Portability in the HCV program refers to the process through which the family can transfer or "port" their rental subsidy when they move to a location outside the jurisdiction of the public housing agency (PHA) that first gave them the voucher when they were selected for the program.
New families may not be able to port immediately; they may have to live in the jurisdiction of the initial PHA for a year before they can port. Initial PHAs may allow moves during this one-year period.
- Initial PHA -The PHA that first gave the voucher to the individual when they were selected for the program.
- Receiving PHA - The agency that will administer assistance in the area to which the individual moves.
Requesting to Move
What do I do if I want to move within Miami-Dade County?
You can move and continue receiving rental assistance once the initial 12-month term of your lease is over, or any time after that (if you’re in a month-to-month lease) as long as you give MDHCV and the owner or property manager proper notice. MDHCV will only give you permission to move if you are not violating the lease or any of the program rules. In some cases, MDHCV may allow you to move before you’ve lived in your unit for 12 months. Reasons for this exception include the following:
- To protect the health or safety of your family from domestic, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- Building/unit foreclosure
- Emergencies (fire, flood, etc.)
- Reasonable accommodations for a person with a disability
- Public housing relocatees
If you want to move, contact the Customer Care Department at 305-403-3222 and submit your request over the phone. Otherwise, you can complete an Intent to Move – Change of Dwelling Request form at our offices. This will start the process of getting you a voucher so that you can begin the move process. The following steps must be completed once you submit your move request:
- Attend a participant voucher issuance briefing to receive your voucher and affordability worksheet
- Provide your current owner and MDHCV an Intent to Move – Change of Dwelling Request form
- Once your change of dwelling has been approved and your voucher issued, you will need to search for a unit
- Once you identify a unit, you must submit a completed Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) packet
- Wait for your new unit to pass inspection and for MDHCV to determine the rent with the new owner
- Attend the HAP signing with the owner where you will sign your lease at the MDHCV office
- Move into the new unit
What if my building or unit is in foreclosure?
If your building or the unit where you reside is in foreclosure, there are a few things to keep in mind.
You must continue to pay your rent: Never stop paying your rent, even if you receive notice that your unit is in foreclosure. Continue to pay your rent to the current landlord until you receive instructions from the new owner or lender. If you receive information about a new landlord, you should supply this information to MDHCV immediately.
You do not have to move: If you are in a lease, you can stay in the unit until your lease ends. You are not required to request moving papers. If the lender does plan to cancel your lease, you have rights. Laws protect you from sudden eviction if a lender forecloses the building or unit in which you live. To learn more about these rights, you contact Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. at 305-576-0080 or visit www.legalseverciesmiami.org. If you are not in a lease, you can request to move. If you receive a notice from the lender to vacate because of a foreclosure, contact the MDHCV Customer Service Call Center.
What if I want to move outside of the Miami-Dade County area?
With some restrictions, both applicants and participants are eligible to move to a different unit in a different housing authority’s jurisdiction and have their rental assistance move with them. Portability allows you to use your voucher to rent a unit anywhere in the United States where there’s a housing authority that runs a Housing Choice Voucher program. To port to another area, you will need to inform MDHCV by contacting the MDHCV Customer Service Call Center as well as give the owner proper notice of your intent to vacate under your lease. Keep in mind that when you port, you will not only need to meet MDHCV’s requirements (the initial housing authority), you will also need to meet the requirements of the housing authority in the location you are moving (receiving housing authority) as well. Some housing authorities have different screening criteria, subsidy standards (voucher size), payment standards, and utility allowances that may impact your assistance.
How do I port to another housing authority’s jurisdiction?
The list below gives you facts about the porting process:
- If you are an applicant on the waiting list, and had a legal residence in Miami-Dade when you applied for MDHCV’s HCV waiting list, when you get to the top of the waiting list and MDHCV issues you a voucher, you can use that voucher to port to another area without first using your voucher in Miami-Dade County.
- If you are an applicant and you did not have a legal residence in Miami-Dade when you applied for the HCV waiting list, you must first use your voucher in Miami-Dade County and lease up for a year, unless for MDHCV makes and exception and allows you to move sooner. Otherwise, you can request to port at the end of your initial lease term.
- If you are a participant, you can only port if you wouldn’t be breaking your lease. In other words, if you’re in a one-year lease, you have to wait until the end of the lease term to request a voucher to port, subject to some exceptions listed above in the moves section.
The housing authority you want to port to may have different rules, policies, and deadlines than MDHCV. Just because you are eligible to participate on MDHCV’s program, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be eligible to participate on another program. This may impact your assistance and could result in you losing your voucher. You should think carefully about the following differences before you request a voucher to port:
- If you’re an applicant, you must be under the income limit in the area to which you are moving.
- The receiving PHA may have different subsidy standards that cause your voucher size to increase or decrease.
- The receiving PHA may have different policies on voucher issuance. They may issue their vouchers for a longer or shorter period than MDHCV and may have different requirements for how to request extensions. Be sure to ask the receiving housing authority about their policies on voucher issuance at the time they issue you your voucher.
- Before you are issued a voucher by the other agency, you may have to have another interview and submit documentation to them.
- The receiving PHA may have different screening criteria for drug abuse, criminal activity, and other discretionary denials. Their screening criteria might be stricter than MDHCV’s.
- Your portion of the rent and your utility allowance will likely be different since the receiving PHA will likely have different payment standards and utility allowances.
- MDHCV or the other housing authority can terminate you from the program while you port if you violate any rules.
- MDHCV recommends that you visit the new area that you want to move to before porting. Once you’ve been issued a voucher to port, if you decide that you no longer want to move to that area, and instead want to rent a unit elsewhere or come back to MDHCV’s jurisdiction, you need to let MDHCV know during the term of your voucher. If your voucher expires and you haven’t leased a unit anywhere, you may lose your assistance.
MDHCV will assist you by giving you the contact information for another agency where you’ll be moving. Once you lease up in another housing authority’s jurisdiction, you will no longer have a voucher with MDHCV. Your voucher with MDHVC may only be reinstated if you port your voucher back to Miami- Dade County. Fill out here