On this page, you will find information pertaining to the Housing Choice Voucher Program, including the following:
Atlanta Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8) provides rental assistance to low-income households in the private rental market. AHA works with these households and property owners throughout Atlanta to provide choice-based, affordable housing.
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM: How to Participate
If you are already registered as a Landlord participating in AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, you may access AHA’s Landlord Portal.
If you are interested in becoming a participating Landlord, follow the easy steps below:
- Sign up for and attend a Landlord Briefing. This ensures that you will understand all the rules and guidelines for landlord/property owner participation. Click here to sign up: http://fs2.formsite.com/PROPERTYOWNERBRIEFING/form2/index.html
- List your property. We encourage you to list your property with GeorgiaHousingSearch.org. Click here to register or call 877.428.8844 for assistance. Your property will be placed on a roster of available units and searchable by bedroom size. AHA advises Housing Choice participants to search this list of available units, but you are not guaranteed that a household will rent your unit.
- Submit the Property Owner Application and meet the owner eligibility criteria to ensure that you are the legal owner or authorized management company of the property and that the property is in good standing.
- If you are registering a multifamily property for HCVP participation, provide a rent roll and/or market analysis to AHA and work with AHA to establish an agreed-upon rent schedule by unit size. You will also need to schedule an AHA Property Inspection.
- Interview and screen prospective households.
- Select a household based on your screening criteria and fair-housing law requirements.
- Get the unit ready for inspection. Click here to review AHA’s Enhanced Inspection Standards Checklist.
- Complete the Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) leasing paperwork and submit it to AHA.
- Coordinate with the AHA inspector to arrange the date and time of inspection.
- AHA will make a rent offer after the inspection passes; we will be unable to proceed unless we agree upon a rent offer. Once the rent offer is accepted and the move-in date is established, you and the household will sign the lease and contract documents.
- After all documents are signed, you may give the household the keys to the unit and you begin to receive housing assistance payments on a timely basis from AHA each month.
- Finally, the household moves into the unit.
Property Owner / Landlord Briefing attendance is mandatory to your participation in the HCVP. The briefing will provide program details to ensure your understanding of how to be successful as a landlord on our program.
During the property owner approval process, AHA will verify that the prospective landlord and/or authorized management company (if applicable) meet several criteria. Some of those criteria include: meeting eligibility requirements as it relates to doing business with a government agency, verification in regards to no existing conflicts of interest, and verification of a valid tax ID. AHA will also verify that the unit submitted for participation on the program has a mortgage that is current if one exists.
AHA's jurisdiction is limited to specific zip codes within the city limits of Atlanta. If taxes for a particular property are not paid to the City of Atlanta, your property does not fall within our city jurisdiction, making it ineligible for AHA’s HCVP. Click here to view AHA's jurisdictions.
All properties must meet AHA’s Enhanced Inspections Standards to participate in the HCVP. Please click Enhanced Inspections Standards Guide to review a summary of these standards.
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HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM: Benefits
Atlanta Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8) provides rental assistance to low-income households in the private rental market. AHA works with these households and property owners throughout Atlanta to provide choice-based, affordable housing. Below are the benefits of doing business with AHA.
- Low Vacancy Rates: Because Housing Choice Participants are always looking for good, affordable housing, a Housing Choice Landlord rarely has a vacant property.
- Good Renters: AHA conducts extensive background checks (including criminal history screening) on Housing Choice applicants and participants. Landlords are able to create their own selection criteria, too. A participating landlord is not required to rent to a household who does not meet their eligibility requirements.
- Well-Maintained Housing: AHA conducts an initial property inspection and follow-up annual inspections. Along with the property owner's periodic checks, these inspections ensure that properties are maintained at the highest level.
- Guaranteed Rent: Most Housing Choice participants have a financial safety net if they experience a loss of income. In those instances, AHA normally increases its portion of the rent subsidy.
- Direct Deposit: Housing Choice property owners receive their rental payments on time, every month, via direct deposit.
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HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM: Utility Allowance Deductions
In calculating the Housing Choice participants’ portion of the rent, AHA applies a utility allowance deduction to assist the tenant with utility payments for which the tenant is responsible. AHA establishes utility allowance deductions by bedroom size based on the reasonable rate of utility consumption by energy conservative households. After considering the existing condition of a community, including the age of building infrastructures, amount of insulation, and air circulation, AHA may adjust such allowances to account for the utility consumption required to maintain a reasonable quality of life environment under such conditions.
Click on the icons below to view the current utility allowance schedules.
