In order to be eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, an applicant must meet certain requirements, including but limited to those listed below. These criteria are evaluated at the time of the application.
- Citizen and/or Eligible Non-Citizen: One member of the household must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Income Requirements: The applicant/household must have an annual income that does not exceed applicable income limits (listed below).
- Previous Outstanding Debt to a PHA: The applicant/household must not owe uncollected rent or miscellaneous charges for any program administered by the OHA or any other federal or state housing assistance program.
- Past Evictions: The applicant/household must not have been evicted from and OHA Public Housing unit within the past: Three (3) years, if eviction was for criminal activity or Two (2) years, if eviction was for nonpayment of rent and/or other noncriminal lease violations.
- Background Check: Applicants will be denied if they have ever been convicted of the manufacture of methamphetamine on the premises of any federally-assisted housing project, are subject to a lifetime sex offender registry requirement or currently banned/barred from OHA property. Other criminal records during the past five years are reviewed based on time frame and type of convictions to determine eligibility.
Chapter 3 of the Administrative Plan details Eligibility Requirements. Please click on the Administrative Plan link to review the chapter in detail.
**Updated May 2023
|# Persons in Family||HCV|
Definitions of Terms
Cohead is an individual in the household who is equally responsible with the head of household for ensuring that the family fulfills all of its responsibilities under the program, but who is not a spouse. A family can have only one cohead.
Dependent is a family member who is under 18 years of age, or a person of any age who is a person with a disability, or a full-time student, except that the following persons can never be dependents: the head of household, spouse, cohead, foster children/adults and live-in aides.
Disabled Family is one in which the head, spouse, or cohead is a person with disabilities. Identifying disabled families is important because these families qualify for special deductions from income as described in Chapter 6.
Elderly Person is a person who is at least 62 years of age.
Family is defined by HUD as a single person or a group of persons, a family with a child or children, two or more elderly or disabled persons living together, and one or more elderly or disabled persons, with one or more live-in aides. The OHA has the discretion to determine if any other group of persons qualifies as a family.
Head of household means the adult member of the family who is considered the head for purposes of determining income eligibility and rent. The head of household is responsible for ensuring that the family fulfills all of its responsibilities under the program, alone, or in conjunction with a cohead or spouse.
Household is a broader term that includes additional people who, with the OHA’s permission, live in an assisted unit, such as live-in aides, foster children, and foster adults.
Income Limits determine the eligibility of applicants for HUD’s assisted housing programs, including the housing choice voucher program. The income limits are published annually and are based on HUD estimates of median family income in a particular area or county, with adjustments for family size.
Near-Elderly Person is a person who is at least 50 years of age but below the age of 62.
Persons with Disabilities under the HCV program, special rules apply to persons with disabilities and to any family whose head, spouse, or cohead is a person with disabilities. The technical definitions of individual with handicaps and persons with disabilities are provided in Exhibit 3-1. These definitions are used for a number of purposes including ensuring that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against based upon disability.
Spouse means the marriage partner of the head of household.
Types of Low-Income Families
- Low-income family. A family whose annual income does not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area, adjusted for family size.
- Very low-income family. A family whose annual income does not exceed 50 percent of the median income for the area, adjusted for family size.
- Extremely low-income family. A family whose annual income does not exceed30 percent of the median income for the area, adjusted for family size.
HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 30, 50, or 80 percent of the median income for an area if HUD finds that such variations are necessary because of unusually high or low family incomes.