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Housing Choice Voucher Programs

Mission Statement

The mission of the Compton Housing Authority is to promote adequate and affordable housing, economic opportunity, and a suitable living environment free from discrimination.

For elderly and disabled persons, economic independence and self-sufficiency means the ability to live independently with their resources.

HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM

The Housing Choice Voucher program provides monthly rental assistance to participants who want to rent from a private landlord, but cannot afford the full monthly rental payment. The Housing Choice Voucher program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Compton Housing Authority administers the Housing Choice Voucher program for HUD in the City of Compton. Housing Choice Voucher program regulations are established by HUD and Compton Local Housing Authority.

The purpose of the program is to enable eligible families or individuals to have decent, safe, and sanitary housing by paying a portion of rental costs, including rent and utilities (not phone or cable), on behalf of a family.

Both families and individuals may be eligible for the program. Eligibility for the program is primarily determined by family composition and income. To be eligible, applicants must be within either the “extremely low” (30% of area median) or “very low” (50% of area median) income limit for their family size.

Other factors in determining eligibility include, but are not limited to: citizenship status, previous participation in federally subsidized housing program, criminal history, and age (you must be at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor). The allowable annual household income (or income limit) is established by HUD. If you are determined eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher program, you will be issued a voucher of participation. The first term of the Housing Choice Voucher is 60 days. You may need to show the voucher to the landlord to verify that you are eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher program. However, do not let a landlord or anyone else keep your voucher.

Owners are not required to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher program, and they may screen prospective tenants. Owners may apply the same screening criteria to voucher holders that they apply to nonsubsidized tenants. For example, they may check credit or former landlord references. Compton Housing Authority is required to make available to potential landlords the name and address of your current and previous landlords. The Compton Housing Authority will also inform landlords if you have previously been evicted or if your assistance has ever been terminated for certain criminal acts. If you think an owner is refusing to rent to you because of race, color, creed, religion, disability, age, or familial status, you may file a discrimination complaint with the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity National Toll free Hot Line at 1-800-669-9777.

What size unit should you look for?

Generally, it is best to search for the unit size allocated on your voucher. However, it may be possible to rent a unit larger or smaller than your allocation. There are certain restrictions.

What type of units may be rented?

Apartments, condominiums, duplexes, and houses.

 

FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM

The elderly and disabled may also choose to live in an assisted living facility. The unit must be privately owned, and the family receiving assistance cannot have any financial interest in the unit, unless it is a participant in the Homeownership Voucher program.

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a HUD program that encourages communities to develop local strategies to help assisted families obtain employment that will lead to economic independence and self-sufficiency. Public housing agencies (PHAs) work with welfare agencies, schools, businesses, and other local partners to develop a comprehensive program that gives participating FSS family members the skills and experience to enable them to obtain employment that pays a living wage.

What is the history of the FSS program?

FSS was established in 1990 by Section 554 of the National Affordable Housing Act. It is one successor program to project self-sufficiency and operation bootstrap.

What services are provided through the FSS program?

  • Child care
  • Transportation
  • Education
  • Job training and employment counseling
  • Substance/alcohol abuse treatment or counseling
  • Household skill training
  • Homeownership counseling
  • Parenting skills
  • Healthy living

What requirements must a family meet to participate in the FSS program?

The PHA and the head of each participating family execute an FSS contract of participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The five-year FSS contract specifies goals and services for each family. Family members must fulfill all requirements in order to obtain full benefits.

The FSS contract requires that the family comply with the lease, requiring that all family members become independent of welfare and that the head of the family seek and maintain suitable employment. Possible sanctions for non-compliance with the FSS contract are termination from the FSS program, forfeiture of the FSS escrow account, withholding or termination of supportive services, and termination of housing choice voucher assistance.

What is the FSS escrow account?

The PHA provides a credit to an escrow account, based on increases in earned income of the family, during the term of the FSS contract. The PHA may make a portion of this escrow account available to the family during the term of the contract to enable the family to complete an interim goal such as education.

