Housing Choice Voucher Program: COVID-19 updates
Our team has provided a helpful FAQ for our applicants, participants and owners associated with our Housing Choice Voucher program.
1) I was selected from the waiting list or I am in the eligibility process and was required to provide documentation. How can I submit documents? Documents may still be submitted to DCA by mail, fax, or email during this time period. We may provide extensions on the receipt of documents, if requested.
2) My recertification packet is due and DCA is closed. How can I submit documents to complete the recertification process? Documents may still be submitted to DCA by mail, fax, or email during this time period. We may provide extensions on the receipt of documents, if requested.
3) What do I do if my hours have been cut, or if I lost a job as a result of COVID-19? Currently, there have been no directives or guidance from HUD for Public Housing Authorities to deviate from regulations. If your family has experienced a loss or major reduction in income, you must provide verification of that change. Verifications include separation notices, letter from employers and/or pay stubs. Please be aware that you must continue to report income changes, as outlined in the Family Obligation of Responsibilities. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your assigned Housing Specialist.
4) How can I get a voucher extension? Please submit a voucher extension request form. You can request a form from your assigned Housing Specialist or when the office re-opens, you can pick one up from the office. Completion of the form does NOT warrant approval.
5) What happens to my Informal Review/Informal Hearing Appointment? All Informal Review/Informal Hearing Appointments that are currently scheduled will be conducted via telephone. The Compliance Officers will contact all relevant parties to provide more information.
6) I received a Proposed Termination Notice, but I cannot request a hearing because the building is closed. What should I do? You can request a hearing via mail, email or fax. DCA will review, on a case-by-case basis, all requests for hearings, for proposed terminations, which were issued in March, even if the 10 business days’ time period has passed.
7) I have an Annual Inspection scheduled; will it still happen? All Annual Inspections have been temporarily postponed. The Inspections Team will contact you regarding re-scheduling the inspection. The Inspections Team can be reached at 770-806-5049 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
8) What about units in abatement that have the repairs done and need to be re-inspected? We are allowing landlords to self-certify the repairs. Landlords must submit a clear, date-stamped, digital photo of the duly sighted failed item(s) on or before the scheduled re-inspection date. If necessary, the Inspections Team will follow-up and review the repairs later. If a landlord is having difficulty procuring repairs, please contact Inspections to request an extension. The extension must be requested prior to the scheduled inspection date.
9) Will DCA pay the rents for tenants who are experiencing a loss of income and can’t pay? Unfortunately, DCA cannot pay any amounts outside of the calculated HAP. Participants are still responsible for their portions of the rent. We are asking landlords to work with their tenants on an individual basis with regard to their portion of rent during this difficult time. Currently, there is no plan for DCA to pay a tenant’s portion of their rent. Many families work in the service industry and their hours have already been cut in half or more. They are home more and will be using utilities at significantly greater rates.
10) What IMMEDIATE mechanism is there in place NOW to get the tenant portions and/ or utility allowances adjusted? It is our hope that this situation is only temporary and utilities are not severely impacted. Many municipalities have decided to not disconnect water service due to non-payment for the next 60 days. Other service providers have offered payment arrangements, etc. during this difficult time. We recommend that you contact your service provider for further information. For participants who need their tenant portion adjusted, we will conduct an interim change in accordance with routine procedures. Impacted families will need to submit a request for an interim change along with evidence of the changes.
11) Will tenants in the move process be granted extensions so the landlord can be paid after the 3/31/2020 move out date? In most cases, DCA can provide extensions to families who are in need. If a family was due to move out by 3/31/2020 and COVID-19 has impeded them from moving, the family should contact their assigned Housing Specialist. We will follow our normal process by extending the contract if agreed upon by both the participant and landlord. The agreement MUST be in writing. In most cases, the Mutual Termination of Agreement form will need to be completed with the new, agreed upon move-out date.