Participant Information

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Basic Info

A participant of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has certain responsibilities in reporting information to DCA in a timely matter. Failure to do so could lead to owing money which must be repaid or result in the termination of assistance.

Annual Recertification

DCA is required to update participant information annually with regard to family income and composition, in order to determine continued eligibility for assistance. Approximately 120 days prior to the assistance anniversary date, DCA will send notification of the annual reexamination by first-class mail.  The packet will contain information and documentation that must be provided to DCA and the deadline for providing it.  Documents will be accepted by mail, by fax, or in-person.  All documents must be delivered in its entirety.  Failure to return requested documents might result in termination of assistance.

Changes between Annual Recertification

Participants are required to report all changes in income within ten business days of the effective date of the change (i.e., the first day of employment, the date a pay increase goes into effect etc.).  If family composition is changed due to a marriage, birth, adoption, or court awarded custody, notification to DCA must be within thirty days of change.  If family composition is changed due to a household member no longer residing in the unit, DCA must be notified within fourteen business days.  If someone is added to the household other than through marriage, birth, adoption, or court awarded custody, prior written approval from DCA and the landlord are needed. All changes must be sent in writing to the Regional Office handling the county which the participant lives. 

Subsidy Standard

DCA will assign a separate bedroom to the head of household in addition to the following circumstances:
  • DCA will assign one bedroom for each two (2) persons within the household (other than spouses);
  • Single person families will be allocated either a zero bedroom or one-bedroom unit;
  • Live-in aides (including any family members of a live-in aide) will be allocated one separate bedroom; and
  • DCA does not determine who shares a bedroom/sleeping room.

Adding a New Member

DCA will not approve the addition of an adult except under consideration for reasonable accommodation, marriage, or court awarded custody. Adults added under these circumstances are still subject to meeting DCA’s eligibility criteria and documentation requirements.

Moving with Assistance

Program participants may not move within the first year of the initial lease term or make more than one elective move during a 12-month period. This applies to moves within DCA’s jurisdiction or outside it under portability.  Any time after the first year a written notice must be given to the landlord (with a copy to DCA) stating the intention to move to a new unit.  Since the lease agreement is between the participant and the owner, the terms of the lease as to when the participant can move will apply.  DCA has created a listing of rent amounts which can be used as a tool to help participants find an affordable unit.  The rent amounts are based on all utilities being paid by the family and no income in the household.  Please note, these amounts are estimates only and should not be considered final figures.


DCA is required to inspect a family’s rental property at least annually. An inspector will contact both the family and the landlord to schedule the inspection. Failure to allow the annual inspection to occur will be cause for termination of assistance.  When a family occupies the unit at the time of inspection an adult family member must be present for the inspection.

Once an inspection is conducted, a summary of repairs to the unit and a time frame in which to complete those repairs is given to either the landlord or participant. Failure to complete the repairs within the time frame specified will be cause for termination of assistance. If the failure is on the part of the landlord, the family is issued a voucher to find another unit. If the failure is on the part of the family, assistance is terminated. If either party should complete the repairs by the date of the termination, assistance may continue with that unit if both parties agree to continue the occupancy.

To help assist DCA in achieving a “Passed” inspection, please review “HQS Self-Inspection Checklist” prior to the inspection.