HOUSING PROGRAMS

INTRODUCTION to housing programs

PUBLIC HOUSING

The Public Housing (PH) Program was established by the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for low-income families, elderly, and persons with disabilities.  The HACA owns and operates ten (10) PH complexes throughout the county, consisting of high-rise and townhouse apartments.  The HACA receives federal funding subsidies and program participants pay rent based on their income.

Applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements for admission to the PH Program:  qualify as a family; have an income within the federally mandated income limits; meet citizen/eligible immigrant criteria; provide documentation of valid Social Security numbers; and, sign consent authorization documents.

In addition to the eligibility requirements, applicant families will also be screened for suitability as a resident.  The HACA will request references from previous landlords, will check credit reports, and will perform criminal background reviews for all adult household members.  The HACA will deny admission to applicants whose conduct or behavior could reasonably be expected to have a detrimental effect on the site environment, other residents, or persons residing in the vicinity of the site. 

All applicants are processed and placed on a waiting list according to the date and time of application; preference eligibility; and the type and size of apartment needed.  The HACA does not have any emergency housing.

 
SECTION 8 - NEW CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM

The Section 8 New Construction (S8NC) Program was authorized in 1974 to provide rental assistance to eligible persons.  The rental assistance for this program is “project-based”, meaning the assistance is committed by HUD for a particular property for a contractually determined period.  The HACA owns and operates one (1) property under this program, known as Balcony Towers.  Rents for this property are set at an agreed Contract Rent.  Participants of this program pay rent based on their income, and the HACA receives a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) from HUD for the difference between the Contract Rent and the participant’s rent.

Applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements for admission to the S8NC Program:  qualify as a family; have an income within the federally mandated income limits; meet citizen/eligible immigrant criteria; provide documentation of valid Social Security numbers; and, sign consent authorization documents.

In addition to the eligibility requirements, applicant families will also be screened for suitability as a resident.  The HACA will request references from previous landlords, will check credit reports, and will perform criminal background reviews for all adult household members.  The HACA will deny admission to applicants whose conduct or behavior could reasonably be expected to have a detrimental effect on the site environment, other residents, or persons residing in the vicinity of the site. 

All applicants are processed and placed on a waiting list according to the date and time of application and preference eligibility.  The HACA does not have any emergency housing.

SECTION 8 (S8V) - HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM (HCVP)

The Section 8 Voucher Program was enacted as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, which recodified the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, to provide improved living conditions and affordable rents to low-income persons.  The rental assistance for this program is “tenant-based”, meaning assistance follows the program participant.  Participants of this program locate housing of their choice in the private market and may retain the rental assistance if they move to another location.  Participants of this program pay rent based on their income.  The HACA pays the difference between the rent the landlord is requesting and the participant’s share of the rent by issuing a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) directly to the landlord.  The HACA receives federal funding to cover the HAPs to the landlords. The HACA has been allocated two hundred sixty-four (264) Section 8 Vouchers by HUD. The HACA also administers the Family Self-Sufficiency, Homeownership, and Family Unification Programs in conjunction with the S8V Program. 

Applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements for admission to the S8V Program: qualify as a family; have an income within the federally mandated income limits; meet citizen/eligible immigrant criteria; provide documentation of valid Social Security numbers; and, sign consent authorization documents.  In addition to the eligibility requirements, the HACA will perform criminal background reviews for each adult household member. 

All applicants are processed and placed on a waiting list according to date and time of application and preference eligibility.  The HACA does not have any emergency housing.

 
FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM

Participation in the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is voluntary and offers a savings incentive to assist families in becoming self-sufficient by identifying and overcoming barriers to achieving economic independence.  The FSS Program is open to participants of the Section 8 Voucher (S8V) Program who enter into a Contract of Participation with the HACA.  Participants, working with Section 8 staff, will establish a Service Plan in which the FSS family will have five (5) years to complete specific goals and objectives outlined in their Service Plan.

 
HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM

The Homeownership (HO) Program is open to participants of the Section 8 Voucher (S8V) Program who elect to use their voucher toward a mortgage payment instead of rent.  To be eligible, participants must be first-time home buyers, have an acceptable credit history, and meet minimum income and employment requirements, with some exceptions for families that qualify as disabled or elderly. 

 
FAMILY UNIFICATION PROGRAM

The HACA administers the Family Unification Program (FUP) in partnership with the Armstrong County Children and Youth Services (CYS).  Families may qualify for the FUP if the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the placement of the family’s child(ren) into foster care, or the delay in returning the family’s child(ren) to the family from foster care.  Youths who are between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21) years of age who left foster care at age sixteen (16) or older who lack adequate housing may also qualify; however, assistance is limited to eighteen (18) months.

CYS is responsible for referring FUP families and youths to the HACA for determination of eligibility for rental assistance based on program requirements and all other screening criteria related to voucher issuance and administration.   

 
LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROGRAM

In the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program, housing tax credits are awarded to developers through a competitive application process, who then sell these credits to investors to raise capital, which reduces the amount of money the developer would otherwise have to borrow; therefore, offering affordable rents.  The HACA manages two (2) privately owned LIHTC properties:  Valley View Apartments and Kittanning Cottages.

Applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements for admission to the LIHTC program:  head of household must be at least age fifty-five (55) and have an income within the mandated income limits.

In addition to the eligibility requirements, applicant families will also be screened for suitability as a resident.  The HACA will request references from previous landlords, will check credit reports, and will perform criminal background reviews for all adult household members. Applicants whose conduct or behavior could reasonably be expected to have a detrimental effect on the site environment, other residents, or persons residing in the vicinity of the site will not be admitted. 

All applicants are processed and placed on a waiting list according to the date and time of application; preference eligibility; and the type and size of apartment needed.  The HACA does not have any emergency housing.


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