Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8) provides tenant-based assistance, in the form of a voucher, to low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities for rental units chosen by the tenant in the private market. The Housing Authority provides payments directly to participating property owners to offset the cost difference between tenant payments and unit rent. Program applicants choose from a variety of housing options, ranging from apartments, duplexes, single-family homes to townhomes. Tenants can find available units by visiting Socialserve and MyApartmentMap. If you are a Housing Choice Voucher holder and have the desire to own a home of your own, the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program may be right for you.

Housing Choice Voucher – The Road to Family Self-Sufficiency

HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM

Dear Housing Choice Voucher Participant:

If you are a Housing Choice Voucher holder and have the desire to own a home of your own, the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program may be right for you.

The Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program is a federally funded program that allows families with a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) that are enrolled in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program to use their to purchase a home, rather than rent.

The HCV Homeownership Program is for first-time homebuyers (a person who does not own a home or have not owned a home during the past 3 years)

In order to qualify for participation you must be:

  1. Be a voucher holder and participant in the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program.
  2. Have at least one (1) year of continuous full-time employment.
  3. Have at least $20,000 in annual earned income- wages and/or self-employment income annually. (for participants who are elderly and/or disabled ONLY, welfare assistance social security disability income may be counted towards the minimum)
  4. Be in good standing with your current landlord, and in full compliance with all voucher program requirements.
  5. Have a medium credit score of 620 or above (You can obtain your credit score at annualcreditreport.com)
  6. Have a  minimum of $1000.00 in personal savings
 
Participants in the HCV Homeownership Program are required to make a minimum down payment of 3% of the purchase price and that at least 1% of the purchase price comes from personal savings.  The balance of the down payment may be advanced from the FSS Escrow Account or may come from gifts or other sources.
  • Preference will be given to families that have been enrolled in FSS for at least 12 months.
  • Employed or self-employed continuously for two years or more, unless you are handicapped or disabled.

 

Family Self Sufficiency Program

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program offers employment and other case management services designed to promote economic self-sufficiency for families currently participating in the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing Programs. FSS Participants develop specific economic goals, via their Individual Training and Services Plan, and work with an FSS Coordinator to identify activities and services to help achieve these goals over a five-year period.

One of the benefits of the FSS program is an interest-bearing escrow account that is established by the Housing Authority in the name of each participating family. An escrow credit is based on increases in earned income that is credited to this account by the housing authority during the term of the FSS contract.

Upon fulfillment of the five-year program and completion of the goals listed on the Individual Training and Services Plan, families receive the funds in the escrow account.

NOTE: Residents of HHA Public Housing are also eligible to participate in all parts of FSS except for its Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program.

FSS Coordinators are available to help families access a host of other career, training and other community services as well. FSS program services may include, but are not limited to:
  • Job Training and Employment Counseling
  • Child Care
  • Transportation
  • Education
  • Substance/alcohol abuse treatment or counseling
  • Household skill training
  • Homeownership Counseling

Things you should know about the FSS Program:

  • Families must be currently receiving rental assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher or Public Housing Program.
  • Families must respond to any interest letter or notices sent by the Housing Authority.
  • Families must attend an orientation scheduled by the Housing Authority.
  • Families must complete and adhere to an Individual Training and Service Plan, which identifies goals and outlines specific activities and services over the five-year contractual period.
  • Families must work closely with the assigned FSS Coordinator to complete set goals.
  • Families may have the opportunity to establish an escrow savings account.
  • Any member of the household who is a participant of the Housing Choice Voucher or Public Housing Program and included on the lease may participate in the FSS Program.
  • A family may be selected for participation whether or not family members are employed
  • A family may be denied the opportunity to participate if they previously participated and were terminated for not meeting the FSS Program obligations.
To review the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Public Housing Operations FSS Action Plan, click here.