What are Housing Choice Vouchers?
HCVs increase affordable housing choices for very low-income families. Families with a Housing Choice Vouchers choose and lease safe, decent, and affordable privately-owned rental housing.
What families are eligible to apply for resident-based vouchers?
Very low-income families (i.e families with incomes below 50% of area median income) and a few specific categories of families with incomes up to 80% of the area median income. These include families that are already assisted under the 1937 U.S. Housing Act, such as families physically displaced by public housing demolition, and owners opting out of project-based section 8 housing assistance payments (HAP) contracts. (HUD determines median income levels for each area annually.)
How does a PHA determine if a family is income eligible?
CMHA compares the family's annual income (gross income) with the HUD-established very low-income limit or low-income limit for the Cincinnati-Hamilton County area. The family's gross income cannot exceed this limit.
How do families obtain tenant-based vouchers?
Families apply to the CMHA who administers this program. When an eligible family comes to the top of the CMHA's housing choice voucher waiting list, CMHA issues a housing choice voucher to the family.
How does a family obtain an apartment once they have a voucher?
It is the responsibility of a family to find a unit that meets their needs. If the family finds a unit that meets the housing quality standards, the rent is reasonable, and the unit meets other program requirements, CMHA executes a HAP contract with the property owner. This contract authorizes CMHA to make subsidy payments on behalf of the family. If the family moves out of the unit, the contract with the owner ends and the family can move with continued assistance to another unit.
How much rent do vouchers cover?
CMHA pays the owner the difference between 30 percent of adjusted family income and a CMHA determined payment standard or the gross rent for the unit, whichever is lower. Rent plus utilities may not exceed 40% of the family's income when initially occupying a unit.
Do families have to lease a unit in the jurisdiction where the PHA issued the voucher?
No. A family may choose a unit anywhere in the Cincinnati-Hamilton County area. However, the family may only use the voucher to lease a unit in an area where the family is income eligible at admission to the program.
Can I use my voucher in the Cincinnati-Hamilton County area if it was issued somewhere else?
Yes. You can use (port) your voucher to the Cincinnati-Hamilton County area. CMHA will bill the issuing Housing Authority for the administration of your voucher.