Thinking about applying for the Section 8 Program?

The Section 8 program is available throughout the eight county jurisdiction: Cerro Gordo County (excluding the incorporated city limits of Mason City), Floyd County (excluding the incorporated city limits of Charles City), Franklin County, Hancock County, Kossuth County, Mitchell County (excluding the incorporated city limits of Riceville), Winnebago County, and Worth County. Assistance is provided in units on the private market.

 

 

To learn more about the programs available through NIRHA, please click here.

 

The current wait for Section 8 assistance is between 9-12 months for applicants with the Residency Preference. The wait for applicants with no preferences is several years.

 

 

SECTION 8 HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM (HCV)

The housing choice voucher program (HCV) is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. Unlike the Public Housing program, the assistance is tied to the family rather than the unit.  If the family moves out of one unit into another one, or even to another community or state, the assistance could be transferred with the family.

 

The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects like public housing.
Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by housing authorities. The housing authority receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.

 

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice if the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the housing authority.

 

A housing subsidy is paid directly to the landlord by the housing authority on behalf of the participating family. The family pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

 

The North Iowa Regional Housing Authority (NIRHA) has contract authority with HUD to assist a maximum of 383 families throughout the eight county jurisdiction.  However, due to continual budget reductions, NIRHA has not received sufficient funding to assist that number of families.

 

Basic HCV Eligibility Criteria 
The head of household must be 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor, unless married and applying with a spouse who is 18 years or older.

 

Family’s total gross annual income cannot exceed HUD-established income limits for participation on the HCV Program.  Income includes all “countable” income anticipated for the coming year.

 

Examples of countable income include, but are not limited to; wages, unemployment benefits, workmen’s compensation, Social Security, pensions, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), regular contributions from family or friends, child support payments and income from assets, i.e. interest and dividends.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where geographically, can I use my Voucher?
  2. What is the difference between Housing Choice Voucher Program and Public Housing?
  3. I have applied for Public Housing.  Can I apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program too?
  4. I’ve just submitted my application. How long will I have to wait for housing?
  5. Where am I on the waiting list?
  6. I called two weeks ago and I was number 48 on a waiting list and now I am told I can't be given a number. What happened?
  7. Do I have to be a resident of your jurisdiction to be assisted?
  8. Does my income have to be below a certain amount for me to qualify for housing?
  9. I am a person with disabilities. Will I get housing more quickly?
  10. I am a veteran.  Can I get assistance more quickly?
  11. Do you have emergency housing or emergency assistance?
  12. I am homeless. Can you help me immediately?
  13. My family is soon to be evicted. How can you help?
  14. I owe money to a former landlord or have a criminal history.  Can I still be assisted?
  15. How much rent will I pay after I’m on the program?
  16. I have a landlord who is willing to rent to me under the Housing Choice Voucher Program.  Can I get a Voucher immediately?
  17. What units will qualify for the program?
  18. Will I have to sign a lease?
  19. Income Limits

  1. Where geographically, can I use my Voucher?
    Your voucher can be used across our eight county jurisdiction in northern Iowa. This includes Cerro Gordo County (excluding the incorporated city limits of Mason City), Floyd County (excluding the incorporated city limits of Charles City), Franklin County, Hancock County, Kossuth County, Mitchell County (excluding the incorporated city limits of Riceville), and Worth County.  Click here to see a map.

If you meet certain conditions, you may be eligible to transfer your rental assistance to another city or state.  This option is known as portability.

 

Top

  1. What is the difference between Housing Choice Voucher Program and Public Housing?
    Housing Choice Voucher properties are owned and managed by private landlords who are willing to participate with the Voucher program.  NIRHA subsidizes part of the resident's rent to the landlord making the housing affordable for the resident.

Public Housing properties are owned by NIRHA and the Authority manages and leases the properties. Units owned and managed by NIRHA are leased to low-income people on an income-based rental, or at a flat rental rate, depending upon what the resident chooses.

 

Top


  1. I have applied for Public Housing. Can I apply for the Housing Choice Voucher program too?
    Yes, you may. You will need to complete the appropriate section on the application requesting your program choices.  Simply mark the Housing Choice Voucher Program section as well.  The Housing Choice Voucher program is also known as Section 8.

Top

  1. I've just submitted my application.  How long will I have to wait for housing?
    There is no simple answer to this question because your wait will depend upon the date and time you submitted the application and how many other applicants are ahead of you. Depending upon availability of funds and the number of people who go off the program, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months or longer.

Since the HCV generally has the longest waiting list of the programs offered by NIRHA, it may be advisable to place your name on other program waiting lists you are eligible for.

