Update April 5, 2013
Congress has passed a continuing resolution for FY2013 that includes Section 8 funding. Although no additional funding is provided for Housing Choice Voucher renewals, HUD has provided flexibility to use alternatives, including reduction to the monthly rental subsidy and utility allowances, to achieve cost savings, rather than terminate participating families from the program due to insufficient funds. All of the programs are still subject to a 5 percent cut under sequestration.
Cost saving measures will address the City's primary concern of removing families from the program who have waited several years for such assistance. While the cost saving measures may have a negative effect on you, the implementation would hope to prevent termination of rental assistance.
February 21, 2013
Dear Section 8 Participant,
Congress and President Obama continue to work on the federal budget for calendar year 2013. Therefore, at this time, the City's Section 8 funding is still subject to change. We are providing answers to some of the questions you may have. If the City's funding is reduced, and we are required to take action, we will notify affected families and landlords immediately. For the most current information, please monitor our website at www.honolulu.gov/dcs/rentalassistance.htm .
Q: What is this about? How does this affect me and my family?
A: Congress is considering the entire federal budget and automatic budget cuts to domestic programs that are scheduled to take effect March 1, 2013. At this moment, everything is status quo. However, if Section 8 funding decreases, your housing assistance may be terminated.
Q: Who decides which families get terminated?
A: Based on our final approved funding, we will determine how many families we can afford to assist. For example, if the funding is enough to cover 2,700 families and our agency is currently assisting 3,000 families, 300 of the families receiving assistance will be affected.
Our administrative rules state that we must terminate Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contracts by the most recent date of admission. This means the last families who were admitted to the program will be cut first. If your housing assistance is terminated because of insufficient funding, your application will be placed back on the waiting list.
Q: What if my lease doesn't end until after the notice?
A: If the HAP contract is terminated, the lease between you and the landlord will also terminate. If you wish to remain in the same unit without the subsidy, you need to negotiate a new lease with the landlord.
Q: When will the agency find out about the approved funding?
A: Once the budget is approved by the President and Congress, the funding information is sent to the respective federal agencies. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will calculate the funding for each of the housing agencies and then send out a notification. In the past, it
took HUD up to two months to calculate and send out the funding notification. As soon as we receive the notification and determine how many families we can afford to assist, we will send out notices to the affected families and landlords with at least 30-days notice.
Q: What can I do to help?
A: Please monitor our website for updated information. You may also contact your congressional leaders to let them know your concerns.
In the meantime, we ask you to be patient with services and continue to assist with money-saving measures. Please keep your scheduled appointments and have your unit ready when it is time for your unit inspection.
Please be understanding of processing delays as the volume of phone calls and transactions increase. We appreciate your patience.
Pamela A. Witty-Oakland
Short term financial assistance to pay rent or a security deposit, see the various programs listed under the Aloha United Way's Ask 2100 website at www.auw211.org. Follow the instructions on the website.
In Step1, pull down and select "Oahu" under the pull down box for "Select an island";
Click on the "Housing expenses, Utilities and Transportation" icon, ;
Click on "Rent Assistance" link;
Programs vary in income eligibility, types of assistance provided and when and how to apply. As funding is limited, you may need to check with several organizations.
For information on Federal, State and Section 8 Project-Based public housing at Palolo Homes, go to the Hawaii Department of Human Services, Hawaii Public Housing Authority webpage. You must call 832-5961 or visit 1002 North School Street to request an application form. The State Rent Supplement Program is closed.
For information on shelters, see the Homeless Programs directory, click here.
To apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), go to the Hawaii Department of Human Services website or click here to print out an application. For individual assistance to complete the application form, contact Helping Hands Hawaii at 440-3812 or 440-3832
For services to seniors, go to the Department of Community Services, Elderly Affairs Division webpage.
For job seeker services go to the City & County of Honolulu Oahu WorkLinks webpage.
For Job related services for person with disabilities, go to the Hawaii Department of Human Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation webpage.
The City and County of Honolulu Section 8 Rental Assistance Program has implemented a new on-line status check for applicants. To see the status of your application, go to www.waitlistcheck.com. To access your application status information, you must log in by entering your year of birth and your social security number (without dashes) in the respective field.
Effective January 2012, the City and County of Honolulu Section 8 Branch will no longer absorb portable vouchers.
Current participants in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program should check with their current PHA whether they will allow them to move or relocate to the City and County of Honolulu Section 8 program.
Effective May 27, 2005, the City and County of Honolulu has suspended acceptance of applications for the Section 8 Program.
Acceptance of Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher applications has been suspended, and the waiting list is closed due to the reduction of federal funding and low attrition rate.
The Section 8 office will continue to process applicants already on the waiting list as vouchers become available.
A public notice will be issued when the waiting list is to be reopened.
For more information on the City's Section 8 program, call (808) 768-7096 or see the HUD Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet
Classes offered by the Section 8 Branch
Advantages of Participating in the Section 8 Program
This session reveals the process and point out the good points to prospective landlords, including competitive rent pricing and benefits of consistent monthly federal payments.
This session provides families with helpful cleaning tips and suggestions to maintain and properly improve their decent, safe, and sanitary units.
How To Be A Good Renter
This session explains the basic tasks such as shopping for property, negotiating with the landlord, paying rent on time, notifying landlords of needed repairs, cleanliness, and respecting neighbors. For first-time renters and current participants.
This session helps explain the updated mandatory legislative and regulatory provisions of the HCV Program to others among your PHA Board, staff, and community.
For information and reservations, please see the Calendar of Events or call Shannon Gripper at (808) 768-7398.
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