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Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Opens Waiting List

The Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority is pleased to announce that our Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Waiting List will open September 1, 2012 and will remain open until September 30, 2012. The Pre-Application form is located on the FMHA Home Page; the button labeled “Click Here to Place your Name on the Waiting List".

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8) provides tenant-based assistance, in the form of a voucher, to low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities, for rental units chosen by the tenant in the private market. The Housing Authority provides payments directly to participating property owners to offset the cost difference between tenant payments and unit rent. Program applicants choose from a variety of housing options, ranging from apartments, duplexes, single-family homes, townhomes or mobile homes.

Families with vouchers generally pay between 30 to 40 percent of their annual income for rent and utilities. Rent must be reasonable compared with similar unassisted units in the area, and the property must meet HUD's Housing Quality Standards.

Pre-Applications will be available online beginning September 1, 2012 in English and Spanish. Social service agencies and libraries are coordinating with the Housing Authority to help make sure people have ready access to computers if they don’t have internet access at home. Families can also use their smart phones to apply by visiting our website. Applicants may also access our website through a computer in the FMHA office lobby during regular business hours. After successfully applying, they will receive a receipt with a confirmation number.

An applicant will be placed in a preference category, if they appear to qualify for that category, with verification of the preference being obtained once chosen from the Waiting List. Households which qualify for a preference will be assisted before households without a preference. Recorded changes in an applicant’s preference status may change their place on a waiting list.

The ranking order for preferences (in order of importance) is: Resident; Disaster Assistance; No Fault Termination; Veteran or Emancipated from Foster Care; Homeless; Working Family. Each of the ranking preferences has a different value. Families with more than one preference could be housed before a family with only one preference – depending on the value of the ranking of the preference(s).

Names will be pulled from the waiting list using a random lottery system. There is no benefit or advantage to applying immediately after the Waiting List opens; in fact, applicants may experience slower response times or limited availability from the online system. The online process allows families to apply at a time and place convenient for them regardless of their work schedule and eliminates the need to stand in long lines.

For more information about the application process and preferences, please click on “Waiting List/Eligibility” and then click on “Housing Choice Voucher”.

Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority Receives Funding to Assist Homeless Veterans Through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program

The Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority (FMHA) has been awarded $74,916 to launch the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program in Fairfield County. This funding, from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is a coordinated effort involving HUD, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and FMHA to provide permanent housing for homeless veterans in conjunction with supportive services.

These funds will provide FMHA with 15 Housing Choice Vouchers that are reserved for homeless single veterans or veterans with families. Under the VASH Program, the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Chillicothe and the Veterans Administration Clinic in Lancaster provides supportive services and case management to eligible homeless veterans and then refers the veterans to FMHA for rental assistance.

Qualified veterans receive a Housing Choice Voucher and are able to rent apartments, condominiums or homes from property owners who are willing to participate in the program. In addition, veterans will pay approximately 30% of their income for their portion of monthly rent and FMHA will pay the balance directly to property owners.

As well as assisting homeless veterans, this award supports strategies identified in Fairfield County’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness. The Plan, developed by the Fairfield County Housing Coalition, provides a blueprint for how our community will work together to confront the issues that cause homelessness and create housing and supportive services needed to end homelessness.

FMHA currently assists 949 families per month with monthly assistance payments to approximately 370 landlords in Fairfield County.

Veterans who are interested in the VASH Program should call Amy Combs at 1-800- 358-8262.

Property owners who would like to rent to VASH veterans should contact FMHA at 740-653-6618 X233.

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