Landlord Opportunities and Benefits
BCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program is the largest Section 8 voucher program in Broward County. BCHA administers approximately 6,000 Housing Choice Vouchers and over 4,000 landlords currently participate in the program.
The U.S. Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) provides funding for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which allows income eligible residents of Broward County to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. Families are able to find their own housing where the owner agrees to rent under the program. Generally households do not pay more than 40% of their income for rent and utilities. BCHA pays a set amount directly to the landlord and the renter pays the difference.
All units must meet the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) established by HUD. BCHA inspectors conduct annual unit inspections to ensure compliance with these standards. BCHA will also perform a rent comparability analysis to ensure the requested rent does not exceed market rates. Other than expecting a portion of the rent regularly each month from the Housing Authority, owners have the same type of renter/landlord relationship that they have with market renters.
BCHA, the property owner, and the family have different roles and responsibilities as outlined below:
BROWARD COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY:
· Maintains wait lists, conducts background checks, review applications for the Housing Choice program, certifies program eligibility and conducts annual recertifications for continued eligibility.
· Inspects and certifies that the unit meets Housing Quality Standards and approves units for leasing and contracts.
· Determines amounts and pays Housing Assistance Payments to the landlord on behalf of the family.
· Explains and provides information about program policies and procedures to current and prospective landlords and families.
· Monitors program performance and compliance of participants and owners.
· Screens tenants
· Selects family and leases the unit
· Performs all management and rental functions
· Performs all ordinary maintenance
· Complies with the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract
· Complies with the lease and assisted lease addendum requirements
· Finds a suitable unit
· Provides income and family information needed to verify and certify continued program eligibility
· Allows BCHA to inspect unit
· Adheres to all lease requirements, including payment of the family portion of the rent
· Abides by all family obligations under the Housing Choice program
Legislation contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1998, Title VIII, as amended, is commonly referred to as the Fair Housing Act. This law established a national policy of providing fair housing throughout the United States. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:
· Race or Color
· National Origin
· Family Status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under the age of 18)
In the sale and rental of housing, no one may discriminate against families based on the above categories by taking the following actions:
· Refusing to rent or sell housing
· Refusing to negotiate housing
· Making housing unavailable
· Denying a dwelling
· Setting different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling.
Fair housing is a right afforded to all persons seeking housing, whether they are Housing Choice participants or private market renters. It is your obligation as an owner to comply with the law that guarantees this right.