Section 8 Voucher Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I reach a Housing Specialist?
|Q) Am I eligible to participate in the Section 8 Program?
A) Participants must meet income and eligibility guidelines. Vouchers may be used in the current unit to the participant may move another unit in Salem-Keizer. View HUD's Household Income Guidelines.
Q) How is the amount of assistance determined?
A) Assistance is determined based on family size, income, and current reasonable market rents. The participant is expected to pay a minimum of 30% of income toward monthly rent. Each month, SHA makes housing assistance payments (HAPs) directly to the landlord to make up the difference.
Q) What is my payment responsibility as a tenant?
A) The renter must promptly pay all rent and utilities that are not covered by the HAP to their landlord and utility providers.
Q) What is the term of the lease?
A) The lease term is a minimum of 12 months, beginning and ending dates determined by SHA. All leases will end on the last day of the month prior to the start month, (for example, starts 3/02/09 and ends 2/28/10).
Q) How much may a landlord charge for security deposit?
A) The landlord is allowed to charge a security deposit similar to what is charged to other private market tenants.
Q) What if the landlord wants to terminate the lease?
A) During the first year of the lease, the landlord may only terminate the lease for cause and must follow landlord tenant law to remove the tenant. After the initial term of the lease the landlord may terminate the lease with a 30-day no cause notice.
Q) What if the renter vacates the unit in violation of the lease?
A) The property owner may retain the security deposit for the amount of unpaid rent and any damages caused to the unit.
Q) What are my responsibilities as a Section 8 Voucher participant?
A) View Voucher Family Obligations.
Q) Before I apply, who do I contact for more about the Voucher program?
A) Section 8 Liaision 503-588-6448, or Reception-Screening 503-588-4812
Q) I'm a landlord, who do I contact to find out how to participate in the Section 8 program?
A) Contact SHA at 503-373-3817
Q) What if my family size or income changes?
A) Report changes in household composition, income and criminal history in writing to SHA within 10 days of the change. Additional members to your household must be approved by SHA and your landlord.
Q) Will my unit pass inspection?
A) The unit selected to be subsidized under the Section 8 HCV program must meet minimal Housing Quality Standards as well as additional standards set by Salem Housing Authority.
Q) What if I have a problem or concern about my unit?
A) Communicate your concerns about your unit with your landlord first (put repair requests in writing). If your concerns have not been resolved, contact one of SHA's HQS inspectors:
Q) What if I want to move?
A) If you have lived in your unit for less than one year, you may not be eligble to move at this time. Do not move until you have met with your housing specialist and have been approved to move. You will be guided through the move process and notice requirements and timelines will be explained to you. Housing assistance payments for a new unit will not begin until the move-out process is completed for the current unit.
Q) What if I want to transfer ("port") my voucher to another city or state?
A) Sometimes a voucher participant may choose to use the "portability" feature of their voucher and move to a new rental unit in another location in Oregon or elsewhere in the United States. The steps are outlined further at this link: Transferring your Section 8 Voucher.
Q) What if I don't want housing assistance anymore?
A) Notify your SHA Housing Representative of your plans, and SHA will send you a letter with instructions and a Voluntary End of Participation form to complete and return to the Housing Authority office.