Know Your Responsibilities
AS A PARTICIPANT IN THE SECTION 8 HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM
We want you, as a qualified family, to have every opportunity to participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. When you, and other participants, meet your responsibilities, you are insuring that more low-income people in your area will have the same opportunity you had to find quality housing at an affordable price. On the other hand, if you do not meet your responsibilities, not only will you lose your assistance, but the job of finding affordable housing in good repair will be harder for those who follow.
Many people assume that once they qualify for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, they may keep it as long as they wish. They feel that because they meet the income guidelines, no one can terminate their Housing Assistance Payment and that the Housing Authority must help them pay their rent each month. This is not true. Under the regulations of the program you have seven major responsibilities. If you fail to meet these responsibilities, you can be terminated from the program.
Your responsibilities as a participant are:
- Payment of your portion of the rent on a timely basis to the landlord.
- Reporting any changes in income, assets, family composition, number of people living in the unit, or child care, to Aberdeen Housing Authority within 10 days of the change.
- Maintaining the property in decent, safe, and sanitary condition.
- Giving a 30-day written notice to the landlord and to Aberdeen Housing Authority if you plan to move.
- Complying with all approved lease requirements.
- Using the dwelling unit solely for residence by only those family members listed on the lease.
- Completing the annual recertification or interim recertification process within the required time limit.
THE REAL PROBLEMS
In simple terms, there are basically six recurring reasons why people are dropped from the program.
- Failure to notify both the Housing Authority and your landlord 30 days in advance if you want to move. If you fail to give advance notification of your wish to move, and you do move, you have not met the terms of your lease agreement. Therefore, you cannot be considered as a candidate for continued or future assistance.
- Failure to make necessary repairs that are not normal wear and tear of the property. Such things as broken doors, torn window or door screens, damaged sheet-rock and broken windows are a few examples of the kinds of things that are not considered normal wear and tear items. If during a special or annual inspection such repairs are brought to your attention and you do not make these repairs within a reasonable length of time, your rental assistance will be terminated. Take care not to damage the property. However, if damage occurs, see that it is repaired.
- Failure to report a change in income or assets. If you have an increase or decrease in wages, salary, pensions, or other forms of income or assets, you should notify Aberdeen Housing Authority within 10 days of the change. It may be necessary to process an interim recertification depending on the amount of the change. Failure to report a change may result in termination of assistance.
- Failure to list on your lease those people living or staying in your dwelling. If you give accommodations to guests or lodgers without first requesting permission from Aberdeen Housing Authority, and the landlord, and place them on the lease, this may result in the loss of your rental assistance. Additionally, if a person moves out, their name must be removed from the lease in your file.
- Failure to assume the responsibility for maintaining the unit. You must keep both the interior and exterior of your dwelling clean and free of litter and trash.
- Failure to recertify within the required time limit. You must supply such information as Aberdeen Housing Authority determines to be necessary to complete the regularly scheduled annual recertification or an interim recertification of family income and composition in accordance with HUD requirements.