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HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM: Forms
Forms Needed to Become a Participating Landlord
Forms Needed to Change Ownership
Forms Needed to Change Management Companies
Routinely Used Forms:
1995 or older
1996 or newer
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HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM: Is Your Property Ready for Inspection?
All housing units participating in Atlanta Housing Authority’s (AHA) Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) must meet AHA’s Enhanced Inspection Standards on an ongoing basis as detailed in the checklist below. AHA established these standards in order to ensure that units participating in the HCVP provide quality living environments for HCVP participants. In evaluating a unit for suitability, AHA will evaluate the condition of the unit itself as well as the condition of the surrounding vicinity. Please note that the following AHA Enhanced Inspection Standards Checklist is only a general checklist of requirements. All City, County, and State codes should be followed.
Upon your confirmation that the subject property fully meets 100% of the standards listed in the checklist below, you may submit the Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) form to AHA for processing.
- For multifamily properties: AHA assistance at this multifamily property is less than 50% of the total occupied units. The property meets all City, County and State building code requirements
- All properties meets the permitting requirements of the local jurisdiction.
- All properties built prior to 1978 are free of lead based paint hazards. Refer to http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/enforcement/lshr.cfm for more details.
- Unit is free of mold and mildew.
- The property meets AHA’s Site/Vicinity requirements. The Site/Vicinity is generally defined as the geographical area that poses the greatest impact to the living conditions at or surrounding the subject property. Normally, the five (5) properties located in each direction (left, right, front and back) surroudnign the subject until will be considered. AHA has sole discretion when defining Site/Vicinity.
- When evaluating the Site/Vicinity, AHa will use the following point system as a general guidleline. Six (6) or more points constitute a failed inspection.
- Each vacant unit that is properly secured but unkempt (grounds are poorly maintained) equals 1 point.
- Each occupied unit or vacant lot that is unkempt (grounds are poorly maintained) equals 1 point.
- Each open/vacant unit equals 2 points.
- Each dilapidated unit equals 3 points.
- Each fire-damaged unit equals 3 points.
- Any open/vacant, dilapidated, or fire-damaged unit adjacent to the subject property under consideration constitutes a failed inspection.
- Conditions that would place the participant in an isolated living environment constitute a failed inspection.
- Illegal repair shops (including shade tree mechanics), excessive noise/vibrations, furniture, trash and/or debris dumping constitutes a failed inspection.
- Signs of suspicious illegal activity and graffiti constitute a failed inspection.
- House numbers must be visible from the street and mailbox must be in good repair.
- Lawn and storage areas must be free of garbage and debris.
- Adequate facilities for the disposal of garbage and food wastes must be present, provided by the owner and meet the requirements of the local agency designated for pickup/removal. (For single family homes, a City of Atlanta "herbie curbie" (trash can) must be present.
- Adequate ground covering, preferably grass, must be present. the yard of the subject property should be neat and well-maintained; trees and shrubs should not touch the exterior of the unit.
- Problems with water ponding or severe erosion must not be present.
- Fencing and retaining walls, if present, are in good repair and free of graffiti.
✔ Building Exterior
- Sidewalks, roadways and parking areas must be free from hazards and in good repair. (Differentials in walking surfaces that are greater than 3/4" are considered as trip hazards and are unacceptable.)
- Roof, gutter, fascia, exterior cladding and foundation walls are all structurally sound, weather tight and in good repair. The unit may not have cracks, holes or openings that are accessible to insects or rodents.
- Unit is free of peeling paint and graffiti.
- All windows that were designed to open/close must function properly, must be weather tight and lockable, may not have broken or missing panes and must be in good repair. Missing or broken glass panes may not be replaced with Plexiglass.
- All exterior windows designed to open must have screens.
- Thirty-six inch (36") guardrails are installed on porches, balconies, desks, etc. that are more than 30 inches above grade (floor or ground). Guardrails must have pickets that are spaced no more than four inches (4") apart.
- Stairs with four or more steps have a continuous handrail on at least one side.
- Proper locks are required on all exterior doors.
- No double cylinder locks on exterior doors, interior doors, windows or security bars.
- If the building has gutters, they are in good repair.
- All utilities (water, gas, electricity) are on and operating at time of inspection. (Permanent power must be on the unit.)
- Water heater is properly installed, operational, equipped with the correct temperature-pressure relief valve and a discharge pipe is installed that is routed to the exterior of the structure or to a floor drain.
