Housing Choice Vouchers

Housing Choice Vouchers

The York Housing Authority (YHA) administers the federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Rental Assistance Program.  The YHA has 1,402 vouchers available and in service for all of YHA’s county-wide service area.  This program helps families afford safe, decent and sanitary rental housing that is available through private landlords. Eligible families are given a voucher which can be used to rent a house or an apartment from a participating landlord. Under the HCV program, the tenant will pay at least 30% (no more than 40%) of their adjusted gross monthly income in rent at initial lease-up. The YHA pays the remainder of the negotiated rent. The payment goes directly to the Landlord under a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract.

Who is eligible and how do we select applicants?

The YHA screens applicants for eligibility using HUD rules. The YHA then applies local preferences and ranking to determine waiting list position. When an applicant’s name comes to the top of the list, the applicant is invited to attend a briefing and interview to discuss their application and receive information on the HCV program. Once an applicant has been approved, they are given a voucher. The voucher entitles the applicant to look for housing in the private market.

Before a unit can be leased under the HCV program, staff from the YHA check to ensure that rents charged are reasonable for the area in which the unit is located. The unit must also meet basic Housing Quality Standards (HQS), through an inspection. Participants must find a landlord/owner willing to rent to a household receiving HCV assistance.

Selection criteria used by private landlords varies, allowing each landlord to use his or her own criteria. The YHA verifies a number of facts about the applicant.  First, the YHA confirms income information to ensure eligibility. The YHA also checks to make sure that no money is owed to any other housing program and performs a criminal record check to determine whether applicants have a prior criminal history that may impact eligibility.

For more general information on the Section 8 HCV program, you may also visit HUD’s website.

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection

Prior to initial move-in, the YHA must perform an inspection to ensure the unit is decent, safe, and sanitary. The tenant should not sign a lease until the unit has passed inspection. Following the initial inspection, the YHA is required to do an annual inspection to coincide with recertification of the tenant. If there are deficiencies, landlords are given a minimum of thirty days through a written notice to make repairs (unless the deficiency(ies) is/are deemed so serious as to be life-threatening). Any life-threatening deficiency must be corrected within 24 hours. Conditions or items which normally can present a problem are: inoperable smoke detectors, burners on the stove or oven which do not ignite, chipping or peeling paint, and missing screens or screens which are not in good condition.  The HQS inspection covers basic items in the home such as hot and cold water, electrical outlets in each room, refrigerator and stove, heating system function, etc.

Landlords are encouraged to inspect their units on a regular schedule to monitor how the tenant is maintaining the unit and should also make certain that the property is in good repair. This should occur annually, prior to the YHA inspection. Adequate time should be provided to make any repairs that might fail the YHA HQS inspection.

On September 15, 1999, HUD published regulations concerning the abatement of lead paint in all types of housing. The rule became effective September 15, 2000. The rule covers the elimination of possible lead poisoning from houses built prior to 1978. Questions about HUD’s rule concerning lead paint may be answered by HUD:

Lead Paint Compliance Center Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control Department of Housing and Urban Development 451 7th Street, SW Room P3206 Washington, DC 20410-0500 Toll-free Phone: 1-866-HUD-1012 Or contact the Environmental Protection Agency or HUD

Project Based Vouchers (PBV)

The YHA is involved in project basing vouchers for two developments within the City of York. The PBV may only be used at one of the following developments:

George Street Commons – 231 S. George St., York, PA  17401

The YHA has seven units utilizing PBV.

Homes at Thackston Park – 331 Thackston Lane, York, PA  17404

The YHA has eight units utilizing PBV.

To be eligible to apply for the PBV program, your family must qualify within the HUD-determined extremely low income guidelines listed below.  You must also meet the Section 8 eligibility requirements listed in the Administrative Plan which include, but is not limited to: criminal record checks and checks to make sure no money is owed to any other housing program.  When vacancies are available, the YHA Section 8 department makes referrals to the George Street Commons and Homes at Thackston Park management offices.  This referral does not mean that you will be eligible for a unit as you still have the responsibility of meeting their tenant selection screening criteria.

If you are interested in applying for the PBV program, please make sure that you select the appropriate waiting list on the application page.

How do I apply?

Anyone interested in applying for any of the YHA programs must complete an application online. The application process involves two phases.  The first phase is the “initial” application for assistance submitted by the applicant which results in the applicant’s placement on the waiting list. The second phase is the “final determination of eligibility” which takes place when the applicant reaches the top of the waiting list. At this point in the process, the YHA verifies all HUD and YHA eligibility criteria.  If the applicant is verified as eligible, a voucher is issued and the family has 60 days to locate a house or apartment.

Housing Authority of the City of York Income Limits

Effective March 28, 2016

Number
of persons
in family
Section 8
Income Limits
Very Low Income
Extremely Low Income
1 $24,650.00
2 $28,150.00 $16,900.00
3 $31,650.00 $20,160.00
4 $35,150.00 $24,300.00
5 $38,000.00 $28,440.00
6 $40,800.00 $32,580.00
7 $43,600.00
8 $46,400.00

These income limits are established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and will be revised when the changes in income limits are published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Section 8 Landlords

Rental Increases – Due to budget cuts, the YHA is asking all Landlords to defer rent increase requests.  The YHA is required to apply a rent reasonableness test to any such request and the chance of approval is minimal based on the current economic status.
Landlords can access a variety of documents through our Landlord Access link.  If you do not have a User Name and Password, please contact the Section 8 department at 717-845-2601.

If you are not currently a Landlord but would like information on becoming one through the Section 8 program, please visit our Document Library for more information.