- The Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract is an agreement between the owner and the Gainesville Housing Authority (GHA). Under this agreement, the GHA will make rental payments to the owner on behalf of the family. The amount of rent paid by the GHA is calculate as follows: (Contract Rent for the unit – less Family’s contribution toward rent = Rent paid to owner by GHA)
- The family’s contribution toward the rent is calculated by using the HUD formula whereby the tenant pays a maximum of 30% of their income. When the tenant is responsible for all of their utilities and their income is extremely low, the GHA may even pay all of the contract rent. The family’s contribution toward the rent is due at the first of the month as is the HAP. The family’s contribution is the tenant’s sole responsibility.
- Under the contract, the owner agrees to maintain the housing unit in a decent, safe and sanitary manner. Before the unit is occupied by the family, the owner and the family will inspect and report the condition of the unit to the GHA. The GHA will schedule an inspection for the unit upon receipt of the Request for Tenancy. The unit must have all utilities (as long as utilities are on – we do not check in whose name utilities are in) and have a stove and refrigerator in place and also pass housing quality standards before a contract is signed and payments are initiated.
- The owner may collect a security deposit from the tenant in the amount of up to one month’s rent. If the family vacates the unit, the owner may use the deposit as reimbursement for any unpaid rent or other amount owed by the family under the lease.
- The owner may adjust the rent annually in accordance with the provisions of the contract. A sixty-day notice in writing must be given to the tenant and the Housing Authority. The rent increase can only be done at the annual recertification. The adjustment can be made if the unit has been kept in compliance with housing quality standards and is certified as reasonable by the Gainesville Housing Authority.
- Neither owner nor Gainesville Housing Authority shall discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, nationality, origin, or family status.
HOW ARE SUBSIDIES PAID?
- All subsidy payments are sent directly to the owner or his/her agent after a contract has been completed and signed. The contract will not go into effect unless the unit has passed the HQS inspection and rent has been determined to be reasonable.
- Voucher participants pay no more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income towards the contract rent. The Housing Authority pays the difference between their portion and the total contract rent. The Fair Market Rents established by HUD limit the amount of contract rent an owner may charge.
HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?
- Since participation with the Section 8 program is voluntary, a willing landlord only needs to screen and select a certified family. Section 8 certified families look on their own for housing units in the same manner as anyone seeking rental housing. When certified families approach a landlord that has a vacant unit, they should have a packet of papers from Gainesville Housing Authority. If the landlord selects this family for tenancy the paperwork must be filled out by both the tenant and the landlord and returned to the Gainesville Housing Authority office by the tenant.
- An inspection will be schedule as soon as our schedule permits. The Gainesville Housing Authority Inspector will conduct an HQS inspection and give the landlord and applicant a written summation of any repairs the unit will require to meet HUD specification. Do not be alarmed if the unit needs repairs in order to meet the standards. Generally, thirty days are given to the landlord to complete the necessary repairs. A HQS Inspection checklist is provided on our website for our participants to assist then in determining if a unit will meet the minimum standards.
WHAT IS SECTION 8?
- Section 8 Housing Assistance Voucher Program is a federally funded program which helps families of low income to pay their rent. The family must be determined income eligible before they can be assisted. The family selects the housing best suited for their family’s need. The unit selected must meet Housing Quality Standards before a contract can be executed. The main objective of the program is to provide SAFE, SANITARY and SECURE housing.