- Plumbing is properly installed (no S-traps), leak-free and vented in accordance with building codes.
- Air conditioning system is adequate, properly installed and operational. Heating system is adequate, properly installed and operational.
- Ventless gas appliances that are not the primary source of heat for the unit are allowed as long as they are not installed in a sleeping room. A gas certification must be provided by the owner.
- Primary heating cannot be provided by free-standing gas floor heaters or electric space heaters.
- Buildings have properly marked fire exists that meet building codes (multi-family).
- Unit is free of electrical hazards (i.e, exposed wires, open junction boxes, missing breakers, missing covers for service disconnects).
- All burners or elements on stoves are in proper working order.
- Proof that all gas appliances have been inspected by a licensed technician (gas certification) within the last twelve (12) months may be requested at the inspector's discretion.
- Fireplaces must either be in safe operating condition or sealed to prevent usage.
✔ Dwelling Unit
- Entire dwelling unit, including attics, crawlspaces and out buildings, must be readily accessible at time of the inspection.
- Attics and crawlspaces must be clean and free of hazards.
- All attics are required to be adequately insulated.
- Walls and ceilings are clean, painted and free from holes, peeling, chipping or loose paint.
- Floors must be structurally sound and in good repair.
- Unit is free of any trash or debris.
- All appliances (e.g., stove, refrigerator) are clean and operable.
- Each bedroom has a minimum ceiling height of seven (7) feet and must be at least eight (8) x ten (10) feet.
- Each bedroom has at least four (4) square feet of closet space (the closet must also have a rod) that does not impede the eighty (80) square feet of floor space.
- Each bedroom has at least two electrical outlets or one electrical outlet and a permanent light fixture.
- Each bedroom must have a secondary means of exiting the unit, i.e. a window with a clear opening of at least 5.7 square feet and a maximum of 44
inches from the floor.
- Any room that can be entered directly from a garage, i.e. through a door/window, shall not be considered a bedroom.
- Any room with a gas appliance (heater, water heater, dryer, etc.) or an unvented gas heater in the room or a closet shall not be considered a bedroom.
- Each bedroom must have a door for privacy.
- An operating smoke alarm is required outside of all bedrooms.
- An operating carbon monoxide detector is required outside of all bedrooms in homes that have a gas fired appliance.
- Stairs with four or more steps have handrails in accordance with building codes.
- If the unit has two or more bedrooms, the floor plan must permit access to a bathroom and common rooms without passage through a bedroom.
- Electrical outlets, switches, and light fixtures must be operable and safe, and meet building codes.
- Electrical outlets in “wet areas” (i.e. kitchen, bath, garage and exterior) require GFCI protection.
- Doors are installed where required throughout the unit.
- The hardware for doors must be present and in good repair.
- Bathroom doors have functioning locks.
- Toilets flush, drain properly and are secure to the floor.
- Sink, tub and shower plumbing drains properly, is leak free, with hot/cold water.
- Smoke alarms are installed on each level of the unit and are operational.
- Carbon Monoxide detectors are installed on each level for units with gas appliances.
- Kitchen has at least one charged (1) fire extinguisher.
- Carpet is clean and free of stains and tears.
- Security bars, if provided, must be operable from the interior of the room without use of tools or a key.
- Windows and doors are operable and are not blocked, nailed shut or in any other condition that would prevent egress.
- No propane, natural gas, or methane gas odor is detectable.
- No sewer odor is detectable.
- No evidence of insect or vermin presence.
NOTE: The "Site/Vicinity" is generally defined as the geographical area that poses the greatest impact to the living conditions at or surrounding the subject property. AHA has sole discretion when defining Site/Vicinity. For further information on AHA Site/Vicinity requirements or other AHA Enhanced Inspection Standards, please contact us at 404-892-4700.
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HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM: Selecting Renters
Many new landlords underestimate the importance of screening applicants. Finding the right renters for your property will be key to your success as a landlord.
AHA conducts criminal background checks on Housing Choice participants, but otherwise and selection are entirely the property owner's responsibility. In fact, AHA is prohibited by law from steering Housing Choice participants.
The screening and selection criteria a property owner uses must comply with all fair housing laws. Several options are open to the property owner:
- Contact the former property owner to inquire about applicants' payment and housekeeping history
- Contact utility companies for applicants' payment history
- Ask prospective renters for employment references to verify sources of income
- Ask prospective renters for any history of evictions
- Ask prospective renters about any criminal activity
- Ask to meet prospective renters at their current residences to see first-hand how they maintain their living environments
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