Information For Participants

The Housing Authority has partnered with www.Gosection8.com, which provides an enhanced program to list rental properties on line. is also encouraging landlords who have properties located outside areas of poverty and minority concentration to list their available apartments with the Bridgeport Section 8 Program. If you own property in any of the towns surrounding Bridgeport listed below, please include that information:

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Section 8 Overview
  • Briefing

    All applicants are required to attend a Briefing. The purpose of the Briefing is to:

    Issue your Housing Choice Voucher

    Provide you with all of the information you need in order to be successful in your search for suitable housing and to maintain good standing while you are on the program.

  • Size of Voucher

    Your Voucher indicates the number of bedrooms for which your family is eligible. This unit size is based on HUD guidelines and the Public Housing Authority’s (PHA) written policy.

    HUD requires that the PHA establish subsidy standards. These standards are used to determine the appropriate number of bedrooms for families of different size and different compositions. The subsidy standards take into consideration factors such as the total number of persons in the family, the age and sex of persons, and the relationship of persons. These standards help us to make the best use of the funds HUD provides for housing costs and to avoid overcrowding.

    • Age of people in the family
    • Sex of people in the family
    • Number of people in the family
    • Relationships of people in the family
       
  • Length of Voucher

    Your Voucher is effective for 60 days, up to a maximum of 120 days at written request in 30 day intervals. It is important that you do not delay your housing search. If your Voucher expires before you find suitable housing, you will have to reapply. Keep track of all of the units you look at during the search period. A Record of Search for Housing form has been included in your package.
    Depending on the PHA’s written policies, your Voucher may be extended beyond 60 days. Your Briefing Packet includes a notice as to whether your Voucher can be extended.

  • Leasing in-place

    You may be eligible to receive assistance at your present unit if the unit qualifies. The unit must:

    • Be the appropriate size for your family
    • Pass a housing quality standards inspection
    • Have a reasonable rent first approved to participate in the program or moving from one unit to another with continued assistance after you are on the program.
  • Things to consider when choosing a unit

    • Schools
      If you have school-aged children, You will want to consider the various school districts that are available, as well as the distance from the housing unit to the school.
    • Safety
      When you search for housing, consider the neighborhood and its surrounding. Try to avoid high crime areas.
    • Work
      Consider the distance between your workplace and the location of the housing unit.
    • Child Care
      Consider the availability of child care in the area of the housing unit. If you work, what is the difference between the housing unit, the child care provider, and your work location?
    • Public Transportation
      If you do not have a vehicle, what is the access to public transportation in the area of the housing unit?
    • Is there a place for children to play outside safely?
    • Is the unit in a high crime area?
    • What is the general condition of the neighborhood?
    • Are you close to medical services? The Fire Department?
    • Is there a church nearby?
    • Is there adequate parking for you and your guests?
    • Is the area/building well lit at night?
  • General Information

    More often than many of us realize, people are denied housing for reasons other than poor rental histories or bad credit. Under federal law, it is illegal to deny housing to anyone on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status and disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against, contact your PHA representative or Fair Housing.


    If you live in a high-poverty area, you may want to consider searching for a housing unit in another area. There are many possible advantages to your family such as improved employment and educational opportunities. Your PHA representative will explain the areas where you are eligible to seek housing.

    One of the great features of the tenant-based assistance programs is that your assistance “moves” with you. You can use your assistance to move not only across town but also to anywhere in the United States within the jurisdiction of a PHA with a tenant-based assistance program. The HUD term for the ability of move outside your Housing Agency’s jurisdiction with rental assistance is portability. The PHA may limit moves under portability, so contact your PHA representative if you wish to exercise portability. You will be advised of any restrictions and procedures that may apply to you.

    The PHA where you want to move may have different rules, policies and deadlines. There may be different payment standard. The new PHA will probably have different utility allowance that will affect the amount you pay for rent. A different size voucher may be issued to you. When you are first issued a voucher, you are always subject to the income limits of the PHA where you want to live.

