Important Changes to the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing Programs: Coming July 1


The federal budget reductions commonly known as “sequestration” had a dramatic impact across the country – including the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Public Housing programs.  At the start of sequestration, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) took a number of immediate steps – including freezing new leasing and cancelling new project-based voucher awards – to make sure none of our participating families lost their housing.  While these initial steps were successful and no family leased in HCV or Public Housing lost their home due to sequestration, the FCRHA must take additional actions designed to both ensure the long-term viability of both programs, and help us begin new leasing again in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

What’s Changing?

For Public Housing residents: 

  • Tenant portion of rent:  Effective with new re-certifications beginning July 1, 2014, the tenant’s portion of the rent will increase from 30 percent of their income to 35 percent.  The increase would apply to all families, with the exception of elderly and disabled families on a fixed income of only Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Note: The increase of the tenant’s portion of rent is subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

How do I learn more? 

You will have an opportunity to learn more about these changes at our two planned Public Housing meetings, which are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, April 2; 7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. – South County Center, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria; Second Floor, Room 221 A-B-C
  • Monday, April 7;   7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. – Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax; Board Auditorium

You may also send questions by email to dhcd-changes@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call our information line at 703-279-7309.  You can also visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” page here.

What happens next?

At your next recertification, starting this July, the changes will start to take effect.  Your Housing Services Specialist will meet with you and explain what these changes will mean in your specific case.  You will receive your recertification package as usual, and when you meet with your specialist to walk you through each steps of the changes. 

For Housing Choice Voucher participants:

  • Tenant portion of rent:  Effective with new re-certifications beginning July 1, 2014, the tenant’s portion of the rent will increase from 30 percent of their income to 35 percent.  The increase would apply to all families, with the exception of elderly and disabled families on a fixed income of only Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Families participating in the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program are also exempt from this change.

  • Housing Choice Voucher payment standards: Effective with new re-certifications beginning July 1, 2014, all HCV participants will be notified of reduced payment standards to be implemented 12 months from the re-certification. These reduced payment standards only apply to the Housing Choice Voucher program and set the maximum payments that will be made by the FCRHA. All standards will be reduced to HUD’s Fair Market Rents with the exception of the two-bedroom standard.

  • Recertification and inspection schedule changes:  Starting July 1, 2014, most families will be put on an “every two years” schedule for re-certifications; some families on a fixed income will go to an “every three years” schedule.  In addition, some families may move to an “every two years” schedule for inspections.  Families will be advised by their Housing Service Specialist when their next recertification will occur. 

Note: The increase of the tenant’s portion of rent and reduced payment standards are subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

How do I learn more? 

You will have an opportunity to learn more about these changes at our two planned Housing Choice Voucher meetings, which are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, April 2; 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – South County Center, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria; Second Floor, Room 221 A-B-C
  • Monday, April 7;   8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax; Board Auditorium

You may also send questions by email to dhcd-changes@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call our information line at 703-279-7309.  You can also visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” page here.

What happens next?

At your next recertification, starting this July, the changes will start to take effect.  Your Housing Services Specialist will meet with you and explain what these changes will mean in your specific case.  You will receive your recertification package as usual, and when you meet with your specialist to walk you through each steps of the changes. 

 

 

 

 

 


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