HCVP Participant FAQs

How much is my voucher worth?
For your specific payment standard, look at the payment standard sheet included in your package for an estimated amount. This figure includes the total housing cost of rent and utilities.

If the landlord does not grant an extension when the lease expires, what should I do?

You should consult with your specialist.

If my voucher expires, can I get an extension?

You must request an extension in writing (10) ten calendar days prior to the expiration date of your voucher. This request should be addressed to your assisted housing specialist.

Can I get a larger bedroom size other than what is on the voucher?

You may if the property is less than your payment standard or your portion of the rent will not be more than 40% of your monthly-adjusted income.

Can I add a family member/person to my family?

Yes, but it must first be approved by the Housing Choice Voucher Office and the owner. This request must be submitted to your housing choice specialist in writing.

Does Section 8 assist with the utilities?

There is an allowance based on the utilities paid by the tenant.

Will I get a utility check?

It is possible, but it depends on the gross rent of the property, the maximum subsidy that the housing authority will pay, and your income.

Can I stay where I am currently living?

Yes, if the owner is willing to lease the dwelling to your family. You must submit leasing papers for it and the unit must pass HQS inspection.

Where can I use my voucher?

Your voucher can be used in Richmond, Henrico, Hanover, and Chesterfield counties. We do not service Chester or points south.

When can I move into the unit?

Only after the unit has passed Housing Quality Standards Inspection, the rent has been deemed reasonable, and your assisted housing specialist has issued the final approval.

How much is my security deposit?

The landlord can charge any amount not to exceed two months’ rent as per state law.

How is Housing Choice rent determined?

Housing Choice participants pay monthly rent based on their income. HUD subsidies cover the difference between the amount paid by participants and the market rent for the unit. The 40% rent burden rule dictates that tenants can’t pay more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income in rent for the first year of the lease.

Are Housing Choice participants also tenants of RRHA?

No. Participants in private rental units are the owner/landlord’s tenants. RRHA is the administrator of the program in the greater Richmond, VA area.

Who pays the rent for participants in the Housing Choice Program?

HUD, through RRHA, pays monthly rent directly to the owners or landlords of the units. The participant does not receive any of the money paid for rental assistance.

How long can a family stay in the Housing Choice Program?

Persons with disabilities and seniors over 55 years old are exempt from time limits. The federal government has not put a cap on the length of time a person may stay in the program.

Who is in charge of the annual inspection?

RRHA has our own inspections department that will conduct the inspections.

How do I know when my yearly inspection will take place?

Bi-annual inspections coincide with the tenant’s recertification date. A property inspection will be scheduled prior to the unit’s contact anniversary date. Tenants and landlords will receive a notice including an inspection date and time. If the unit does not pass inspection, a written repair notice will be sent to the landlord and tenant who will then have 30 day to make any necessary repairs. If those repairs are not made within 30 days, the landlord will receive written notice of termination from the Housing Choice Program. RRHA has the option to inspect before the bi-annual inspection time frame.