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South Carolina
Regional Housing Authority #3

P. O. Box 1326
Barnwell, SC 29812
(803) 259-3588

The Section 8 program serves residents in Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Hampton, Jasper, and Orangeburg counties in South Carolina. The program is designed to provide assistance for low-income families in the private rental market through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Rental Voucher Holders select a unit from the private rental market and normally pay no more than 30% of monthly-adjusted income towards rent and utilities. A Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract subsidizes the balance of the rent to the property owner.

The Steps to Section 8 Assistance

1. PHA determines family's eligibility
2. PHA issues Housing Choice Voucher
3. Family locates eligible housing unit
4. Owner approves family
5. PHA approves tenancy and unit
6. Contract and lease signed
7. Housing Assistance Payments made


Step 1. Eligibility for a Housing Choice Voucher is based on total annual gross income and family size and is limited to United States citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, a family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. The Income Limits for families served by South Carolina Regional Housing Authority #3 are maintained by HUD and vary by location.

Information on the family's income, assets, and family composition are collected during the application process. Certain dependent, elderly, medical, disability assistance, or childcare expenses may be deducted from income in accordance with HUD regulations. The Housing Authority will verify this information and use it to determine program eligibility and the amount of the rental assistance payment.

If the Housing Authority (HA) determines that your family is eligible, the HA would normally put your name on a waiting list; however, the waiting list for Section 8 is closed until further notice.

Step 2. Once a family is determined to be eligible for assistance and funding is available, the HA issues a Housing Choice Voucher. The voucher indicates the number of bedrooms for which the family is eligible and is effective for 60 days from the date of issue. The family will also receive a briefing packet that explains how the program works as well as general guidance on how to find a suitable place to live.

Step 3. Once a family has been issued a Housing Choice Voucher, they search the private rental market in the community for a housing unit that is decent, safe, and sanitary according to Housing Quality Standards (HQS) as established by HUD. The rent must be reasonable for the size, type, and condition of the unit and the owner must be willing to enter into a contract with the HA and comply with program rules. General guidance on how to search for a suitable unit will be provided in the briefing packet.

Step 4. Once the family finds a suitable housing unit to rent, the owner must complete a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) form and the HUD Tenancy Addendum. A lease agreement between tenant and owner must also be completed.

Step 5. After receipt and review of the RTA, the HA will schedule an inspection of the unit to insure it meets certain HQS criteria. Primarily, the unit must be decent, safe, and sanitary. If the unit passes inspection, the HA will begin the necessary paperwork to provide assistance.

Step 6. The HA and owner will sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract and the tenant and the owner will sign a lease agreement.

Step 7. The HA makes monthly Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to the owner as long as the family continues to meet eligibility criteria and the unit qualifies under the program. The tenant is responsible for the monthly payment of the difference between the total rent and the HAP.

Everyone-HUD, the HA, tenant, and landlord-has roles and responsibilities in connection with the Section 8 program.

 
HUD
Provides funding to administer the program
Provides technical and professional assistance
Issues rules and regulations
 
  FUNDING
 

Housing Choice
Voucher

SCRHA3
Accepts & reviews application
Maintains waiting list
Issues Housing Choice Voucher
Inspects and approves unit
Issues Housing Assistant Payment
Provides prompt, professional service

HAP Contract
TENANT
Complies with lease and program requirements
Pays share of rent in timely manner
Maintains unit in good condition
Notifies HA of income or family changes
LEASE
LANDLORD
Maintains housing unit to HQS standards
Enforces lease agreement
Complies with fair housing laws
Screens families



HUD's Role: To cover the cost of the program, HUD provides the funds that allow the HA to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the families. HUD also pays the HA a fee for the costs of administering the program. When additional funds become available to assist new families, HUD invites all HA's to submit applications for funds for additional rental vouchers. Applications are then reviewed and funds awarded to selected HA's on a competitive basis. HUD is also responsible for issuing rules and regulations related to the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program as well as providing technical and professional assistance to the HA.

HA's Role: The HA administers the voucher program locally by accepting and reviewing applications for eligibility and maintaining a waiting list. Once a family's name is reached on the waiting list and determined to be eligible for assistance, the HA issues a Housing Choice Voucher that enables the family to seek out suitable housing and the HA enters into contract with the landlord to provide rental assistance payments on behalf of the family. The HA will inspect the landlord's unit for Housing Quality Standards (HQS) annually. If the landlord fails to meet his/her obligations under the lease, including HQS requirements, the HA has the right to terminate assistance payments.

Tenants Role: When a family selects a housing unit, and the HA approves the unit and lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at lease one year. The tenant may be required to pay a security deposit to the landlord. After the first year, the landlord may initiate a new lease or allow the family to remain in the unit on a month-to-month lease. When the family is settled in a new home, the family is expected to comply with the lease and the program requirements, pay its share of rent on time, maintain the unit in good condition and notify the HA of any changes in income or family composition.

Landlord's Role: 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 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 HA. Furthermore, it is the landlord's responsibility to screen a potential tenant for suitability as a renter.

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