Housing Choice Voucher Programs

LMHA administers the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The program is commonly called Section 8. This federally-funded rental program allows families to choose their home in the private housing market. Families who are determined eligible are issued a housing choice voucher. Although the agency can provide help with locating a unit, the family is ultimately responsible for locating a suitable unit.

A housing subsidy (a determined portion of the rent) is paid to the landlord directly by LMHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized (paid) by the program.

LMHA may potentially assist up to 4400 families with rental assistance through the HCV program. 

Assistance in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is tied to the family, not the unit, and allows the family to lease any unit that meets the program requirements, including units outside Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority jurisdiction.

Participants are selected from the HCV waiting list, typically pay approximately 30% of income toward rent; the landlord receives the difference in the form of a housing assistance payment (HAP) from LMHA.

Voucher Program Information


The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program. Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies (PHAs).

The PHAs receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program. LMHA administers the HCV program in Lucas, Wood and most of Fulton counties in the state of Ohio and Monroe County, Michigan.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by LMHA.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by LMHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. Under certain circumstances, if authorized by LMHA, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.

Once LMHA approves an eligible family's housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and, at the same time, the landlord and LMHA sign a housing assistance payments contract that runs for the same term as the lease. This means that everyone -- tenant, landlord and LMHA -- has obligations and responsibilities under the voucher program.

Tenant's Obligations


The Housing Choice Voucher, the family's authorization to search for housing, is issued after the family has been determined eligible and oriented on the Section 8 Program requirements. This applies to new families and families requesting to move to another apartment or house.

When a family selects a housing unit, and LMHA approves the unit and lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at least 1 year. The tenant 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 family to remain in the unit on a month-to-month lease.

When the family is settled in a new home, the family is expected to comply with the lease and the program requirements, pay its share of rent on time, maintain the unit in good condition and notify LMHA of any changes in income or family composition.

Landlord's Obligations


The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program's housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with LMHA.

Housing Authority's Obligations


LMHA administers the voucher program locally. LMHA provides a family with the housing assistance that enables the family to seek out suitable housing and LMHA enters into a contract with the landlord to provide housing assistance payments on behalf of the family. If the landlord fails to meet the owner's obligations under the lease, LMHA has the right to terminate assistance payments. LMHA must reexamine the family's income and composition at least annually and must inspect each unit at least annually to ensure that it meets minimum housing quality standards.