Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program



                                                  Tiffany A. Gonzalez - Director of Section 8


Mary Thompson - Section 8 Specialist                      Walter Brown - Section 8 HQS Inspector
John Olivo - Section 8 Specialist                       

 

 

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is a rental assistance program.  It provides help to low income families with their monthly rental costs.  Program participants pay at least 30% (not more than 40%) of their income towards their rent and utilities.  The East Chicago Housing Authority pays the difference directly to a private landlord.  The landlord determines which if any utilities are included in the monthly rent and the gross rent formula is adjusted  accordingly.
 
All units must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection to ensure the units are decent, safe and sanitary. HQS requires that all housing units have adequate space facilities and services, light and ventilation and that the unit does not endanger the safety of the families.
 
Section 8 is a three way partnership between the East Chicago Housing Authority, the Family and the Landlord. Each has the following responsibilities:
 
The East Chicago Housing Authority:
        Review all applications to determine whether an applicant is eligible for the program
        Explain the rules of the program to all of the families who qualify
        Issue Vouchers
        Approve the unit, the owner
        Make housing assistance payments (HAP) in a timely manner
      Ensure that owners and families comply with the program rules.
        Provide families and owners with prompt, professional service
        Determine  rent reasonableness   
 
The Owner:
        Screen families who apply to determine if they will be good renters
        Comply with all federal, state and local laws, and not discriminate against any family
        Maintain the housing unit, including making all necessary repairs in a timely manner
        Comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract
        Collect rent and the security deposit due from the tenant
        Enforce lease
 
The Family:
        Provide ECHA  with complete and accurate information
        Make their best effort to find a place to live that is suitable for them and that qualifies for the program
        Cooperate in attending all appointment scheduled by the ECHA
        Take responsibility for the care of the unit
        Comply with the terms of the lease with the owner
        Comply with the Family Obligations of their Voucher
        Comply with all state, federal and local laws for all household members and guest.
         
Section 8 Applications are taken only when the waiting list is open. The waiting list  is currently closed .  There are approximately 250 applicants on the current waiting list. No date has been scheduled as to when it will reopen. When the waiting is open there will be a notice placed in the local newspaper.
 
Applicants are placed on the waiting list and computer ranked by date, time and local preferences. Families must also be income eligible.