Applying for Assistance
Who can take part in the HCV Program?
If a family wants to participate in the HCV program, the following must be true:
- The family is on the HCV program waiting list or the family is porting their voucher from another housing authority.
- The family must meet HUD’s eligibility requirements including:
- Be a family
- At least one member must have eligible citizenship status
- Disclosure and verification of SSNs
- Family income does not exceed income limits established by HUD
- Family must not have engaged in certain criminal activity
What happens if I am denied admission?
If MDHCV denies your admission into the HCV program, you will receive a notice that will provide the reason for the denial as well as how you can request an informal review where mitigating circumstances may be considered. An Informal Hearing/Review Request Form can be found on MDHCV’s website at www.miamidade.gov/housing.
How the Voucher Works
Once you are determined eligible, you will be invited to a voucher issuance briefing. At the briefing, you will learn about how the program works and receive the documents you will need to start your unit search. The briefing will also provide information on how to lease a unit, explain owner responsibilities, and family obligations under the program.
What is a Voucher?
The voucher is the HUD form that allows you to begin looking for housing. The voucher is tied to your family, not your unit. In other words, when your family moves, the subsidy goes with you. The voucher tells you the size unit your subsidy payment will cover and the date the voucher will expire. The voucher also includes the HUD HCV Family Obligations that your family must follow in order to continue to qualify for the subsidy. When you sign the voucher, you agree to follow those obligations. If you do not follow the family obligations, MDHCV may have grounds to remove you from the HCV Program.
How does MDHCV decide how many bedrooms my family needs?
MDHCV uses what are called subsidy standards to determine the size voucher you receive. MDHCV applies the following subsidy standards when determining your voucher size:
- Single person families are given a zero or one-bedroom voucher
- Generally, two people are expected to share one bedroom
- A single head of household parent is not required to share a bedroom with their child, although they may do so at the request of the family
- Exceptions to the largest subsidy standards may be made as a reasonable accommodation for a person with disabilities
- Exceptions may also be granted if they are justified by the age, sex, health, disability, or relationship of family members
- Children of opposite sex who are over the age of six are not required to occupy the same bedroom or living/sleeping room
- A single pregnant woman (with no other family members) will be given a maximum of a one-bedroom voucher
- Children are counted toward the voucher size if the applicant/participant has residential placement at least 50 percent of the time
- Children who are temporarily away from home because they have been placed in foster or kinship care or are away at school will count toward the voucher size
- A live-in aide may be assigned up to one bedroom if approved as a reasonable accommodation
- The live-in aide may have PHA-approved family member(s) live with them in the unit as long as the unit is not overcrowded per HQS
- No additional bedrooms will be provided to accommodate the live-in aide’s family members
Term of the Voucher
The term of the voucher is the amount of time you are provided to search for a unit. The initial term is the time between the “Issue Date” and the “Expiration Date”. The initial term of the voucher will never be less than 60 days. For families moving to Miami-Dade County under portability rules, the term of the voucher in Miami will be the same as the one that was originally issued to you. However, MDHCV will automatically provide 30 additional days from the expiration date or the extension expires, whichever is later.
Expiration of the Voucher
The voucher will have an expiration date on it. You must submit a completed Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form prior to the expiration date, with any applicable extensions, of your voucher.
Suspension of Voucher and Tolling Time
When you submit an RFTA, MDHCV will “stop the clock” on your voucher. This is also referred to as “suspending” or “tolling Time”. If the RFTA is not approved, you will be notified in writing and you will be provided the remaining search time. For example, you were issued a voucher on March 1, 2017 with an expiration date of April 30, 2017. You turn in an RFTA on March 15, 2017 but it is denied on March 30, 2017. Including the day you turned it in, the RFTA took 16 days to process which means your voucher was suspended for 16 days. These days are automatically added as a mandatory extension and your voucher would now expire on May 16, 2017.
Except for inbound portable families, on vouchers issued for 90 days, you may request a one-time, 30-day extension to the voucher, giving you a total of 120 days to locate a unit and submit the RTA. On vouchers issued for 60 days, you may request two 30-day extensions giving you a total of 120 days. Extensions can be requested by phone or in person and should be requested at least one week prior to the expiration date of your voucher. If someone in your family is a person with disabilities, you can request a reasonable accommodation to have your voucher term extended over 120 days. A Request for Voucher Extension can be found on page 54 of your briefing packet or on MDHCV’s website. For families moving to Miami-Dade County under portability rules, MDHCV will automatically provide 30 additional days from the expiration date or the extension expires date, whichever is later. However, MDHCV will not provide any additional time beyond this initial 30 day extension. Hearings or informal reviews are not approved and will not be held for denials of extension or expiration of the voucher term.