Umatilla County Housing Authority

The UCHA Program

The Housing Authority of the County of Umatilla offers The Housing Choice Voucher Program. This program was designed to help low-income families and single elderly, disabled and/or handicapped individuals rent decent, safe and sanitary housing. The landlord and housing Authority sign a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract. The contract is provided and prepared by the housing Authority. 

The Housing Authority Vouchers are issued to applicants who qualify for the Section 8 Program. The waiting list is a first-come first-served waiting list and the applicants have to meet certain requirements to be placed on it. One of the requirements is that the applicant's household gross income must be within the HUD guidelines. Income limits are established by HUD, adjusted each year and determined by the family size.

When the Housing Authority has a Voucher to fill, the next applicant in line on the waiting list is contacted to attend a required briefing. At this time it is explained to the applicant how the program works and what their responsibilities are to receive the assistance. The Housing Authority does not send applicants to landlords. It is the responsibility of the applicant to find a landlord that is interested in participating in the Section 8 program with the tenant.

When the applicant finds a landlord that wishes to participate the applicant and the landlord fill out Request for Inspection and a Request for Tenancy Approval forms indicating that the landlord is interested. These forms supply information the Housing Authority needs to determine if the rent amount the landlord wants for the unit would qualify. This qualification is determined by the Rent Reasonableness survey for the area.

If the amount of rent the landlord is requesting fits, the inspector will set up an inspection to make sure the unit is decent, safe and sanitary. IF the inspector finds items that need to be completed, a list of these items is mailed out to the landlord to complete and a final inspection is completed to pass the unit and begin the assistance.

The tenant pays a percentage of their income towards the rent and the Housing Authority pays the remainder of the Contract Rent to the landlord.

ADVANTAGES TO OWNERS/LANDLORDS

The owner/landlord retains the right to screen and select tenants, and are encouraged to check references, conduct home visits, check credit history, etc. The owner may not discriminate because of race, color, creed, sex, handicap, or national origin in accordance with federal, state and local laws.

The tenant's portion of the rent would probably be reduced, thus helping ensure more timely payments.

If the applicant has been on the Section 8 program the housing Authority can give the landlord information about the past landlord.

The Housing Authority re-certifies tenant eligibility annually and performs an annual inspection.

ANNUAL EVENTS

HQS INSPECTIONS: Most units should pass their annual inspections, however; in some cases, repairs may be needed. Below are the most common problems found. All deficiencies need to be corrected before the HAP contract can be continued.

- Chipping, peeling paint on interior or exterior surfaces.

- Missing or broken electrical outlets or switch cover plates.

- Missing or broken window/door locks, cracked or broken panes.

- Water heater missing a temperature/pressure relief valve and/or discharge pipe.

- Range or oven burners not working.

- Missing or broken handrails on stairs with four or more steps.

- Landlords are notified in writing of any HQS fail items and given a reasonable period of time to make corrections.

TENANT UP-KEEP: The Housing Authority encourages you to inspect your unit regularly and determine that the tenant is properly taking care of the property. It's always best to document your concerns and expectations in writing.

RENT INCREASE FOR VOUCHERS: The landlord may increase the rent after the first year of the lease by giving at least a 60 day written notice to the family and the Housing Authority. The rent must meet the Rent Reasonableness criteria the housing Authority has established. This notice shall state both the new rental amount and the effective date of the new rent. Voucher rent increases are generally paid by the tenant.

ADVERTISING

The Housing Authority does not send applicants to landlords. It is the landlord's responsibility to find a suitable applicant to lease to. The Housing Authority is establishing a rental book at the office so that landlords can place rental information into it for applicants to choose from. Also, if you are interested in helping these applicants find a suitable unit, when you place an ad in the paper for a rental you might place at the end of the ad: "Section 8 OK''.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OFFICE IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SECTION 8 PROGRAM!

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