  • Finding a unit

    • Visit gosection8.com
    • Check the classified section of all local newspapers.
    • Ask friends and neighbors.
    • Drive through neighborhoods where you may want to live and look for yard signs.
    • Check the bulletin boards in Laundromats and supermarkets.
    • Check with real estate offices or rental agencies. Rental agencies sometimes charge a fee.
    • Check your briefing packet for a list of property owners.

    In order for the unit to be approved, it must meet the following requirements:

    • The Rent for the unit must be reasonable for the type, size and condition of the unit.
    • The unit must pass a Housing Quality Standards Inspection.
    • The owner must be willing to enter into a contract with the Housing Agency and
      comply with the program rules.
  • Questions about the unit

    • What is the cost of utilities?
    • Is the unit energy-efficient?
    • Are tenant-paid utilities separately metered?
    • Is the unit free from serious drafts?
    • Is the building secure?
    • Do all windows lock safely?
    • Do the entrance doors have secure locks?
    • Is there evidence that the unit has not been well maintained?
    • Is the heating source adequate for the size of the unit?
    • Is there enough room for your furniture?
    • Does the landlord provide pest control?
    • Is the unit clean and ready to move in?
    • Are the refrigerator and stove large enough for you family size?
    • Are there private, secure mail boxes?
    • Is garbage pick-up available?
    • Are there restrictions on pets?
    • Is there sufficient parking and storage?
    • Are there sufficient amenities and facilities for your family?
  • Meeting the landlord

    When you make an appointment with a prospective owner or landlord, be prepared to ask and answer questions and to make a positive first impression. The landlord will be trying to evaluate you as a renter. At the same time, you will be evaluating both the unit and the landlord. Go early for your appointment and look around the neighborhood. Try to get a babysitter when meeting the owner. Even well-behaved children can become impatient. Don’t risk being judged by how you discipline or don’t discipline your children. When calling owners in response to ads, don’t prematurely ask, “Do you take Section 8?” Try to get an appointment to see the unit so that the owner has an opportunity to meet you first.

    Be prepared to furnish information about your rental history. Try to get references from previous landlords, if possible. If you are currently renting a unit, make sure that it is in good condition, so that your present landlord will provide a good reference. Remember, your current and prior landlord’s name and address will be furnished to your prospective landlord. If you have no rental history, bring references from responsible persons who know you such as employers or persons you have done business with.

    If the landlord speaks English and English is not your first language, or you are not comfortable discussing business matters in English, take a translator to the appointment with you. Make sure your translator will make a positive first impression. Do not take young children to translate.

    The owner of the unit decides how much the security deposit will be. When you begin to search make sure that you made plans in advance to have the money available for the security deposit and the deposit for utilities, if applicable.

    When you meet the owner or landlord, ask questions.

    • How much is the security deposit for the unit?
    • Does the owner live nearby?
    • Is there a person to call for normal wear and tear repairs or maintenance?
    • Does the owner seem interested in maintaining the condition and appearance of the property?
    • What are the office hours for management and maintenance problems?
    • Have the other tenants lived there a long time?
    • Does the owner have a “zero tolerance” policy for drugs and violence by tenants?

    Try to find out from the police Community Relations office how often they have been called to the premises or immediate area.

    As a Voucher holder, you may select from a variety of housing units and neighborhoods. The PHA can assist you in locating a unit by providing an owner’s referral list; however, you must still be approved by the owner. Most property owners and managers will ask you to complete an application and will check your rental history and credit. Owners can deny you a rental unit if you have a previous history of not fulfilling your obligations under a lease.

     

  • Approving a rental unit

    When you find a housing unit that you want to rent, the owner must complete a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form and the HUD Tenancy Addendum. They must be submitted to the PHA along with the proposed lease. This lease must be filled out but not signed, the RFTA and the Tenancy Addendum are included in your Briefing Packet.

    When the PHA receives your Request for Tenancy Approval, they will review it to determine if the unit is the correct size and the proposed rent is approvable. If the Request for Tenancy Approval and proposed lease are in order, the PHA will make an appointment to inspect the housing unit.

    Remember: Unless you are granted an extension, your Voucher will expire 60 days from the date you received it. You need to turn in a Request for Tenancy Approval to the PHA before your Voucher expires.

