Housing Choice Voucher Program
Q: What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
A: Here is what HUD’s website has to say: HUD Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet The condensed version is a participant enters the program through a waiting list offered at a housing authority, is issued a voucher, selects a property of their choice, and then complies with all applicable regulations. The voucher program is an income based program.
Q: How long can I participate in the program?
A: Currently there is not a time limit. However, the participant must remain in compliance with all Federal Regulations and Housing Authority of Myrtle Beach Policies and Procedures governing the program. A tenant can be terminated from the program for not adhering to these governing practices.
Q: How does a person apply to receive a voucher?
A: You can see the details of the Housing Authority of Myrtle Beach’s waiting list status on the front page of our website. We will post further information there when the waiting list opens.
Q: I have received my voucher…what now?
A: You should start searching for your new home. You choose your own property. Just be sure that the new property owner is going to participate in the Voucher program. Property owners do not have to participate in the program – it is their choice.
Housing Authority of Myrtle Beach jurisdiction is from the North Carolina State line to the Georgetown County line, from Highway 905 at the North Carolina State line to the corporate service limits of Conway, from Highway 501 to Singleton Ridge Road, to Highway 544 to Gravely Gully Creek, then straight line to the Waccamaw River to the Georgetown County Line.
The property you select must be within the operating area. If your property is outside of the operating area you may be ported to the housing authority, if eligible, that operates in that area.
Present the RFTA (Request for Tenancy Addendum) packet of information you were provided in the briefing to the property owner. The owner will complete their part of the packet. The packet needs to be filled out completely, including the subsidy question. If there is no subsidy linked to the property, the landlord should write “none.” Once the packet is completed bring it to the office along with a Sample Lease. A Sample Lease is an unsigned copy of the lease to be executed between you and the property owner. We recommend that you do not mail the packet as it could be lost in the mail. We do not accept faxed copies of the packet. We must have the original in our office. If you will bring the packet to the office in person we will review the packet and then verify that the proposed rent requested is affordable according to the HUD requirements of the Voucher program. As long as the unit is affordable we will let you know as soon as possible. If the unit is not affordable we will also let you know. The next step is inspecting the unit.
Q: What if I want to move outside of MBHA’s jurisdiction?
A: An eligible family that has been issued a housing choice voucher may use that voucher to lease a unit anywhere in the United States where there is a housing agency operating a housing choice voucher program. This feature of the program is referred to as portability. The ability to port out may depend on whether the receiving housing authority is absorbing or billing.
Housing Quality Inspections (HQS)
Q: What about the initial inspection?
A: The RFTA packet has a specific form that asks when the unit will be ready to be inspected. This is NOT the date we will be inspecting the unit. This is the date the unit is ready to be inspected. We will inspect the unit on or after this date. All housing authorities use the same Federal inspection form: HUD 52580 Inspection Form. We will contact the property owner to schedule an inspection for this unit. The utilities must be on and the unit should be ready when the inspector arrives. Do not sign a lease with the property owner until the unit has passed the inspection and all required paperwork has been submitted to the MBHA and approved. If you sign a lease prior to receiving approval from MBHA you will be responsible for 100% of the rent. Once the inspection has passed and all other required paperwork has been submitted and approved, the landlord and tenant are eligible to execute a lease. The executed lease should be submitted to the Housing Authority of Myrtle Beach to enable the process to generate a HAP Contract. The date of the executed lease cannot be prior to the unit passing inspection and approval of tenancy by MBHA.
Q: Are there any other inspections?
A: Landlords and tenants receive a Notice of Inspection scheduled for the annual inspection of each unit under Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract. All units must be inspected at least annually even if a tenant is scheduled to move. The Head of Household, co-Head/Spouse, or another adult 18 or over, or the Property owner/Management Company agent must be present. The inspector will return calls or emails if you need to confirm the date and time. All inspections scheduled are mandatory. If the inspector is not able to enter the unit, the inspection will be classified as a No-Show. A No-Show inspection is defined as a Failed inspection. If a unit fails two consecutive inspections for any failed item the unit will be abated. This means no further payments will be made.
