How the HCV Program Works

The Housing Choice Voucher Program may be able to assist you with your rent each month. How do you know if you are eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher Program? Your first step is to apply to be on the Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List. The Fulton Housing Authority Waiting List is currently open for applications as funding is available.

Please be sure to keep your address and phone number updated with Fulton Housing Authority at all times. Eligibility is based upon your household income, the criminal history of all members of the household, and whether or not you or anyone in your household owes any monies to any other Housing Authority or has been terminated from assistance or evicted from a Public Housing Agency within the past five years.

Once your eligibility is verified, all new participants are required to attend an HCV briefing. The purpose of the briefing is to provide you with all the information you need to be a successful HCV participant. At the briefing, you will receive your voucher. Below is a summary of the information that will be covered at the briefing.

Using Your Voucher

Your voucher is an agreement between you and FHA. When you sign your voucher, you are agreeing to abide by the Family Obligations for the program. In exchange, FHA will assist you with your rent, provided that you find an approved place within the time limit.

You must find a rental unit and submit a Request for Tenancy Approval before your voucher expires. If you don’t, the voucher will be issued to someone else from the waiting list, and you will be required to re-apply. You may be eligible for an extension, but it must be requested in writing 2 weeks before the original expiration date and submitted to the HCV program director.

If you or the new unit landlord do not agree on tenancy, or the selected unit does not pass an FHA Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection, you will be given back the un-expired time on your voucher to search for another unit.

Your voucher is valid anywhere within the City of Fulton. After you have fulfilled your initial 12-month rental lease in this county, you may be able to transfer your voucher to anywhere in the United States providing you are in good standing with FHA.

Finding a Home

Having a good place to live is important. Through your Public Housing Agency (or PHA) the Section 8 Certificate Program and the Housing Voucher Program help you to rent a good place. You are free to choose any house or apartment you like, as long as it meets certain requirements for quality.

You may choose to use your voucher for the unit you are currently living in. This is called “leasing in place.”

You may also search public listings for available apartments that participate in the HCV program or those that are interested in the program.

Consider the neighborhood. Talk to the neighbors. Is it safe? What schools will your children be going to? What are the average utilities for the unit? Check out nearby shopping and access to public transportation.

If you select a unit built before 1978, it may contain lead. Read the brochure enclosed with the HCV Briefing packet and follow the steps listed on the back to protect your family from lead.

Applying for a Place to Live

Most landlords will require you to complete an application. Be sure you are prepared to complete the form by having the names, addresses, and phone numbers of your references with you. Many landlords will charge you a fee with the application to cover the expense of having your references checked. Fulton Housing Authority will not reimburse for this fee.

The landlord may check with FHA to verify your current and prior addresses and landlords. FHA is required to provide this information along with information about complaints or notices.

The landlord may charge you a deposit. The HCV program does not pay the deposit for you. Your landlord is not allowed to charge you more than one month’s contract rent for your deposit.

Most landlords have established standards for accepting or denying an applicant. Standards may include things such as a minimum number of past landlord references, sufficient income to pay rent, good credit history, no felony convictions, no prior evictions, etc. If you believe that you have been denied housing for a reason other than a reasonable standard, you may be a victim of unlawful housing discrimination. The HCV Briefing packet contains information about Fair Housing laws and a copy of HUD’s Housing Discrimination Complaint form.

Completing the Approval Process

Once you have found your unit and you and the landlord has agreed to enter into a lease,the landlord will complete the landlord packet, and they will then return the packet to your HCV program manager at 350 Sycamore, Fulton, MO 65251.

The completed paperwork will be evaluated for rent reasonableness and client affordability and sent to FHA’s HCV program manager. An inspection will be scheduled with the landlord. The landlord must be present at the inspection. If the residence needs repairs, the landlord and client will be given a list of what needs to be done by mail. The landlord must submit in writing a request for another inspection when the repairs are completed within 15 days. Unless you are leasing in place, do not move into the unit or sign a lease until it passes inspection.

After the unit passes the inspection, and the rent the landlord requests is approved, and verification of utilities are turned in, the HCV program manager will prepare the HAP contract. The signed documents need to be returned to the FHA program manager. If everything is in order, the program manager will complete the paperwork and enter the information into the FHA computer system. FHA will not pay rent until the start date of the Housing Assistance Payments contract.

Your landlord will receive the first check within one to three weeks. FHA payments will be paid on the first of each month.

Following the Rules

The Family Obligations Form and the voucher contain the complete list of all the rules, obligations, and requirements you must follow to avoid losing your housing assistance.

Some examples of reasons that could cause you to lose your housing assistance include:

  • failing to pay the tenant portion of the rent
  • engaging in drug-related or violent criminal activity
  • failing to report, in writing, any changes in household size
  • failing to report any income for any adult in the household
  • failing to abide by the terms of the lease
  • damaging the unit or causing disturbances

You may lose your voucher if you are evicted. If you are evicted or receive an eviction or termination notice, you must provide FHA with a copy of the notice.

350 Sycamore, Fulton, MO 65251
Phone: (573) 642-7611
Fax: (573) 642-4260
Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Website: http://fhamo.org
Email: contact@fhamo.org