Montgomery County Housing Authority


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

          

HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM FAQs

Q. What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP, formerly Section 8)?

A. It is a program funded by Congress and the President under the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and administered by the Montgomery County Housing Authority (MCHA) to provide safe, descent, and affordable housing for residents of Montgomery County. The MCHA assists families by paying a portion of the rent to the landlord and the family pays a portion of the rent to the landlord. Families pay approximately 30 percent of their monthly income as their portion of the rent.

Q. Who is eligible for HCVP?

A. Families with income that is 50 percent or less of the median income for the family size may qualify as very low income families. An eligible family can be a single person household, elderly or disabled, as well as families of two or more.

Q. Can I apply if I am not a resident of Montgomery County?

A. Preference is given to people who live, work, or have notification of a job in Montgomery County. However, anyone can apply but must meet income guidelines.

Q. Am I guaranteed housing if I complete the application?

A. No. MCHA will notify you in writing whether or not you have been added to the waiting list. When housing subsidies become available, MCHA will contact applicants for more detailed and current information.

Q. How will I know whether or not I have been accepted?

A. You will receive written notification from MCHA if you have been accepted.

Q. How long is the waiting time?

A. It is impossible to predict how long you will wait because MCHA does not know when housing subsidies will become available.

Q. If I receive assistance, how much rent will I pay?

A. Typically, tenants pay a minimum of 30% of their gross income for rent and utilities.

Q. What are some of the conditions of receiving housing assistance?

A. As part of the process, MCHA is required to conduct criminal background history checks for all applicants over the age of 18 and require specific paperwork such as: birth certificates, social security cards, utility bills, proof of income, etc. for all applicants.

Q. What kind of rental unit qualifies?

A. Any existing rental housing may be eligible: single family homes, condominiums, apartments, townhouses, duplexes, etc. All rental units must conform to Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and meet local code requirements.

Q. Where can the unit be located?

A. It can be located anywhere in Montgomery County.

Q. How often will the unit be inspected by the Housing Authority?

A. The rental units are inspected prior to the signing of the HAP contract and at least annually thereafter.

Q. Can I move?

A. Contact your Contract Control Specialist (caseworker) for specific information concerning moving.

Q. Does MCHA have emergency housing?

A. NO. Emergency housing is only by referral through the Montgomery County Office of Housing and Community Development. Upon approval, a person may be referred to MCHA for emergency housing under the Tenant Based Rental Assistance Program (TBRA), a county transitional housing program.

 

PUBLIC HOUSING PROGRAM FAQs

Q. What is the Public Housing Program (Conventional Housing)?

A. It is a program funded by Congress and the President under the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and managed by the Montgomery County Housing Authority (MCHA). The MCHA has eight developments located throughout Montgomery County. The MCHA is the landlord and rent is paid directly to MCHA. Rent is based on 30% of the family's income, or at the request of the family, a flat rent that has been determined for individual apartments.

Q. Who is eligible for Public Housing?

A. Families with income that is 80% or less of the median income may qualify as low-income families. An eligible family can be an adult single person household, elderly or disabled, as well as families of two or more.

Q. Can I apply if I am not a resident of Montgomery County?

A. Anyone who meets the income guidelines can apply. Eligible applicants will be added to a centralized waiting list according to the total amount of preference points they possess and then in the order of the date of completed pre-application. Each preference is given one point. The preferences for Public Housing are as follows:
-live, work, or have notification of new employment in Montgomery County
-employed (any county), elderly or disabled
-current members of the military, Veterans or their surviving spouses

Q. Do I have to fill out an application for each development I am interested in?

A. No. An applicant only needs to fill out one application for all developments that they qualify for. If an applicant needs to remain in a certain area due to employment, access to day care, physicians or family support, they can attach a letter of hardship explaining the specific situation.

Q. How will I know whether or not I have been accepted?

A. You will receive written notification from the MCHA if you have been accepted or denied within six weeks after you have submitted your application. The MCHA requests that applicants inform the Public Housing Department, in writing, of any changes in family composition, income, address, as well as changes in preference status to ensure that we are able to contact you when necessary.

Q. What are some of the conditions of receiving Public Housing assistance?

A. All applicants over the age of 18 years will be screened for suitability, which includes a criminal background check and previous landlord reference checks.

Q. What documentation must I provide the MCHA?

A. Information on the pre-application will not be verified until the applicant has been selected for final eligibility. At that time, families will be required to attend an interview and provide documentation such as: birth certificates, proof of citizenship or eligible alien status, social security cards, proof of income, assets, and verification of their preferences.

Q. How long is the waiting time?

A. It is impossible to give an accurate time frame when eligibility will occur because the MCHA does not know when apartments will become available.