*Please note that the waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program is closed at this time and we are not accepting applications. When the waiting list opens, it will be advertised on this website as well as the local news paper.
What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program also known as Section 8?
The Housing Choice Voucher Program or Section 8 Program was created by the federal government to assist low-income families, the elderly and disabled individuals to afford safe and decent housing in the private market. The housing assistance allows the participants to find their own housing, which includes single family homes and apartments and pay a percentage of their income for rent. The remainder of their rent is paid for from federal funds distributed from our office.
Participants have the option to choose any housing as long as it meets the requirements of the program. This program does not limit the participants to units located in subsidized housing.
Who is eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
To determine eligibility a family’s total income must not exceed the amount provided in the fair market income limits set by HUD for Salem County, New Jersey. To access the fair market income limits set by HUD please click on the following link and select New Jersey and then Salem County.
The Penns Grove Housing Authority will verify criminal history, and prior landlord verification, in order to determine whether the applicant will be detrimental to the community or other residents. Another requirement is proof of citizenship or immigration status.
The Penns Grove Housing Authority reserves the right to deny admission based on an applicant’s previous criminal/drug activities or due to their previous rental history.
How is the rent subsidy calculated?
The PGHA calculates the maximum amount of housing assistance allowable based on funds and established payment standards. The maximum housing assistance is generally the lesser of the payment standard minus 30% of the family’s monthly adjusted income or the gross rent for the unit minus 30% of monthly adjusted income.
Once approved by PGHA for a voucher, what is the leasing process?
The PGHA will set up an orientation appointment for you, once you receive your voucher you have 60 days to locate housing within the payment standard and bedroom size assigned to your family. All rules and regulations will be reviewed with you at orientation. Please remember that you may not sign any lease or other documents with the landlord until the PGHA has given you an official approval letter stating you are allowed to move to a particular unit.
What are the roles of the tenant, landlord and housing authority?
Once the PGHA approves an eligible family’s housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and, at the same time, the landlord and the PGHA sign a housing assistance payments contract that runs for the same term as the lease. This means that everyone — tenant, landlord and PHA — has obligations and responsibilities under the voucher program. HUD determines the roles of tenant, landlord and housing authority as follows:
Tenant’s Obligations: When a family selects a housing unit, and the PHA approves the unit and lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at least one year. The tenant may be required to pay a security deposit to the landlord, which is the responsibility of the tenant to pay. After the first year the landlord may initiate a new lease or allow the family to remain in the unit on a month-to-month lease.
When the family is settled in a new home, the family is expected to comply with the lease and the program requirements, pay its share of rent on time, maintain the unit in good condition and notify the PHA of any changes in income or family composition within 10 days.
Landlord’s Obligations: The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program’s housing quality standards and be maintained up to 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 PHA.
Housing Authority’s Obligations: The PHA administers the voucher program locally. The PHA provides a family with the housing assistance that enables the family to seek out suitable housing and the PHA enters into a contract with the landlord to provide housing assistance payments on behalf of the family. If the landlord fails to meet the owner’s obligations under the lease, the PHA has the right to terminate assistance payments. The PHA must reexamine the family’s income and composition at least annually and must inspect each unit at least annually to ensure that it meets minimum housing quality standards.
HUD’s Role: To cover the cost of the program, HUD provides funds to allow PHAs to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the families. HUD also pays the PHA a fee for the costs of administering the program. When additional funds become available to assist new families, HUD invites PHAs to submit applications for funds for additional housing vouchers. Applications are then reviewed and funds awarded to the selected PHAs on a competitive basis. HUD monitors PHA administration of the program to ensure program rules are properly followed.
What are the rules and regulations of the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
Participants must comply with all PGHA and federal program regulations in order to maintain their voucher. Participants should note that if they are evicted by their landlord for cause, they will be automatically terminated from the Housing Choice Voucher Program. To access our Statement of Family Responsibility, Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy, Housing Assistance Payment Contract please click on the following links:
- Statement of Family Responsibility
- Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy for Section 8
- Housing Assistance Payment Contract
What guidance is provided for Landlords?
Please refer to the Landlord’s Guide to the Housing Choice Voucher Program.