Housing Choice Overview
AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (Housing Choice) offers families including elderly and disabled persons and working families, the greatest mobility and broader range of choice in selecting where they live. Using a Housing Choice voucher, families can identify quality housing anywhere in the city of Atlanta with the assurance that they will not have to pay more than 30 percent of their adjusted income towards their rent. Families may also use their Housing Choice voucher to move outside the city limits of Atlanta after their first year on the program.
Property owners/landlords of single family homes and multifamily condominiums and apartments manage the properties and enter into landlord/tenant relationships with the families.
AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program is administered by AHA’s Customer Services Group.
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To qualify to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), an Applicant/Participant must meet certain eligibility requirements established by AHA including HUD requirements as applicable under AHA’s Amended and Restated Moving to Work (MTW) Agreement. Specific eligibility requirements for all applicants are as follows:
- Income Limits Requirement: The Applicant household or individual must meet income requirements which are published and updated annually by HUD.
- At least one household member must be a United States citizen or an eligible immigrant.
- Ability to verify that each household member has a Social Security number, or be able to verify that the household member has applied for a Social Security number.
- Meet AHA’s criminal background screening criteria.
- School Enrollment Requirement: Each school-age household member who is under 18 years of age and who has not completed his or her secondary education must be enrolled and attending an accredited public or private academic or technical school.
- Must participate in AHA’s Good Neighbor Program.
- Comply with AHA’s Work/Program Participation Requirement.
- Must adhere to AHA’s Family Obligations.
- In addition to meeting the above requirements, Applicants whose annual gross income is between 51-80% of the median income for the area can also be assisted if any of the following circumstances apply:
- Households or individuals “continuously assisted” in Public/Indian, Section 23 or Housing Choice
- Households physically displaced by rental rehabilitation
- Non-purchasing tenants of certain homeownership programs
- Tenants displaced from certain Section 221 or 236 projects
- Low income households residing in certain HUD-owned projects
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As a condition of receiving the housing subsidy, households must meet the Work/Program Requirement where:
- 1. One non-elderly (18 to 61 years old), non-disabled adult household member must maintain continuous full-time employment (at least 30 hours per week)
- 2. All other non-elderly, non-disabled household members must also maintain employment with a minimum of 30 hours per week or participate in a combination of school, job-training and/or part-time employment for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
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Human Development Services (HDS)
AHA is committed to empowering its clients to achieve economic independence and a better quality of life. Through the provision of Human Development Services, AHA implements comprehensive human- development life-cycle strategies leading to family self-sufficiency by providing case management services primarily focused on assisting Housing Choice participants to become compliant with AHA’s Work/Program requirement.
- Case Management – AHA provides case management services to Housing Choice households who are not meeting AHA’s work/program requirement. These services are partially funded through HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
- Intensive Coaching & Counseling – Intensive case management services are provided to Housing Choice households who are experiencing a crisis and/or need special assistance with managing the voucher process.
- Aging Well Case Management – Led by an on-staff Gerontologist, crisis intervention services are provided to seniors and persons with disabilities to support housing stability and successful participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, leveraging relationships with the aging and disability services network in Atlanta.
- Youth Program Services – Led by an on-staff Youth Services Program Manager, resources and partnerships are identified and leveraged to support the engagement of Housing Choice youth in educational, after-school, and other developmental opportunities.
- Service Provider Network – AHA has established a comprehensive collaborative network of over 100 community social service providers that provide resources and services supporting Housing Choice children, youth, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
- Social Services Referrals – Housing Services Administrators are able to assist Housing Choice participants on their caseloads through referrals to an array of social services including but not limited to affordable childcare, employment and job placement services, and elder care services.
Contracted Partners for Supportive Services:
- Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (Job placement; GED preparation; Job Training & Certification)
- Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta (After-School Programming)
- Georgia State University (Good Neighbor Program – mandatory program offerings for Housing Choice Voucher program participants
- Literacy Action (GED Preparation)
- Meals on Wheels Atlanta (Senior programming & adult day services)
- St. Joseph’s Mercy Care (Therapeutic Services)
- The Center for Working Families (Job Placement for Long-term Unemployed)
- Urban League of Greater Atlanta (GED Preparation & Adult Literacy; Expungement & Job placement services; Job placement for Long-term Unemployed; Vocational Counseling Services)
Housing Choice Participants who are interested in these services should contact their Housing Services Administrator for more information or call 404-892-4700 and press “2” to speak with a Customer Services Representative.
