Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Section 8 Voucher Program was enacted as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. Rental assistance under this program is “tenant-based”, meaning assistance follows the program participant. Lycoming Housing proudly assists nearly 500 families in meeting their monthly rental obligations by partnering with many local, Section 8 – approved landlords. Under this program, tenants pay between 30% and 40% of their adjusted gross monthly income in rent, while LHA pays the remainder of the negotiated rent directly to the landlord under a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract. Unlike the site-specific Public Housing Program, the HCV program provides eligible families with an expanded number of qualified housing opportunities throughout the county and offers the additional flexibility of identifying homes that will closely meet their personal needs.
- Qualify as a family
- Have an income within the federally mandated income limits
- Meet citizen/eligible immigrant criteria
- Provide documentation of valid Social Security numbers
- Sign consent authorization documents
In addition to the verifying eligibility requirements, the LHA will perform criminal background reviews for each adult household member.
All applicants are processed and placed on a waiting list according to date and time of application and preference eligibility.
When the Section 8 waiting list is open, those who wish to apply for a Voucher can do so electronically through our website. The application process involves two phases – first is the preliminary application when the family will be placed on a waiting list based upon annual gross income figures (see chart below) and other information that is submitted, as well as according to date and time of application and preference eligibility. The second phase is final determination of eligibility, which means the family is nearing the top of the waiting list and all information submitted through the application will now go through a verification process. After submitting an application, it is the family’s responsibility to keep LHA continually updated on any changes to their address, income, and family members in writing through the Application Update Form.
As part of the application process, LHA assigns preferences for applicants. Some examples include a preference for those who reside in Lycoming County, an applicant who is elderly or disabled, if applicant is displaced by government action, military veterans, or if you are currently employed or attending school within the Lycoming Housing service area. If any preferences are chosen, those items will be verified by LHA staff prior to issuing a Voucher.
As you near the top of the waiting list, you will be sent a letter to determine whether you are still interested in the Section 8 / HCV Program and you will be asked to provide any additional updates to your application. If you are still interested and still eligible for the same preferences, the Housing Authority will invite you to an interview. The updated applicant information will be verified and the Housing Authority will perform a criminal and credit check. Once eligible, a Voucher is issued and you will have 60 days to locate housing.
Waiting List Preferences
2019 – 2020, Lycoming County, PA
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Interested in Becoming a Section 8 Landlord?
Lycoming Housing provides housing assistance to low-income families in the private rental market through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. Participants pay their portion of the rent based on their income, and the Housing Authority pays the balance directly to the property owner. Units must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards (HQS), and the rent must be in line with HUD Fair Market Rents and comparable market rate units. Owners are responsible to select their own tenants after the family is certified eligible for the program. Once a tenant has been selected, the owner will receive, complete, and return a Housing Packet to the LHA Section 8 Department. When the Housing Authority receives the completed packet, an HQS inspection will be scheduled.
After the unit passes inspection and the rent has been approved, the owner and the tenant enter into a lease agreement for an initial term of one (1) year. The owner is permitted to require a security deposit; however, LHA cannot pay the security deposit for the tenant. The authority and the owner enter into a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract, which allows LHA to pay rent to the owner on the tenant’s behalf.
If you have any questions, or would like additional information about our Section 8 Voucher Program, please submit our Landlord Interest Form.
Housing Choice Voucher Portability
“Portability” means that a participant in the HCV Program has the ability to relocate from the jurisdiction of its’ current housing authority to the jurisdiction of another housing authority operating a Housing Choice Voucher program.
Current voucher holders who live within Lycoming County and want to move outside of the county may “port” their voucher outside of the jurisdiction, as long as they have used the voucher in the Lycoming County jurisdiction for at least 12 months.
Participants may not port out if they are in violation of the voucher’s Family Obligations, or if they owe a balance to LHA or their landlord.
Voucher holders wishing to move must contact their local Section 8 representative for an appointment to discuss this procedure. Participants must also complete a Portability Form and provide the name of the jurisdiction and the Housing Agency to which the participant wishes to move. Participants may not move before paperwork is complete and approval is received. Failure to do so may result in the loss of a voucher and cause the participant to be responsible for the full rent payment.
Current voucher holders who want to move to Lycoming County must first contact their current housing authority, and:
- Inform your current housing authority of your interest in porting out to Lycoming County Housing Authority.
- Ask your current housing authority if you are eligible to port out.
- Inform your current housing authority that LHA’s jurisdiction is Lycoming County.
- Once eligibility is determined, then you should request that your current housing authority prepare your portability packet.
