Corpus Christi Housing Authority’s (CCHA) Mainstream Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is currently closed, and this page will be updated once it reopens.
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Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8)
Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) programs enable low-income households to find private rental housing on their own and pay part of the rent themselves. Administered through Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and funded by U.S. Housing and Urban Development. To qualify for Section 8, applicants must meet specific qualifications such as income level and family size, as well as be either US citizens or eligible immigrants with eligible immigration statuses.
This program functions like a rental subsidy, providing families with enough money to contribute a percentage of their adjusted income toward rent and utilities, with the remaining rent paid directly by PHA on behalf of families. Maximum rent payable may range up to the Fair Market Rent for any given unit size, depending on family composition and income. Security deposits and broker’s fees may also need to be covered, though certain states provide programs to assist families with these costs.
Eligibility for the program is determined by income relative to the median in each area, with income limits typically being no more than 80% of the local median. Families must also comply with various requirements, such as maintaining clean and safe apartments, meeting annual inspections by PHA officials, and meeting Housing Quality Standards in order to participate.
If you qualify for the program, your local housing authority will provide the paperwork you need to start searching for an apartment or house. Some housing authorities offer vouchers immediately, while others might wait several days or weeks. All paperwork must be handed in on time, as doing otherwise could delay your move.
If you are moving, be aware that your housing authority may require that you wait one year before using your voucher again. However, if there is a valid reason for moving, such as changing job locations or illness within your family unit, they will allow for it without losing assistance.
Project-Based Voucher (Section 3)
HUD allows public housing agencies (PHAs) to project-base up to 20% of their voucher assistance on specific housing units that are owned and operated by private owners who enter into contracts with PHAs known as Housing Assistance Payment contracts, wherein households pay monthly installments based on formulae outlined in each HAP contract agreement. Each property with such contracts maintains its waiting list of families hoping for selection as tenants for its unit.
Households who qualify to live in project-based units must meet the exact eligibility requirements as those who receive assistance under the overall Housing Choice Voucher program. At admission to this program, incomes cannot exceed 80 percent of area median income (AMI) or be meager income – defined as those earning at or below 30 percent AMI. Local governments should work with their PHAs to decide whether project-based vouchers should be distributed; they should consider factors like market conditions, policy priorities, and the potential to link project-based vouchers with Low Income Housing Tax Credit developments within opportunity areas.
PHAs may use project-based vouchers from their PHA to provide rental assistance to LIHTC developments financed through this federal program, which helps create affordable housing. LIHTC developments offer rents below local Fair Market Rent levels established annually by HUD; however, rents for such new products can often still be too high for very low-income households without additional subsidies from PHAs and housing finance agencies; localities should work together with these bodies and state or local housing finance agencies in developing a process for using project-basing vouchers within LIHTC developments.
HAP contracts in project-based units must include an employment provision that offers opportunities to Section 3 participants in terms of job opportunities with PHA or its contractors. HACC employs a Section 3 staff person dedicated to finding jobs for participants eligible to receive vouchers as well as those meeting minimum job requirements.
As a voucher holder, you have every right to challenge any decision made by your local public housing agency. They may choose to terminate your voucher for various reasons – such as failure to pay rent on time, engaging in illegal activities (such as drug-related crimes or manufacturing methamphetamine on-premises), and other serious violations. Any notice received must always be taken seriously, and an opportunity must be given if you intend to contest its termination. If so, request a hearing as soon as possible if desired.
The housing authority must provide you with written notification of their decision and an informal hearing schedule, including reasons for it. They will review any evidence you present at this hearing but only use limited types of evidence at an informal hearing, so be sure to plan by gathering your evidence and bringing it with you to present and cross-examine any adverse witnesses at your informal hearing.
PHAs must demonstrate that a family is no longer earning sufficient income to live comfortably in privately market rate housing; otherwise, they must terminate the contract with its owner and notify both family and owner no later than six months before its end date.
A family can terminate its contract with the Public Housing Agency for the Housing Choice Voucher program by giving written notice in advance to both the owner and PHA of its intention to move out. Furthermore, families may agree with their landlord that their lease should end voluntarily as well.
Upon voluntary termination of a contract, families can reapply for the program once they feel ready. They can request reinstatement of their voucher after six months – although PHAs will only reinstate it for their original housing unit or one with comparable size and accessibility requirements.
Suppose the Corpus Christi Housing Authority determines that you have violated your lease or program rules. In that case, they may notify you that an informal hearing is required in order to defend against these allegations. A Presiding Officer will select a date and time for this meeting, and at least five days’ notice will be sent prior to it taking place; emergency hearing requests can also be granted.
At an informal hearing, you have two options for participation – attending personally or being represented by an attorney or other representative. At either option, the evidence submitted must be pertinent to the case, though the Presiding Officer will likely exclude any irrelevant, immaterial, or repetitive evidence. Witness testimony and relevant documents can also be presented at this hearing to support your arguments, after which the Presiding Officer will make his or her determination and issue an order reflecting his findings.
A contested case hearing is a legal procedure similar to a trial in a state district court, presiding over proceedings under the supervision of a hearing officer and making decisions such as admissing evidence, administering oaths, subpoenaing witnesses or documents at any party request, examining witnesses, ruling on admissibility of evidence and making recommendations or decisions to the Commission for approval or rejection.
Informal hearings can help resolve disagreements over housing voucher eligibility and benefits. Furthermore, informal hearings offer an excellent opportunity to discuss mitigating factors that might prevent any disciplinary actions or fines against you – for example, explaining your behavior to an administrator in person or providing details about your financial status.
Housing Authorities must give individuals receiving Notices of Decision (NODs) the chance for an informal hearing prior to terminating assistance or reducing rent payments; typically, this applies when changes are made in total tenant payment amounts or family size and unit size determinations. An NOD must contain information regarding individual rights regarding informal conferences and fair hearings as well as maintaining assistance (aid continuing).