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AHA may review a household’s eligibility for continued participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program through a process called “Recertification”. During the recertification process, AHA does one or more of the following activities to confirm that the participant continues to meet AHA eligibility requirements:
- Criminal History Screening
- Income review, verification and calculation
- Determination of Work/Program Participation requirement compliance status
- Confirms household composition to determine the appropriate voucher size
- Recalculation of income and deductions to determine the Total Tenant Payment (TTP)
Recertification cycles occur annually, biennially, or triennially based on each household’s Work/Program Participation compliance status.
|Exempt households with only Elderly and/or Disabled adult on fixed income
||Compliant with Work / Program Participation requirement
||All other Exempt Households
||Non-Complaint with Work / Program Participation Requirement
||Households on Special Program vouchers
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An eligible household that has been issued a Housing Choice Voucher may use that voucher to lease a unit anywhere in the United States where there is a housing agency operating a Housing Choice voucher program. (Note that AHA requires new applicants to use their vouchers in AHA’s jurisdiction during the first year of program participation.) This feature of the program is referred to as portability.
To be considered eligible to Port in to AHA’s jurisdiction, Port Applicants must:
- Meet all AHA eligibility requirements
- Receive approval from the Initial Public Housing Authority (IPHA)
- Ensure that a complete inbound Port Package is received from the IPHA
If any of the above requirements are not met, AHA will return the port package to the IPHA and no further processing will occur.
Outbound Ports are households that request to move to a property located outside of AHA’s jurisdiction.
To be considered eligible to Port Out of AHA’s jurisdiction, the Applicant/Participant must:
- Comply with AHA’s Work Program requirements
- Can only port out at the annual recertification date
- Have met all terms and conditions of the rental lease agreement and has continuously complied with all household obligations under the MTW Voucher
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AHA reviews program eligibility and compliance of all Applicants and Participants on the Housing Choice Voucher program (HCVP) on a continual basis. Our reviews include but are not limited to conducting in-office and field investigations by Program Investigators in response to complaints of non-compliance; conducting criminal background screenings; and conducting informal hearings for denied applicants and participants with program violations.
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Want to Report Fraud/Make a Complaint? Do You Know Someone Who is on AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program and...
- Isn't reporting their total income?
- Isn't reporting everyone living in the household?
- Is renting or subletting their housing unit?
- Is involved in criminal activity?
- Is not maintaining their utilities?
We encourage you to report fraud, waste, abuse and serious mismanagement that occurs on any of the AHA properties or Housing Choice Voucher units, to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly.
Report incidences of fraud immediately while the facts are still fresh in your mind. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- Who was involved? (Names, addresses, phone numbers if available)
- What happened? (Summary of events, additional sources of evidence)
- When did it happen? (Date, time, frequency)
- Where did it happen? (Location, city, state)
- How it happen? (Scheme or plot used to commit the offense)
AHA investigates and helps to eliminate corruption, criminal activity, conflicts of interest, and unethical conduct by Housing Choice Voucher Program recipients and landlords receiving funds from AHA. There are three ways to make a report:
- Call: 1-888-AHA-4YOU
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Postal mail or walk in person:
Housing Voice Voucher Program
Attn: Compliance Team
Atlanta Housing Authority
230 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30303
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All complaints are handled confidentially.
Making Housing Choice Work for You
- Provide complete and accurate information to Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA).
- Find a suitable unit within 120 days of receiving your voucher.
- Allow inspection of your unit.
- Comply with Family Obligations to AHA.
- Take care of your Housing Choice assisted unit and pay your rent and utilities on time.
- Comply with all the terms of your lease and the Housing Choice Tenancy Addendum.
- Notify AHA of any family composition changes and of any income increases or decreases within 10 days of the occurrence.
- Submit requests to move in writing at least 90 days prior to the end of your lease.
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