How does the program work?
Households that receive federal rental assistance from NHA are responsible for paying a predetermined amount of their monthly rent based on the makeup of the household and income. SDHC pays the remainder of the contract rent, up to the applicable payment standard, directly to the landlord.
The payment standard is the maximum subsidy payment that a Housing Choice Voucher would pay for a rental housing unit. If the contract rent is more than the payment standard, the household pays the difference
Landlords pre-screen and select Housing Choice Voucher tenants in the same way they screen and select other tenants. NHA strongly encourages all landlords to screen tenants for suitability. If the voucher-holder is accepted for the available apartment he/she will give you a form called a Request for Tenancy Approval. Once this form is submitted to NHA, staff will determine unit eligibility and follow up with additional forms that will be needed and how to schedule a unit inspection. Forms can also be found here (hyperlinked to Owner Documents)
What are the landlord’s obligations?
The role of the landlord in the Housing Choice Voucher program is to provide decent housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program’s housing quality standards inspection and meet those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with the Newmarket Housing Authority. Landlords who have voucher tenants should enforce the lease as they would with any other tenant.
What are the basic requirements for the unit?
The unit must meet the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. This inspection will be conducted by a HQS Inspector who works for the Newmarket Housing Authority.
This is NOT a code enforcement inspection. NHA inspects the rental unit to ensure it is safe, decent and sanitary before a contract is signed with the landlord. NHA’s inspections provide the landlord with the benefit of checking the working order of smoke detectors
and carbon monoxide detectors, water heaters, appliances, exits, window and door locks, fans, outlets, plumbing fixtures, heaters, and light fixtures. Any presence of trip and fall hazards, structural defects, rodents or roaches, peeling paint, excessive dirt or clutter, broken windows and the like are also checked. NHA also allows landlords to self-certify repairs to some items that fail inspections but are not life threatening.
The rent the landlord is asking for must be a reasonable and affordable. This will be determined by NHA. The family cannot pay more than 40% of their household income for housing costs, including any utilities that they are responsible for.
For more information, landlords can review the following forms:
- Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract
- Housing Choice Voucher Program Guidebook
- Housing Quality Standards
- Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet
- HUD Landlord Resources
- Tenancy Addendum (PDF)