JACKSONVILLE HOUSING AUTHORITY
SECTION 8 HOUSING DEPARTMENT

How does this Program work?

• Under the Section 8 Program, the JHA makes monthly payments directly to the landlord on behalf of the family. The family pays the landlord their portion of the contract rent.

• Once the family has identified an acceptable unit, the family and landlord complete the Request for Tenancy Approval (R4TA) form & package. Once that document is received in our office, a Housing Inspector will contact the landlord to schedule an inspection of the unit. The lease may begin once the inspection is completed with a “passed” status.

• If the unit is approved as decent, safe and sanitary, and the rent amount is within the fair market rent guidelines, a lease agreement will be executed between the Landlord and the family. Upon receiving the executed lease agreement, the Housing Counselor will send a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract to the landlord. The HAP contract will be executed between the landlord and the JHA.

What is the application process for Section 8 Families?

•  The waiting list closed January 18, 2013.

What do I do after I have the Section 8 Voucher?

• The Voucher is good for 60 days, unless an approved extension has been granted.
   
• Once you find a unit you would like to rent and the owner is willing to rent the unit, have the owner complete a Request for Tenancy Approval (R4TA) package. Both you and the owner must sign the R4TA. Make sure the owner intends to rent to you before asking the owner to complete the R4TA.
 
• After the owner completes the R4TA, turn it in to the JHA. Remember that you can only turn in one R4TA at a time.
 
• The R4TA will be sent to the Section 8 Office to be processed by your Housing Counselor. The unit you have chosen will then be inspected by an Inspector.

• The inspector will contact the owner to schedule an inspection of the unit. The inspection is to insure that the unit meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and that the contract rent is reasonable.
 
• After the unit passes inspection, you and the landlord will execute a lease of the unit. Once the Housing Counselor has received a copy of the executed lease, the JHA will enter into the Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP) with your landlord. 
 
• Once the HAP Contract is complete, the JHA will process the contract for payment.
   
• You are responsible for paying the entire deposit requested by the owner. The JHA does not get involved in security deposit issues.
 
• The family will pay the portion of the rent directly to the owner/landlord. Likewise, the JHA sends their portion directly to the landlord.

The family must abide by the following rules:

1. Supply all information and documentation as requested by JHA;
2. Allow the JHA to inspect the dwelling unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice;
3. Notify the JHA and the landlord before vacating a unit;
4. Use the unit for residence of the family, i.e., those family members authorized by JHA to occupy the rental unit;
5. Pay the tenant's portion of rent on a timely basis;
6. Report any changes in family income or family size immediately;
7. Comply with all terms and conditions of the lease; and
8. The family must not participate in drug or criminal activity.

What are the Payment Standards (PS) for existing housing in Jacksonville, Florida?

The Fair Market Rents for the City of Jacksonville and surrounding counties are the following:

Size of Unit

Studio

1 Bedroom

2 Bedrooms

3 Bedrooms

4 Bedrooms

PS

$571

$705

$847

$1,117

$1,367

(**This amount changes once per year)

How many people can I have in one bedroom?

•  Effective March 01, 2014 the Jacksonville Housing Authority is changing the Occupancy/Voucher standard to two family members per bedroom, regardless of age, gender or family membership.

Can a landlord collect a security deposit from a Section 8 tenant? What about last month's rent?

•  Yes, the tenant is responsible for the entire deposit. The last month's rent is required to be paid, before the client leaves the unit.

Who pays the rent?

•  Under the Section 8 Program, the tenant pays a portion of the rent based on 30% of their income and the JHA pays the remaining portion of the rent directly to the owner. If the tenant has a rental payment, he/she must pay rent through the end of the lease, as long as they are still occupying the unit.

Does the JHA choose the tenant?

•  No, the screening and selection of tenants is the sole responsibility of the landlord. Any Voucher client has met the criteria for participating in the Section 8 Program.

What about the lease?

•  The landlord and the tenant enter into a lease agreement. The JHA is not a party to the lease agreement. The owner can use their own lease which would be required to have the HUD Lease Addendum attached to it. The JHA signs a Housing Assistance Payments Contract with the owner to ensure owner compliance with the Program regulations.

Can a landlord break a lease?

•  Yes, however, there are certain requirements, especially if it is the initial term of the lease.

Who decides the rent amounts a landlord can charge?

•  Rent requested by the landlord is negotiable. However, HUD guidelines establish the maximum rent the JHA can pay for a specific unit based on the Voucher Payment Standard. All rents are subject to a rent-reasonableness test

Does the landlord have to pay all utilities?

•  No. The payment of utilities is an item that is mutually agreed upon between the tenant and the landlord. Tenants who pay their own utilities are credited with a utility allowance.  If a landlord opts to pay for all of the utilities, they are responsible for the entire year, regardless of how much the utility bill is.

Must all the units be inspected?

•  Yes, the units must be inspected. The purpose of the inspection is to insure the unit is decent, safe and sanitary and meets the needs of the family.

What happens when the tenant does not pay the rent?

•  Section 8 tenants who do not pay their rent are handled in the same manner as the tenants in the open market - with notices and eviction processes.

Can I Move?

•  Yes. After the initial term of the lease (one year) and provided you do not owe the landlord for any damages to the unit.

Can I take the Section 8 Voucher to Other Cities?

•  Yes. The Voucher is portable to any city in the United States that has a Housing Agency willing and able to administer the Section 8 subsidy.