Basic HCV Program Requirements
HUD Requires the PHA to aid families in their housing search by providing the family with a list of landlords or other parties known to the PHA who may be willing to lease a unit to the family, or to help the family find a unit. Although the PHA cannot maintain a list of owners that are prequalified to participate in the program, owners may indicate to the PHA their willingness to lease a unit to an eligible HCV family, or to help the HCV family find a unit [24 CFR 982.301(b)(11)].
Owners that wish to indicate their willingness to lease a unit to an eligible HCV family or to help the HCV family find a unit must notify the PHA. The PHA will maintain a listing of such owners and provide this listing to the HCV family as part of the informational briefing packet.
When a family approaches an owner to apply for tenancy, the owner is responsible for screening the family and deciding whether to lease to the family, just as the owner would with any potential tenant. The PHA has no liability or responsibility to the owner or other persons for the family's behavior or suitability for tenancy.
If the owner is willing, the family and the owner must jointly complete a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA, Form HUD 52517), which constitutes the family's request for assistance in the specific unit, and which documents the owner's willingness to lease to the family and to follow the program's requirements. When submitted to the PHA, this document is the first step in the process of obtaining approval for the family to receive the financial assistance it will need in order to occupy the unit. Also submitted with the RFTA is a copy of the owner's proposed dwelling lease, including the HUD-required Tenancy Addendum (Form HUD-52641-A).
HUD regulations stipulate that an assisted tenancy can be approved only under certain conditions.
The owner must be qualified to participate in the program [24 CFR 982.306]. Some owners are precluded from participating in the program, or from renting to a particular family, either because of their past history with this or another federal housing program, or because of certain conflicts of interest.
The selected unit must be a type that is eligible in the program [24 CFR 982.305(a)]. Certain types of dwelling units cannot be assisted under the HCV program. Other types may be assisted under certain conditions. In addition, the owner must document legal ownership of the specified unit.
The selected unit must meet HUD's Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and/or equivalent state or local standards approved by HUD [24 CFR 982.305(a)]. The PHA will inspect the owner's dwelling unit at various stages of HCV program participation, to ensure that the unit continues to meet HQS requirements.
The PHA must determine that the cost of the unit is reasonable [24 CFR 982.305(a)]. The rent must be reasonable in relation to comparable unassisted units in the area and must not be in excess of rents charged by the owner for comparable, unassisted units on the premises.
At initial lease-up of a unit, the PHA must determine that the share of rent to be paid by the family does not exceed 40 percent of the family's monthly adjusted income [24 CFR 982.305(a)].
The dwelling lease must comply with all program requirements [24 CFR 982.308]. Owners are encouraged to use their standard leases when renting to an assisted family. However, the HCV program requires that the Tenancy addendum, which helps standardize the tenancy requirements for all assisted families, be added word-for-word to that lease. The PHA and the owner enter into a formal contractual relationship executing the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract (Form HUD-52641). The HAP contract format is prescribed by HUD.