What is Section 8 Housing?
A HUD-funded program, which is named for a section of the
Housing & Community Development act of 1974. This program
has established the use of privately-owned rental housing
for public rental assistance. Section 8 is a federal program,
and governed by acts of Congress. HUD interprets congressional
law, and writes the program regulations. Housing authorities,
which are state agencies, administrate the regulations. The
Section 8 program has evolved over the years, and is now called
the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Goal of the Section 8 Program.
To provide decent, safe and sanitary rental units to income-eligible
families, where the family wishes to live, and where a private
owner is willing to rent to the family and execute a contract
with the housing authority. Both parties in this relationship
can benefit. The family gains stable and affordable housing.
The owner selects a tenant family, and is assured a Housing
Assistance Payment by virtue of the HAP Contract with the
housing authority. The Section 8 program relies on the successful
working partnership of three parties:
- The Housing Authority,
- The Tenant Family,
- The Owner / Landlord.
Eligibility is based on income, as defined by Federal guidelines.
Families must be very low income, which means
that they have income that is 50% or less of the area median
income. Households of any size are eligible. TMHA assists
many families with children, and also many single-person households
who are disabled and/or elderly. Income guidelines for 2013
- 1 person - 19,400 2 persons - 22,200
- 3 persons - 24,950 4 persons - 27,700
- 5 persons - 29,950 6 persons - 32,150
- 7 persons - 34,350 8 persons - 36,600
The S8 program is designed to assist rental units that are
considered mid-range in the local market. Units at the very
low end may be unlikely to pass the Housing Quality Standards
inspection that must be done on the unit. Units at the high
end will likely be too expensive for the family even with
the help of the housing authority.
Geographically, TMHA tenants can live anywhere in Tuscarawas
County, and TMHA does assist on rentals in virtually every
city and town in the county. All types of housing are acceptable,
including single family homes, duplexes, tri-plexes, quads,
multi-story complexes, and manufactured homes.
Steps to Becoming a TMHA Owner / Landlord
1. Decide to take the plunge! Sometimes this is the biggest
2. Give TMHA a call. Ask those burning questions that might
not be answered on this site.
Then you can:
- Ask to be placed on our owner / landlord list that we
provide to our Voucher Holders who are searching for units.
These searching families will then call you inquiring about
the unit, and you conduct your tenancy application process
to select the tenant family you wish to rent to,
- OR, Take a more laid back approach, and wait until a suitable
tenant who holds an active voucher approaches you about
renting an available unit, and then establish the contact
Either way, one thing is very important at this stage. You
as landlord, select the tenant from among those who apply
for the unit just as you do for a non-TMHA tenant. TMHA
does not screen families for tenancy, only for income eligibility.
Selecting the tenant family, according to Fair Housing guidelines,
is the right and responsibility of the owner / landlord.
3. After selecting the Voucher-holder as a prospective tenant,
complete the Request for Tenancy Approval form. The Voucher
Holder will have this form; (HUD-52517). This form gives TMHA
the information we need to start the lease-up process for
the tenant. After completing this form, sign it, and return
to the voucher holder. The Voucher Holder family must bring
it in to TMHA.
4. TMHA will review the Request for Tenancy form with the
Voucher Holder to see if the unit will work for that family.
TMHA must check to see if the family has enough income to
support their part of the rent. The family is expected to
pay 30 - 40 percent of their adjusted income toward their
rent and utilities not included in the rent. TMHA will subsidize
the remainder of the rent.
40% Tenant Rent Burden Rule: Sometimes a family with
extremely low income will exceed the 40% figure, meaning that
their portion of rent/utilities exceeds 40% of their adjusted
income. In this case, TMHA cannot initiate a contract on behalf
of the family. Instead, TMHA will attempt to negotiate a lower
rent with you on the familys behalf. The voucher holder
will respond to you the owner, with a rent negotiation form
telling you how much the rent must be lowered to bring the
rent burden to the tenant within the 40%. At that point, you
as owner have the right to accept or reject the negotiation.
If you reject this family, you have the right to rent to another
Voucher Holder (with a higher income to support their part
of rent). The rejected voucher holder will have the right
to seek another unit more in line with their income.
It is important to know that if TMHA asks you to negotiate
a rent, we are not criticizing the rent amount. Instead, we
are attempting to bring the rent in line with the familys
ability to pay their share.
5. Once the rent for the unit is set, TMHA will schedule
an Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. Arrangements
are made as to the date, and the circumstances of entering
the unit. Our inspector cannot complete an inspection on a
unit occupied by a family other than the one for whom a lease
and contract is being considered.
6. Both the Voucher Holder and the owner will receive the
results of the inspection. If there are failed items, it is
the responsibility of the owner to repair. Generally 30 days
are given to repair failed items. When the failed items are
repaired, the owner will contact TMHA for another inspection.
TMHA does not obligate the owner to repair failed items. Should
you as owner decide you do not wish to do repairs, let the
voucher holder know. TMHA will void the request on the unit,
and the Voucher Holder will seek other housing.
7. Once the unit has passed inspection, all that remains
is to sign the necessary paperwork, consisting of the Residence
Lease, a standard lease document that meets ORC, the HUD Lease
Addendum (HUD-52641-A) and the Housing Assistance Payments
Contract (HUD-52641). The HUD Lease Addendum and HAP Contract
are available for viewing on-line at www.hudclips.org,
At the home page, click Forms. Enter the form number as given
above in the search box.
8. TMHA starts leases and contracts on the 1st of the month
and the 15th of the month, whichever date falls first after
the unit has passed inspection. In the case that a new lease
and contract begin on the 15th, TMHA will pay 1/2 of the usual
HAP payment for the first half month. Thereafter, the tenant
will pay his part of the rent at the beginning of the month,
and TMHA will remit the HAP payment no later that the first
business day of each month.
9. Congratulations! You have just become a valued member
of TMHAs affordable housing program.
After the Initial Lease and Contract Execution
1. Once the flurry of activity surrounding the lease and
contract execution is over, your HAP payment from TMHA will
arrive at the beginning of each month, so long as the family
remains on the program, and the unit is in compliance with
the HAP Contract.
2. Changes: if the tenant income or family composition changes
(up or down), TMHA will recompute the amount of assistance
paid by TMHA and the tenant family. We call this an interim
change. TMHA will send a Notice of Change
form to both the tenant and the owner. This change form will
give the old amounts and the new amounts, and the date of
3. Recertification: an annual process required by HUD. TMHA
reverifies the familys composition and income. TMHA
asks the owner if he wants to continue the HAP contract. TMHA
will reinspect the unit, and it must pass inspection for the
contract to continue. TMHA starts the recertification process
120 days before the lease / contract anniversary date.