    On receipt and review of the Request for Tenancy Approval, the PHA will notify you and the owner of the date and time of the Housing Quality Standards Inspection. It is in your best interest to be present at the inspection so that you can see what repairs, if any, are required.

    If the unit passes the initial inspection and the rent is reasonable, the PHA will prepare the necessary paperwork and your assistance will begin. If the unit does not pass the initial inspection, the owner will be given a reasonable time period to correct any items that failed.

    However, rental assistance cannot begin until the repair items are completed and approved by the PHA inspector. If there are major repairs to be made, or if the owner seems reluctant to make the repairs, you may want to consider looking for another unit. The PHA will provide you with another Request for Tenancy Approval form.

    It’s a good idea to be present and to be involved in the process. If you and the PHA work together, the chances are quite good that you will be successful in finding a suitable place to live.

    If the lease and unit are satisfactory, the PHA will enter into a Contract with the owner, and you will sign a lease agreement with the owner.

    The PHA will begin making the payments to the owner after the unit has been approved and the Housing Assistance Payments Contract has been signed. The PHA will mail the payment to the owner on or about the first of each month. The PHA will continue to make payments as long as:

    • The unit meets the Housing Quality Standards
    • You are eligible for assistance
    • You reside in the unit
    • The owner is in compliance with the Contract

    If the PHA fails to make timely payments to the owner, the PHA may be obligated to pay a late fee. (State/local law)

    Successful participation in the Section 8 Program requires that the family fulfill certain obligations to the PHA and other obligations to the owner.

  • Family obligations to the PHA

    Family who participate in the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program are required to comply with certain “Family Obligations.” These Family Obligations are required by HUD regulations are required by HYD regulations and are listed on the Voucher. By signing your Voucher, you acknowledge your responsibilities and obligations for participating in the program.

    • Supplying Required Information
      The Family must supply any information that the PHS or HUD determines is necessarily for administration of the program, and to certify or recertify a family. This includes information about family income and household members.
    • Disclosing and Verifying Social Security Numbers
      The family must disclose and verify social security numbers and must sign and submit consent forms for obtaining information.
    • True and Complete Information
      Any information provided by the family must be true and complete.
    • Comply with Housing Quality Standards (HQS)
      The family is responsible for meeting certain requirements.
    • Allowing the PHA to Inspect the Unit
      The family must allow the PHA to inspect the unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice.
    • Violations of the Lease
      The family may not commit any serious or repeated violation of the lease.
    • Family Notice of Move or Lease Termination
      The family must notify the PHA and the owner before the family moves out of the unit, or terminates the lease on notice to the owner.
    • Owner Eviction Notice
      The family must promptly give the PHA a copy of any owner eviction notice.
    • Use and Occupancy of the Unit
      The family must use the assisted unit for residence by the family and as the family’s only residence.
    • Approval of Family Members
      The members of the family must be approved by the PHA. The family must promptly inform the PHA of the birth, adoption or court-awarded custody of the Child. The family must request PHA approval to add any other family members as an occupant of the Unit.
    • Family Member Move
      The family must promptly notify the PHA if a family member no longer resides in the unit.
    • Foster Children
      A foster child or live-in aide may reside in the unit with approval of the PHA.
    • Profit-Making Activities
      Family members may engage in legal profit making activities in the unit, according to the lease terms, but only if such activities are incidental to the primary use of the unit as the family’s residence.
    • Subleasing
      The family must not sublease or sublet the unit.
    • Assigning or Transferring
      The family must not assign the lease or transfer the unit.
    • Absence from the Unit
      The family must supply any information or certification requested by the PHA to verify that the family is living in the unit, or relating to family absence. The family must promptly notify the PHA of absence from the unit.
    • Interest or Ownership
      The family must not own or have any interest in the unit.
    • Fraud and Other Program Violations
      The members of the family must not commit fraud, bribery or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with the program.
    • Crime by Family Members
      The members of the family may not engage in drug-related criminal activity or violent criminal activity.
    • Other Housing Assistance
      An assisted family, or members of the family, may not receive Section 8 assistance while receiving another housing subsidy for the same unit.
    • Alcohol or Substance Abuse
      The family must not engage in illegal use of a controlled substance; or abuse of alcohol that threatens the health and safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.
  • Family obligations to the owner

