Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (familiarly known as Section 8) is a federally funded program that offers rental assistance (subsidy) for families who qualify. The housing authority that issues the voucher to the participant pays a portion of the monthly rent and the participant pays a portion of the monthly rent.
The Housing Authority of the City of Pasco and Franklin County (HACPFC) administers this program under the regulations and guidelines of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While there are several HCV programs available from HUD, HACPFC offers only the tenant-based voucher program. This means that the voucher stays with the participant as long as they abide by their lease, HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) contract and HACPFC guidelines. With this program, the voucher holder seeks their own rental unit in a neighborhood that meets their needs and interests. At the completion of the original 12-month lease, participants may move to another jurisdiction as long as the receiving jurisdiction agrees to provide administrative support for the voucher. This is called Portability.
Who is Eligible?
Anyone is welcome to apply. HACPFC determines each applicant’s eligibility based upon several factors, including the following:
At the time an HCV applicant’s name is near the top of the waitlist, the total household income must be 40% or less of area median income (AMI) for the Tri-Cities Metropolitan Area. Preference will be given to households that are at 30% or less of AMI.
FY 2017 Income Limits – Franklin County
Extremely Low-Income (30% of AMI)
Area Median Income: $65,100
|Family Size||2017 Income Limit Category|
(30% of AMI)
(50% of AMI)
(80% of AMI)
Assets: Money, property, and other goods having value are taken into account when income is calculated. Income created from assets is included the determination of eligibility, but the actual value of the assets is not. For example, if an applicant has money in a savings account, that money will not be added to the applicant’s income. However, if the applicant earns interest from the money in that savings account, the interest will be considered part of the applicant’s annual income.
HACPFC runs a criminal history check for each applicant and every household member over the age of 18. If the criminal history check indicates that the applicant, or any member(s) of the household, may not be a suitable resident, the application may be denied. Applicants are automatically denied for certain crimes including, but not limited to:
- Current use or recent convictions involving illegal drugs;
- Methamphetamine production on or off housing authority property;
- Sexual offenses requiring sex offender registration;
- A pattern of alcohol abuse with disruptive and/or criminal behavior;
- Any crimes that indicate habitual criminal behavior.
While a criminal record will not automatically exclude an applicant from consideration, it is an important criteria. In determining eligibility, HACPFC will consider an applicant’s arrest record, but places greater emphasis on actual convictions.
Applicants need not be citizens of the United States to apply for housing, but applicants do need to be citizens or have eligible immigration status to receive housing.
Debt owed to HACPFC or another housing authority
HACPFC will deny the applications of households who owe money to our agency, nother housing authority or housing provider, or landlord, until the debt is repaid in full.
Previous termination from the program
HACPFC will deny an application if any household member has been terminated from the HCV program in the past five years.
Landlord and Unit Eligibility
A rental unit is eligible for the HCV program if it meets three criteria:
- It is properly zoned;
- It is rent-reasonable; and,
- It passes an inspection based on HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
Any landlord willing to work within the guidelines of the HCV program is eligible to participate, as long as they are in good standing with HACPFC.
Landlords may be barred from participating because they have breached leases with tenants or violated laws or program rules. Landlords are not allowed to rent units to relatives who are voucher holders.
File Reviews & Unit Inspections
Annual Reviews: HACPFC conducts annual reviews of HCV households to ensure that participants are still eligible for the program. Household income and family composition is evaluated and if there is any change, the amount of rental assistance provided is adjusted accordingly. At least 30 days prior to the annual review appointment, the participant will receive a packet that contains forms that must be completed for the annual review appointment.
Certain households are eligible to have this review only once every three years. If the total household income consists of only one or more of the following: Social Security, Social Security Disability (SSI), Veteran’s Assistance, or pension, the household will not receive a review packet every year. NOTE: These households are still required to report any interim changes as described below.
Interim Reviews: If a participant experiences changes in household income, household composition, or immigration status, the participant must contact their Program Administrator to request an Interim Review to determine if the housing assistance the participant receives must be adjusted. All required documentation for the Interim Review must be submitted by the 10th of the current month if applicant would like the housing assistance adjusted for the following month.
