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The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program provides rental assistance to help low income person(s) obtain decent, safe and affordable housing. HCV Programs are funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and administered by public housing agencies authorized under federal and state law to operate housing programs within an area or jurisdiction. The Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority (FMHA) is a housing agency that administers an HCV Program throughout Fairfield County.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program comprises the majority of the FMHA’s Section 8 rental assistance programs. FMHA administered vouchers help 964 families pay their rent each month. Eligibility for the HCV program is based on a family’s household income. The voucher covers a portion of the rent and the tenant is expected to pay the balance. The tenant’s share is an affordable percentage of their income and is generally calculated to be 30 percent of their monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities.

The voucher recipient searches for housing in the private market. Eligible housing units for the program include single family dwellings, town houses, apartments and mobile homes. When the recipient finds a unit from a landlord who accepts the voucher, the Housing Authority determines if the family financially qualifies using the 40% rule (the tenant portion of rent and utilities must not exceed 40% of the family monthly adjusted income) . FMHA will inspect the rental units to ensure it meets housing quality standards (HQS) for the program. If the unit passes the standards for health and safety and the requested rent is deemed appropriate for comparable rents for that size unit, the family and the landlord may execute a lease agreement. At the same time, the landlord and the Housing Authority will sign a housing assistance payments (HAP) contract for rental subsidy amount to be paid to the landlord directly from the FMHA on behalf of the participating family. The family pays the difference between the actual rent charge by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

Landlords must comply with the lease agreement signed with the tenant and the HAP contract signed with the FMHA. Should the landlord fail to meet their obligations, the Housing Authority may abate or terminate payments.

The family is required to comply with the lease, Section 8 program requirements, pay its share of the rent on time, maintain the unit is good condition and notify the Housing Authority of any changes in their family composition or income. A family can move and continue its participation in the program as long as they notify the Housing Authority ahead of time, follow the “moving” process and terminate the existing lease within the lease provisions. The family is then free to seek another housing unit in Fairfield County or the family may exercise the portability option and move outside of FMHA’s jurisdiction. Please click on “Waiting List/Eligibility” to see the application process.

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