Welcome to Phenix City Housing Authority’s (PCHA) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. This tenant-based program assists low-income families in locating safe, decent, and affordable housing in the private market by offering assistance payments directly to the owner on behalf of the family. The subsidy remains with the family; it is not attached to the dwelling unit. The amount of subsidy is based on the family’s income and household composition.
The Phenix City Housing Authority is working to integrate the Rent Café’ Landlord portal for access to relevant information, forms, applications, and payment. Rent Cafe will be available soon!
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is designed to achieve four major objectives:
- To provide improved living conditions for low and very low-income families while maintaining their rent payments at an affordable level;
- To promote freedom of housing choice and integrate lower income and minority families into mainstream society;
- To provide decent, safe, and affordable housing for eligible participants; and
- To provide an incentive to private property owners to rent to lower income families by offering timely assistance payments.
The landlord plays a key role in meeting the objectives of the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The landlord, the tenant and PCHA all play a vital role in making the Housing Choice Voucher Program successful.
Landlord’s Obligations: The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program’s housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with the PHA.
Here we have outlined your basic responsibilities of the landlord and the Agency. Please make yourself familiar with this section.
- To inspect and approve your unit.
- To annually review family size.
- To issue payment to the landlord.
- To search for housing
- To provide complete, accurate, and truthful income/family information
- To pay the tenant portion of rent.
- Adhere to lease terms and conditions
- Cooperate with annual inspection and recertification.
- Keep appointments with PCHA.
- Comply with HUD/PCHA requirements.
- Screens and selects tenants (PCHA only determines program eligibility)
- Maintains property in compliance with HQS
At the time of inspection, the inspector will also be evaluating the rent reasonableness of the housing unit. The proposed rent will be compared to the rent for other units on the market of similar size, features, and amenities.
Although there are no HUD “ceilings” on the rents charged in the Voucher Program, the rents must still be reasonable and comparable to those charged for similar unassisted units. The PHA bases the determination of reasonableness and comparability on the unit inspection report and rental market information.
Landlord Frequently Asked Questions:
I have a family ready to rent my unit. Now what?
You will fill out the Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) form and return the RTA to the family, so they can bring in the RTA to our office. We verify that the family qualifies with the rent amount that is requested.
When the RTA is returned the inspector will conduct a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection and completes a Rent Reasonableness form that shows the rent requested is reasonable. Once the unit passes inspection the family can sign a lease and move into the unit.
Can a HCV family rent from a relative?
No. Voucher families can’t rent from immediate relatives, which includes their mother·, father, brother, sister, grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws, step-family, or any member of his/her household. You further qualify you are not related to the family when you sign the RTA.
How do I notify the Housing Authority I sold my unit?
As soon as you know you are closing with a new owner, please notify our office so we can place the payment on hold. When all the paperwork is completed on the sale of the unit provide us a copy and the new owner will need to fill out paperwork for us to change payments to them.
If you change management companies a copy of the management agreement must be given to us for our files.
Can the client pay the difference in rent if I had to reduce the rent for them?
No. The landlord cannot under any circumstances charge or accept additional payments from the family above the rent approved by the Housing Authority. This is considered fraud and both parties could be terminated from the program.
When can I request a rent increase?
We must receive your rent increase request a minimum of sixty (60) days prior to your tenant’s re-examination date. We must review and complete a Rent Reasonable form for all rent increases. If approved, your rent will increase on the effective date of your tenant’s recertification date. You may only request a rent increase once a year.
Send all rent increase request to Sandra Colbert via mail or email to: email@example.com