Inspections: HACPFC inspects each HCV unit at least once a year to ensure compliance with Housing Quality Standards (HQS). This inspection generally takes place approximately 90 days prior to the Annual Review. The unit must pass the HQS inspection in order for rental assistance to continue.
If the owner/landlord does not maintain the unit in accordance with all applicable laws and HQS standards, HACPFC may withhold or terminate payments to the owner/landlord. If the participant does not pay for unit damage the participant has have caused, HACPFC may terminate the participant’s participation in the program.
How to Apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program at the Housing Authority of the City of Pasco and Franklin County (HACPFC):
HACPFC is not accepting applications for the Housing Choice Voucher (familiarly known as Section 8) wait list at this time.
Before the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) waitlist is opened, a notice will be placed on this website, as well as in the local newspaper, the Tri-City Herald. The notice will indicate what dates and times applications will be accepted, as well as where and how to apply.
When applications are accepted, the following conditions apply:
In order for an application to be placed on the appropriate wait list, the applicant is required to provide:
- Photo Identification (ID) for All Adults (examples of picture ID include: State issued driver’s license or ID card, passport, etc.)
- Birth Certificates for all household members
- Social Security Cards for all household members
- Immigration Card for all household members (if applicable)
- Verification of Income and/or Employment for all household members
- Bank Account Verification for all household members
- Vehicle registration(s) for all household members
Interested parties may obtain application forms at HACPFC’s administration office during regular business hours or on this website’s Forms page.
NOTE: Applicants must complete and submit an application for each housing opportunity (e.g. if applying for Public Housing and HCV, one application must be submitted for Public Housing and a separate application must be submitted for HCV).
Completed applications must be returned to HACPFC in person during regular business hours. Applications must be filled out completely in order to be accepted by HACPFC for processing. If an application is incomplete, HACPFC will notify the family of the additional information required. Where it is medically or geographically impossible for the applicant to submit an application in person, HACPFC will accept applications received via U.S. Mail (or other delivery service such as UPS or FedEx) or through the assistance of another agency.
Housing Authorities are permitted to establish local preferences to give priority to applicants that meet the preference criteria. HUD specifically authorizes and places restrictions on certain types of local preferences. Any local preferences established must be consistent with the annual plan and the consolidated plan, and must be based on local housing needs and priorities that can be documented by generally accepted data sources [24 CFR 960.206(a)].
HACPFC will use the following local preferences:
Elderly or Disabled
Elderly family. A family whose head, cohead, spouse, or sole member is a person who is at least 62 years of age; two or more persons who are at least 62 years of age living together; or one or more persons who are at least 62 years of age living with one or more live-in aides.
Disabled family A family whose head, cohead, spouse, or sole member is a person with disabilities; two or more persons with disabilities living together; or one or more persons with disabilities living with one or more live-in aides.
HUD requires that families where the head and spouse, or sole member is a person age 62 or older, or is a person with disabilities, will also be given the benefit of the working preference [24 CFR 960.206(b)(2)].
HACPFC also employs an admission preference for applicants who are veterans of United States military service who have been discharged or released, other than dishonorably, or are the unmarried spouse of a service person killed while in the active service military of the United States.
Person(s) who is/are otherwise eligible for assistance and where the Head of Household, at the time they seek housing assistance, is/are employed and reside with the jurisdictions of the Housing Authority of the City of Pasco and Franklin County and Kennewick Housing Authority.
The Wait List
After a completed Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) application is submitted, it will be placed on the wait list appropriate for the number of bedrooms needed for the household. Wait times on each list vary according to the number of applications on the wait list and the local preferences assigned to each application and can vary from six months to two years.
HACPFC will contact the applicant by mail when their application nears the top of a wait list. The applicant will be required to update household information such as income and family composition. Criminal history checks will be performed. Once the screening process is completed, HACPFC will contact the applicant when a unit becomes available.
Applicants should make every effort to ensure HACPFC has their current mailing address and telephone number so that when their application reaches the top of the wait list, they may be easily contacted.