Q: Are there common reasons why a unit would fail an inspection?
A: This list shows some of the most common reasons
• Severe deterioration or windows allowing drafts and weather inside the unit.
• Broken and missing windowpanes or boarded up windows.
• No window in the living room.
• The bedroom doesn’t have at least one window that opens to the outside.
• Bathroom does not have either a working vent fan or a window that opens to the outside.
• No locks on 1st floor windows or other windows accessible from the ground.
• Lack of effective weather-stripping.
• Inoperable locks or locks installed that require a key to open from the inside, including security doors.
• Doors that do not close properly preventing the lock from working.
Walls and Ceilings
• Bulging plaster or wallboard, damp plaster from leaks or holes.
Paint (units built before 1978 and occupied by child under age 6)
• Peeling, chipping, flaking, chalking paint on any painted surface in unit, common areas or exterior.
• Rotting or deteriorated substrate under painted surface.
• Outlets and overhead/wall mounted fixtures that do not work or were improperly installed.
• Missing covers on outlets and switches. Exposed, cracked, frayed wiring or wiring not properly secured.
• Electrical boxes missing knockouts or open spaces in boxes without breakers or blanks.
• Utilities are not turned on.
• Hot water heaters lack of a temperature pressure relief valve discharge line.
• Hot water heaters have severe corrosion or exposed wiring.
• Plumbing leaks.
• Utilities are not turned on.
• Unit lacks an operable smoke detector in one or more sleeping room or other required spaces, such as common areas.
• Presence of gas leaks or fumes.
No-Show: If the inspector is not able to enter the unit, the inspection will be classified as a No-Show. A No-Show inspection is defined as a Failed inspection.
If a unit fails two consecutive inspections for any failed item the unit may be abated. This means no further payments will be made.
Q: I am a property owner/management company. Who do I call if I did not receive my HAP payment?
A: If you have not received your HAP payment by the 3rd business day from the ACH transmission (Direct Deposit), please e-mail (email@example.com), Fax (843-918-1538), or call (843-918-1534).
Q: I am a property owner/management company. I just spoke with Housing Authority of Myrtle Beach and was informed that my HAP payment was held due to missing/ omitted information or failed inspection; I have since forwarded those documents or corrected the problem and/or had had the unit re-inspected; how soon can I expect payment?
A: MBHA strives to process payments on a weekly basis. ACH deposits are made on Monday’s, Tuesday if it is a National holiday. Requests received after Wednesday may not be processed until the following week.
Q: What do I need to submit if I am a landlord whose property will be managed by an agent? Or I am the landlord and I want to change my management company or change my address, what should I do to update my information?
A: If you are acting as a representative of a landlord, you need to submit:
• A copy of the management agreement
• W-9 (TIN or SSN provided must match the name that will be shown on your income tax return);
• Direct Deposit Authorization (are mandatory for all HCV payments) along with a voided check/deposit slip.
All of the documents needed to update this information can be obtained from the Forms link of our agency’s website.
If you want to change your management company/agent the same steps apply; but you must also submit a written notice describing what changes will be made including whether or not the payments should be held until the bank account information needs to be changed (in the case of your payments being posted into the agents/ management company account).
Q: I am a property owner and I want to request a Rental Increase.
A: All requests must be submitted on the Housing form which is available on the Forms link of the website. Requests for a rent increase must be submitted a minimum of 60 days prior to the tenant’s lease expiration date. The completed form should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to our office.
Q: I am a property owner and my tenant did not pay their portion of the monthly rent.
A: A voucher participant is no different from any other tenant that has signed a lease. Your current lease should have provisions that identify circumstances for late fees and grounds for eviction. Follow your lease and let the housing authority know as well. Should you have to file for eviction let the housing authority know right away by providing a copy of the magistrate receipt. Housing Authority of Myrtle Beach is not responsible for the tenant’s portion of rent, damages caused by the tenant, and/or any other fee incurred by the tenant. The HAP contract that the property owner and housing authority sign governs this scenario.