    The Family obligations to the owner are contained in the lease agreement.
    Please read it carefully

    • Pay the rent on time
    • Take care of the housing unit
      Generally, the owner is required to make repairs and provide routine maintenance. However, if a housing unit fails to meet Housing Quality Standards because of the following items, it is the responsibility of the family.
    • The family is required to provide any utilities (such as electricity, gas or water) that are not furnished by the owner. If this happens, you will be given a brief period of time to get the utilities in service. If you are responsible to provide utilities, make certain that they remain in service.
    • The family is responsible for providing and maintaining any appliance that the owner does not furnish, such as a stove or refrigerator.
    • The family is responsible for damages to the unit or premises (beyond normal wear and tear) that are caused by any family member or guest.
    • HUD requires that all families be recertified at least annually. You will receive a letter from the PHA advising you when you are due to be recertified. An appointment will be scheduled to review your household income and composition.
    • PHA is also required to inspect your housing unit at least annually. You will be notified by letter of the date and time of the inspection. It is your responsibility to make sure that an adult is there to allow the inspector to enter the premises. Again, we are counting on your cooperation so that there will not be any interruptions in your housing assistance.
  • Changes in household

    • When a family member moves out of your unit, you must report it to the PHA immediately.
    • If you are considering having someone move into your unit, you must first notify the PHA, because all members must be approved by the PHA.
    • If there is a change in your household income or composition, you need to report these changes in accordance with the PHA rules presented to you at the briefing.
    • If your family has an increase in income that causes your share of the rent to equal or exceed the amount of the total rent, the housing assistance payment from the PHA to the landlord will be reduced to zero. However, if your family remains in the unit, the Housing Assistance Contract with the owner will remain in effect for 180 calendar days.
    • During the 180 day period your family is still considered to be on the program, even though assistance payments are not being made. If you have a reduction of income and become eligible for assistance during this period, the PHA will resume payments to the owner based on the new amount of the family’s income.
  • Income verification

    HUD matches income data you supplied to the PHA with IRS income data. If the income you reported to the PHA does not match the income information the IRS has for the same period, HUD will notify you.

    You are required to give the PHA any letter or other notice that you receive from HUD concerning the amount or verification of your family’s income. If you receive a notice or letter from HUD concerning your income, contact the PHA right away.

    The Department of HUD determines the amount of funding that is available for rental assistance in each community. It is important to ensure that the funds are used to assist only those families who are eligible. The reason PHAs have waiting lists is that there isn’t enough funding to assist all of the families who apply.

    The PHA assumes that the information provided by the families is complete and accurate but occasionally we find that it is not. Making false statements and providing false information are serious violations of program rules as well as violations of State and Federal Criminal Laws.

    Please be aware that if families provide false information or documents:

    • They will be subject to denial or termination of assistance.
    • They will be required to repay any amounts that were paid by the PHA.
    • If it is determined that these actions are intentional, the family may be subject to criminal penalties under State and Federal Law.

    If you are not sure about the rules and procedures, please contact your PHA representative to get the correct information. No one should be evicted or lose their assistance unnecessarily. If you are aware of someone who is violating program rules, please contact your PHA representative.

  • BRIEFING

  • SIZE OF VOUCHER

  • LENGTH OF VOUCHER

  • LEASING IN-PLACE

  • THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A UNIT

  • GENERAL INFORMATION

  • FINDING A UNIT

  • QUESTIONS ABOUT THE UNIT

  • MEETING THE LANDLORD

  • APPROVING A RENTAL UNIT

  • FAMILY OBLIGATIONS TO THE PHA

  • FAMILY OBLIGATIONS TO THE OWNER

  • CHANGES IN HOUSEHOLD

  • INCOME VERIFICATION

INFORMATION CHECKLIST

Park City Communities wants to ensure that all Section 8 participants know and understand the Section 8 program and their rights. The pdfs below provide important information related to participation in the Section 8 program.

additional forms