will be supplied upon request.

Porting to Broome County must begin with your current Housing Authority.  You may provide your caseworker with the following contact information.

 

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

If you or anyone in your family is a person with disabilities, and you require a specific accommodation to fully utilize our program and services, please contact Binghamton Housing Authority at 607-723-9491.

 

Other Forms for Tenants

 Section 8 Administration Plan - Click Here for the document

BHA Admissions and Continued Occupancy Plan - Click Here for the document

(VAWA) Violence Against Women Act Resources (Click Each Link Below)

-VAWA Form 5380

-VAWA Form 5382

-Emergency Transfer Request Form HUD 5383

-Emergency Transfer Plan

 

HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER (HCV) SECTION 8 PROGRAM FOR LANDLORDS

 

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Section 8 program is a subsidized housing program which allows eligible participants the opportunity to rent housing units in the open market through federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The Binghamton Housing Authority’s (BHA) Housing Choice Voucher Program allows participants to rent qualified units throughout Broome County.

 

Payment Standards

Payment standards represent the maximum amount of subsidy that the Binghamton Housing Authority can provide to a family. These payment standards are updated annually in accordance with HUD’s published Fair Market Rents (FMR) prices for Broome County.  The Fair Market Rent is a combination of both the unit rent and cost of the tenant paid utilities.

 

Leasing

When a unit is located, the tenant/applicant must submit a completed Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form and a blank copy of the owners one-year lease, prior to the expiration of their voucher.  The owner or their representative must complete all of page one and the portion of page two that pertains to the landlord.  Upon receipt, the caseworker will contact the owner to verify the information on the Request for Tenancy and the asking rent is both reasonable for the area and affordable to the tenant.  The caseworker will schedule an HQS inspection of the unit at the owner’s convenience. 

The initial inspection will check the unit for health and safety issues.  An HQS inspection checklist may be obtained prior to the inspection to ensure all Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are met.  The checklist is just a listing of the most common fail items and is not meant to be all inclusive.  Should the inspection fail, the owner will be given time to complete the repairs.  BHA will not execute a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract until we have obtained a passed inspection.

Prior to leasing the landlord must provide BHA with a W9 form in the owner’s name.  If the property is owned by a Limited Liability Corporation, the EIN number must be used on the form and be submitted with a copy of the articles of incorporation.

A Landlord Certification Form and Lead Disclosure Form must also be completed and submitted prior to any assistance payment being issued.  

The completed Housing Assistance Payment contract and signed one year lease will need to be received for payments to owner will begin.  A Tenancy Addendum must be attached to the lease.

 

Annual/Biennial Inspections

HUD requires the PHA to inspect each unit under lease at least once every two years to confirm that the unit still meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS).  BHA will perform an inspection of the unit the first year following either a new lease up or a move.  Should the unit pass the first time with no deficiencies, it will not be necessary to inspect again the following year.  Should the unit fail, the inspection will be required again the next year.

There are two types of failed items. Life threatening hazards such as smoke detectors not installed or working, or a missing or defective carbon monoxide detector must be corrected within 24 hours to avoid an abatement of your Housing Assistance Payment.  Any deficiency that is not life threatening must be corrected in Thirty days.  A detailed report will be mailed to both the owner and tenant following the inspection.  The letter will provide the owner with the date by which the repairs must be completed, along with the contact information for the inspector.

 

Payment and Rent Increases

The Binghamton Housing Authority processes Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) on the first of the month, unless the first is a weekend or holiday, then they are processed the very next business day. 

Landlords may ask for a rent increase one time per year after the first year of the lease.  HUD and BHA require a 60-day written notice be submitted to both the Housing Authority and the tenant.  The Rent Increase Request will be processed through a data base that determines rent reasonableness for the area.  Landlords will be notified by mail as to the status of the request.  Should the request be approved, a new lease amendment notice will be sent to both the owner and the tenant.

 

It is important for landlords to read both the Tenancy Addendum and the Housing Assistance Payment contract to better understand their rights and responsibilities.