 

Top

  1. Where am I on the waiting list?
    You may call 641/423-0897 ext. 1. When you check your status on the waiting list, we can verify that you are active on the waiting list but you will not be given a number. We will not be able to give you an exact time frame on when you will receive housing based on where you are on the waiting list. You should also notify us in writing of any changes to your family size, address, or telephone number as these factors can affect your status on a waiting list

     

  2. Top


  3. I called two weeks ago and I was number 48 on a waiting list and now I am told I can't be given a number. What happened?
    When you check your status on the waiting list, we can verify that you are active on the waiting list but you will not be given a number. This policy changed on February 15, 2017.

Top

  1. Do I have to be a resident of your jurisdiction to be assisted?
    No; however, applicants who live, work, or attend school within our jurisdiction do receive a preference over those outside our jurisidiction. 

Top

  1. Does my income have to be below a certain amount for me to qualify for housing?
    Yes, there are HUD income limits that are posted and updated annually on the HCV links to this website.

    Top


  2. I am a person with disabilities.  Will I get housing more quickly?
    No.  The only preference at this time is for people who live, work, or attend school within our jurisdiction. You are encouraged to apply and wait until you reach the top of the waiting list. 

Top

  1. I am a veteran.  Can I get assistance more quickly?
    No.  The only preference at this time is for people who live, work, or attend school within our jurisdiction. You are encouraged to apply and wait until you reach the top of the waiting list. 

Top

  1. Do you have emergency housing or emergency assistance?
    No.  At this time there are no provisions in our policies allowing someone with an emergency to move in before someone else. You must be determined eligible first and then you will be housed in accordance with the date and time of your application and residency preference.

Top

  1. I am homeless.  Can you help me immediately?
    Unfortunately, no. The only preference at this time is for people who live, work, or attend school within our jurisdiction. You are encouraged to apply and wait until you reach the top of the waiting list. 

Top

  1. My family is soon to be evicted.  How can you help?
    You are encouraged to apply and wait until you reach the top of the waiting list. 

Top

  1. I owe money to a former landlord or have a criminal history. Can I still be housed?
    Every applicant is subject to our screening process including, but not limited to a criminal background check and former tenancy histories. If you owe money to NIRHA the balance must be paid-in-full prior to applying for assistance.  If you owe money to another housing agency, you must make acceptable payment arrangements with the other agency prior to applying for assistance with NIRHA.

Top

  1. How much rent will I pay after I’m on the program?

In general, you will pay at least 30 percent, but not more than 40 percent, of your monthly adjusted income for rent and utilities. (You may pay more than 40 percent of your income after the first year of the lease.)

 

Top

  1. I have a landlord who is willing to rent to me under the Housing Choice Voucher Program.  Can I get a Voucher immediately?
    No. You must apply for housing assistance first and be determined eligible. Then you will be placed on the list accordingly.

Top

17. What units will qualify for the program?

Almost any unit will qualify!  However, there are a few requirements all units on the program must meet.  The unit must pass the rent reasonableness test, pass the Housing Quality Standards inspection and at the initial lease up be affordable for the family.  

 

Top

18. Will I have to sign a lease?

You will be required to sign a one year lease with the landlord.  The landlord is required to use the same lease for you as they do for any unassisted family.  After the initial first year, the term of the lease will be month-to-month.

 

Top

19. Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

___ Income Limits Effective: 04/14/2017

  Cerro Gordo County  
  1-Person family $22,550 5-Person family $34,800
  2-Person family $25,800 6-Person family $37,400
  3-Person family $29,000 7-Person family $39,950
  4-Person family $32,200 8-Person family $42,550
  Floyd County
  1-Person family $22,400 5-Person family $34,550
  2-Person family $25,600 6-Person family $37,100
  3-Person family $28,800 7-Person family $39,650
  4-Person family $31,950 8-Person family $42,200
  Franklin County
  1-Person family $22,400 5-Person family $34,550
  2-Person family $25,600 6-Person family $37,100
  3-Person family $28,800 7-Person family $39,650
  4-Person family $31,950 8-Person family $42,200
  Hancock County  
  1-Person family $23,350 5-Person family $36,000
  2-Person family $26,650 6-Person family $38,650
  3-Person family $30,000 7-Person family $41,300
  4-Person family $33,300 8-Person family $44,000
  Kossuth County
  1-Person family $24,050 5-Person family $37,100
  2-Person family $27,500 6-Person family $39,850
  3-Person family $30,950 7-Person family $42,600
  4-Person family $34,350 8-Person family $45,350
  Mitchell County
  1-Person family $22,900 5-Person family $35,300
  2-Person family $26,150 6-Person family $37,300
  3-Person family $29,400 7-Person family $40,500
  4-Person family $32,650 8-Person family $43,100
  Winnebago County
  1-Person family $22,650 5-Person family $34,950
  2-Person family $25,900 6-Person family $37,550
  3-Person family $29,150 7-Person family $40,150
  4-Person family $32,350 8-Person family $42,750
  Worth County
  1-Person family $22,400 5-Person family $34,550
  2-Person family $25,600 6-Person family $37,100
  3-Person family $28,800 7-Person family $39,650
  4-Person family $31,950 8-Person family $42,200
     

 

 

House