The Housing Choice Voucher (or Section 8) Program enables low-income families and individuals to find affordable housing through subsidized funding from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At the very local level, this program is administered by the Ashland County Housing Authority (ACHA).
Voucher holders select a suitable unit in the private rental market. Program participants normally pay no more than 30% of their monthly adjusted income on rent and utilities. The housing assistance payment subsidizes the balance of the rent to the property owner.
Eligibility for a voucher in Ashland County is determined by the ACHA based on the total annual gross income and family size. After you have been selected from the waiting list, information on your income, assets, and family composition will be collected and assessed. In general, the family’s income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county for the metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live.
Once your household has been issued a voucher, you can search the private rental market in your community for a rental unit that suits your needs. When you have found a unit that passes a Housing Quality Standards (HQI) inspection and the owner agrees to lease the unit to your family under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, the landlord and the ACHA sign a housing assistance contract which runs for the same term as the lease.
The Roles of the Tenant, Landlord, and ACHA
- Tenant: After a family selects a housing unit and the ACHA approves both the unit and lease by way of the HQI, the family signs the lease with the landlord for at least one year. 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 basis. The family is expected to comply with the lease and the program requirements, maintain the condition and cleanliness of the unit, and inform the housing authority of any changes in income or family composition.
- Landlord: The landlord must 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 accordingly so long as the owner receives housing assistance payments.
- Ashland County Housing Authority: The ACHA administers the vouchers to local families, enabling them to seek out market-rate housing. We will then enter into a contract with the landlord to provide rental assistance payments on your behalf.
Portability and Moving Outside of the County
Portability is the transfer process that enables those with Housing Choice Vouchers to relocate and select housing anywhere in the United States. To qualify for portability, you need to have already lived in Ashland County for at least one year.
History of the Program
In 1974, the Section 8 (now also known as the Housing Choice Voucher) Program was authorized by Congress and developed by HUD to provide rental subsidies for eligible low-income households, but the actual term “Section 8” originates from Section 8 of the US Housing Act of 1937. Subsidies are based on a percentage of monthly income and ensure that these households have access to safe and clean housing.
How to Apply
To apply for a Housing Choice Voucher, please print and fill out the application at this link. To submit the application, you can contact Nikki Horak via:
- Fax: (715) 274-4303
- Email: email@example.com
- US Postal Service: P.O. Box 349, Mellen, WI 54546