Portability packets may be mailed to:
Lycoming Housing Authority, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, 1941 Lincoln Drive Williamsport, PA 17701
Participants should keep in contact with their current housing authority to verify the date that the portability packet was forwarded to LHA. When participants receive verification from the current housing authority, they should then contact the Lycoming County Section 8 Department for confirmation that LHA received your packet.
You can begin the process by filling out our Portability Form
Veterans Administration Supportive Housing Program
Lycoming Housing Authority is pleased to announce our participation in the Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) Program. VASH is a partnership between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Lycoming Housing Authority to providerental housing assistance for eligible homeless veterans.
The goal through the VASH program is to put an end to homelessness for the most vulnerable veterans who have so bravely served our country. Our nation deeply depends on our soldiers, sailors, and airmen who sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms. They made a commitment to our country and we, together with our partners, commit to care for them through assuring all veterans who need housing support are never forgotten. The VASH program is designed to help veterans living with a disability, mental illness, addiction, chronic homelessness or other issues obtain safe, affordable, accessible permanent housing, as well as medical treatment, supportive services, and case management.
The VA will evaluate referred veterans and determine their suitability for VASH. They will provide necessary medical treatment and supportive services through the VA medical system. Lycoming Housing will provide rental housing assistance through its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, which will open up housing opportunities throughout the area.
For more details, including eligibility criteria, please contact:
Homeless Coordinator Department of Veterans Affairs
1-877-626-2500 Ext. 7640
Frequently Asked Questions
The Voucher is valid for a period of 60 calendar days from the date of issuance. The family must submit a Request for Tenancy within the 60-day period unless, LHA has granted an extension.
If the Voucher has expired and has not been extended by LHA or expired after an extension, the family will be denied assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
One of the most important factors to consider when looking for a new apartment is to assure that the landlord and rental property has been approved by the LHA Section 8 Department. Otherwise, you may live anywhere you choose within Lycoming County, in any neighborhood, school district, and in any municipality which best meets your needs for employment, transportation, childcare and other factors.
After being an LHA Section 8 HCV participant for at least one year, you can take your voucher to other areas in Pennsylvania or to other states where there are Section 8 programs. This is also known as “Portability.” Be mindful that other Housing Authorities may have different local Section 8 policies which could affect renting in their coverage area. This could include local payment standards, utility allowance calculations, and the number of bedrooms on the voucher. Be sure to research carefully in order to make an informed decision.
The Authority will calculate your income from all sources and arrive at an annual gross income. There are subtracted allowances and deductions you may be entitled to, such as a deduction for childcare expenses or allowable medical expenses.
Yes. As a participant of this program and In accordance with HUD requirements, the Housing Authority will reexamine the income and household composition of all families at least annually. Additionally, During this time your rental unit will be inspected to determine compliance with the Section 8 Program’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
The general obligations to the owner are listed in the lease. Obligations include not damaging the unit or permitting any guest to damage the unit or premises; paying the rent on time; keeping utilities in service; and being respectful of your neighbors by not interfering with their right to live in a safe and peaceful environment. Any violations of these obligations could jeopardize your Housing Choice Voucher and cause termination from the program.
Families that have an annual increase of $1,000 or more are required to report it to the Housing Authority, in writing through an update form. This must be done within 14 days of the increase. Any asset that increases the income of $300 per month or more should also be reported. If there are any changes within the household between annual reexaminations, such as family additions due to birth, adoption and court awarded custody, this must be reported to the Housing Authority.
A portion of the rent is on time and guaranteed by HUD and paid directly to you by the Housing Authority. The tenant pays the balance to you. If the tenant’s income becomes lower, the Housing Authority’s portion of the rent payment can be increased therefore offering landlords more stability in their rent collection. Landlords also have full responsibility in screening and selecting any family certified by the Housing Authority as your tenant.
Many Housing Choice Voucher participants are working families and can be found making contributions in every facet of our community. A Voucher holder can be a senior citizen on social security, a veteran, a single parent who is entering school in the hopes of better employment opportunities, a waitress at a local diner. Each of our voucher holders have a unique story to tell and many have used this program to bring to reality their life goals and aspirations.
Your rights are the same as they are in the private market. If the tenant you selected violates their obligations set forth under the terms and conditions of your lease, landlords still have the right to evict the tenant in accordance with State law.
You must perform your obligations under the Housing Authority Contract and the lease. You have the responsibility for maintaining your unit and meeting maintenance stipulations set forth by the Housing Quality Standards Inspection. You pay utilities and services, unless specified in the lease as the tenant’s responsibility. Owners will be responsible to collect the tenant’s portion of the rent. You also must comply with the Fair Housing Act and equal opportunity requirements.