Section 8: Roles & Responsibilities

Responsibilities within the Rental Voucher Program

Once the Housing Authority approves an eligible family's lease and housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and, at the same time, the landlord and the Housing Authority sign a housing assistance contract which runs for the same term as the lease. This means that the client, the landlord and the Housing Authority have obligations and responsibilities within the rental voucher program.

Client's Role

When a client selects a housing unit, and the Housing Authority approves the unit and lease, the client signs a lease with the landlord for at least one year. The client 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 client to remain in the unit on a month-to-month lease.

When the client is settled in a new home, they are expected to comply with the lease and the Section 8 program requirements, pay their share of rent and utilities on time, maintain the unit in good condition and be responsible for normal housekeeping maintenance of the rental unit.

Serious or repeated lease violations can result in the termination of housing assistance under the federal regulations.

The client is responsible for notifying the Housing Authority of any changes in income or family composition.

Landlord's Role

The role of the landlord in the rental voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a client at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the Section 8 program's housing standards and the landlord is responsible for the upkeep of the property and must maintain these standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments.

The Landlord is expected to maintain the property's overall condition and see that the basic plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems, etc. are functioning properly. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the client and the contract signed with the Housing Authority.

Should the family violate the terms of the lease or fail to pay the rent, the landlord would evict the family through the normal court eviction procedure and send the Housing Authority copies of any notices that are served to the tenant so the Housing Authority can respond properly.

Housing Authority's Role

The Housing Authority administers the rental voucher program. In order for the program to work the Housing Authority must provide the following: prompt and professional service to the client and the landlord; a review of all applications to determine whether an applicant is eligible for the program; issuance of a voucher and, if necessary, assist the client in finding a place to live; approve the unit, the landlord, and the tenancy; make housing assistance payments to the landlord in a timely manner; ensure that both the client and the unit continue to qualify under the program; ensure that landlords and clients comply with the program regulations.

The Housing Authority operates the Section 8 Programs under an approved HUD Administrative Plan, that complies with the requirements under the Quality Housing and Responsibility Act, which is available for review at the Authority offices. If the landlord fails to meet his/her obligations under the contract, the Housing Authority has the right to terminate assistance payments.

HUD's Role

To cover the cost of the program, HUD provides funds to allow the Housing Authority to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the families and HUD pays the Housing Authority a fee for the costs of administering the program.

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