If the family completes the contract and no member of the family is receiving welfare, the amount of the FSS escrow account is paid to the head of the family. If the PHA terminates the FSS contract, or if the family fails to complete the contract before its expiration, the family’s FSS escrow funds are forfeited.

Who is eligible to participate in the housing choice voucher FSS Program?

Families who receive assistance under the housing choice voucher program are eligible to participate in the FSS program.

How long does the FSS program last?

Participants have up to five years to reach self-sufficiency. Program completion occurs when the family head-of-household reaches his/her employment goal and the family has been welfare free from 12 consecutive months.

How can you sign-up for the FSS program?

To learn more about FSS, contact Ms. Green at (310) 605-6306.

Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program

The Compton Local Housing Authority has established a Section 8 tenant-based voucher homeownership option in Compton, California, pursuant to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed rule dated April 30, 1999 and pursuant to Section 555 of the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998, authorizing HUD to carry out demonstration programs under Section 8(y).

The basic concept for what is now called the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership Program is that a PHA may choose to allow families receiving HCV rental assistance to use their subsidies for homeownership rather than for rental purposes. PHAs apply the HCV subsidy to monthly homeownership expenses (mortgage payments), instead of paying a landlord rental housing assistance.

OVERVIEW

The basic concept behind the Voucher Homeownership Program is that, instead of using the voucher subsidy to help a family with rent payments, the homeownership option allows first-time homeowners to use the voucher subsidy to meet monthly homeownership expenses.

Under the Homeownership Voucher option, families are responsible for finding an eligible property they wish to purchase. Homeownership assistance payments are provided to help the new homeowner with monthly homeownership payments. The Housing Authority uses the same voucher payment standard amounts for families pursuing the homeownership option. The monthly homeownership assistance payment (HAP) is calculated as the lesser of:

Payment standard minus family total tenant payment (TTP), or

Family’s monthly homeownership expenses minus family TTP.

To be eligible for the Homeownership option, a family must be a current voucher program participant or eligible for admission to the Housing Choice Voucher program. Families must be employed full-time (at least 30 hours per week) and must have been employed for at least one year. Families are not eligible if any family member has previously received homeownership assistance and has defaulted on a mortgage. Eligible families must also satisfactorily complete a homeownership counseling program required by the Housing Authority.

Eligibility for the HCV Homeownership Program:

In order to participate in HCV homeownership, a family must have an HCV rental voucher, or be eligible for a voucher through an HCV homeownership program. The family must be a first-time homeowner (has not owned a home in the past three years). At least one adult member of a non-disabled family must be currently employed full-time (30 hours per week), and have been so employed during the past 12 months. The head or spouse must be employed full time continuously during the year before commencement of homeownership assistance. The program will give priority to participants in the Family Self-Sufficiency program (FSS). The participant will be required to provide one percent of the home purchase price as a down payment. The family’s income must be equal to or exceed two times the payment standard for the family’s unit size. No public assistance income may be used for meeting this requirement (i.e., Welfare Grant, TANF, SSI, Food Stamps, and General Assistance). Participants and applicants must complete required pre-assistance homeownership counseling.

Units eligible under the HCV are units that are under construction (ground has been broken, and foundation laid prior to family contracting for the unit) or already existing units, including single family homes, condos, town homes, and manufactured homes (with certain restrictions). Property must meet environmental requirements, and pass both HUD’s Housing Quality Standards inspection and an inspection by a licensed, independent professional before the family can close on the home.

The Housing Authority will provide assistance payments based on the payment standard for the family’s voucher size allocation, minus the family’s “Total Tenant Payment.” The family is responsible for securing its own financing.

The maximum term of HCV homeownership assistance is 15 years if the mortgage term is 30 years or longer. These terms limits do not apply to elderly or disabled families.

In order to continue receiving HCV homeownership assistance, a complete annual recertification of family income and composition must be completed. The family must also comply with family obligations under the program, as well as any additional requirements set by the Housing Authority.

 
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