HABC

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, is a federal rent subsidy program that assists low-income households with monthly rental payments.

  • How does the program work?

The Housing Authority of Brevard County administers funds received from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and distributes them,
in the form of Section Housing Choice Vouchers, to eligible families and individuals. A voucher allows program participants to rent housing that meet their needs at a price they can afford.

  • How does the voucher work?

All eligible families are required to pay at least 30% (but no more than 40% initially) of their monthly-adjusted income toward rent and utilities, directly to the landlord. The Housing Authority of Brevard County pays the landlord the difference between the Contract Rent and the tenant’s portion. A tenant must find housing within 60 days or risk losing the voucher.

  • How is an eligible program participant selected?

The Housing Authority of Brevard County reviews the eligibility of the participant(s) based on household income and family composition. The landlord is responsible for screening occupants of the rental unit. This screening process must be in accordance with federal, state and local equal opportunity laws.

  • My house is brand new (just constructed) - does it still need to be inspected?

Yes, once the Request for Tenancy Approval has been processed and approved – the
unit must be inspected. All units subsidized by the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program must be inspected to verify that all aspects of the unit meet the minimum Housing Quality Standards, regardless of whether or not the unit is a new construction.

  • What happens if my tenant moves in before the unit passes inspection?

The Housing Assistance Payment Contract cannot be executed until the contract unit passes inspection. Therefore, no payments will be made until the unit has passed inspection and all required paperwork had been received and approved by the Housing Authority of Brevard County. If you elected to allow the tenant to move-in prior to this passed inspection, you will have to negotiate and collect rent independent of the Housing Authority of Brevard County.

  • What documents should I review/collect prior to completing the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA)?

All clients eligible to transfer to a new unit should have a current Housing Choice Voucher in their possession. You should verify that the Voucher has NOT yet expired and that the bedroom size on the voucher corresponds to the bedroom size for which client states they are eligible. In addition, you should have the potential tenant complete any rental application, and reference information that you require. Once you have determined that the client is suitable for your unit, then complete and submit the Request for Tenancy Approval.

  • How long will it take for the Housing Authority of Brevard County to approve or disapprove the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA)?

Typically, the Housing Authority of Brevard County will notify the owner and the tenant of the status of the RFTA within 15 days.

  • How long will it take for the unit to be inspected after the RFTA is approved?

Typically, the Housing Authority of Brevard County will inspect the proposed unit and notify the owner/tenant of the outcome within 15 days.

  • How do I know how much rent to charge my tenant if I have not yet received official notification from the Housing Authority of Brevard County of the tenant's portion?

When a tenant receives the voucher from their HCV Occupancy Specialist (technician), they are instructed to pay their TTP (Total Tenant Payment) until they receive an official letter from the Housing Authority of their new rent portion. This amount should be notated at the bottom of the client’s Housing Choice Voucher (which should be reviewed by you prior to completing the Request for Tenancy Approval). If there is any discrepancy, the tenant’s technician can be contacted for clarification.

  • What happens if the Housing Authority of Brevard County terminates my tenant's assistance in the middle of the lease agreement?

When the Housing Authority of Brevard County terminates the housing assistance payment due to the client’s noncompliance with program regulations, then the lease agreement is terminated – regardless of whether or not the lease has naturally expired. HABC may NOT continue payments on behalf of a client who has not complied with the rules of the program.

  • What happens if my tenant receives a termination letter?

If your tenant is issued an “Intent to Terminate Assistance” letter, then the owner will also receive a letter to notify them that the agency intends to terminate the client’s assistance and the date that the termination is to be effective. Once a client receives a termination letter, they have the right to request an Informal Hearing to dispute the agency’s intention. If your tenant requests an Informal Hearing regarding a pending termination you will be notified via a copy of the hearing appointment letter. The agency will continue to make housing assistance payments until the results of the Informal Hearing have been finalized.

  • What if my tenant violates the lease agreement?

The individual landlord/owner is responsible for enforcing the terms and conditions of the lease agreement. However, the landlord should always provide the agency with copies of notices sent to the tenant regarding lease violations (7 Day Notices, 3 Day Notices, Warnings, etc.) In general, a Section 8 participant should be treated no differently than any other unassisted tenant. If our client is committing serious or repeated violations of the lease, then the landlord should enforce the lease in accordance with Florida law and provide copies of all paperwork to the Housing Authority of Brevard County. The Housing Authority of Brevard County can act as arbitrator to help resolve problems and, upon written request, the HCV Occupancy Specialist (technician) will counsel the family regarding a repeated problem the landlord may be experiencing with a tenant, only after the landlord has personally tried to resolve the matter first himself.

  • What if I want to break the tenant's lease before it expires?

The Housing Authority of Brevard County does not allow tenants and landlords to “mutually rescind” a lease that is in its initial term (first year). If the landlord wants to break the lease because the tenant is violating the lease, then the landlord should proceed with lease enforcement (up to and including eviction) in accordance with Florida law. The Housing Authority of Brevard County discourages landlords from “mutually rescinding” leases to avoid lease enforcement. This practice prevents the agency from being aware the client seems to be having compliance issues and transfers a client to a new unit, without addressing the problems or issues at the previous unit. If the landlord is selling the property, the HAP Contract may be transferred to the new owner upon Housing Authority of Brevard County approval.

  • When can I request a rent increase? How much can I ask for?

The owner is required to notify the Housing Authority of Brevard County, in writing, at least 60 days before the anniversary date of the HAP Contract. Any requested change in the rent to owner will be subject to rent reasonableness requirements. How much of a rent increase will be approved is contingent upon the rent reasonableness results.