The Housing Choice Voucher Program is administered by the Housing Authority to make housing assistance payments to private landlords for eligible families, senior citizens, disabled and handicapped persons. This program enables eligible persons to rent privately owned existing, decent, safe, and sanitary housing within the DETCOG Region, including Angelina, Hardin, Houston, Jasper, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler Counties. There are rent subsidies available for zero, one, two, three and four bedroom homes, apartments, mobile homes, duplexes or any kind of dwelling that meets the standards set by the program.
Local preferences include families who live or work within the DETCOG jurisdiction, veterans, and victims of domestic violence.
To be eligible for the HCV program
The applicant family must:
Qualify as a family as defined by HUD and the PHA.
Have income at or below HUD-specified income limits.
Qualify on the basis of citizenship or the eligible immigrant status of family members.
Provide social security number information for family members as required.
Consent to the PHA’s collection and use of family information as provided for in PHA-provided consent forms.
The PHA must determine that the current or past behavior of household members does not include activities that are prohibited by HUD or DETCOG.
DETCOG utilizes a lottery system for admission to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program.
Applications for the HCV Program are taken only when the lottery pool is open. The dates and times of the waiting list opening will be publicly announced 10 days in advance.
DETCOG has established local preferences giving priority to families who meet one the preference categories listed below. Preferences are not verified at the time of application. Any preference noted on the application will be verified at the time an applicant reaches the top of the waiting list; you will not be given a preference if you do not meet the preference at the time you reach the top of the waiting list.
As per DETCOG’s Administrative Plan, Chapter 4.III.C, “Applications are accepted onto the waiting list by preference/lottery method; if it is determined at verification that applicant provided false information on their original application, the application will be denied.”
Detailed information about preferences is available for review in Chapter 4.III.C of our Administrative Plan.
HCV preferences include:
Local Residency Preference. Verification required by any household where the head, spouse, or sole member is currently residing within the DETCOG 12-county jurisdiction at the time of application. The DETCOG jurisdiction includes the following Texas counties: Angelina County, Hardin County, Houston County (Houston County does not include Houston, TX nor any part of Harris County), Jasper County, Newton County, Polk County, Sabine County, San Augustine County, San Jacinto County, Shelby County, Trinity County and Tyler County (Tyler County does not include Tyler, TX nor any part of Smith County).
a. The applicant may present an executed lease under his or her name or in his or her spouse’s name which has a residential address that is within the DETCOG twelve-county jurisdiction. The lease must have been executed at the time of application; or
b. The applicant may also present valid government issued identification under his or her name or his or her spouse’s name which has a residential address that is within the DETCOG twelve-county jurisdiction. The government issued identification must have been valid at the time of application; or
c. The applicant may also present his or her or his or her spouse’s utility bill for a residential address that is within the DETCOG twelve-county jurisdiction. The utility bill must have been issued at time of application; or
d. If the applicant and his or her spouse reside at a homeless shelter that is located within the DETCOG twelve-county jurisdiction, the applicant must be able to provide at least one form of documentation listed in section a, b or c above for a residential address prior to him or her becoming homeless.
a. The applicant may present his or her or his or her spouse’s most recent pay stub with an address of an employer and job site that is located within the DETCOG twelve-county jurisdiction; or
b. The applicant may present a written offer of employment with an address of an employer and job site that is located within the DETCOG twelve-county jurisdiction.
- 100 points
Veterans Preference. Any household deemed eligible as acknowledged by the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Staff, or who has 3rd party verification of veterans status, discharge papers, or is in receipt of veterans benefits.
- 5 points
Victim of Domestic Violence Preference. Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking referred by a partnering service agency or consortia, or a religious organization.
- 5 points
Disabled Preference. Verification of the receipt of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is sufficient verification of disability for the purpose of qualifying for waiting list preferences (if applicable) or certain income disallowances and deductions.
- 5 points
Eligibility Documents Required
Once your name comes to the top of the waiting list, we will contact you and set up an appointment to complete your application and submit the necessary documents. You must keep your contact information updated so that we can reach you when your application is selected from the waiting list.
You must bring these items with you to your appointment:
If you do not bring all of the requested documents to your appointment, we will not be able to process your application and you may not be considered for assistance.
Your last 2 consecutive pay check stubs from each employer
Social Security award letter
Most recent bank statement
Child Support form completed from the Child Support Office
Award letter for Food Stamps and/or TANF
Photo ID for every member of the household 18 years and older
Birth Certificates for every member of the household
Social Security Cards for every member of the household
Finding A Place To Live
Once you qualify for a voucher and have completed all of your eligibility paperwork, the next step is to find a place to live. You will be given a “Request for Tenancy Approval”, referred to as our "Pink Packet". You are responsible for finding a unit that accepts Housing Choice Vouchers in the private market. It is important to act quickly, as the voucher expires in 90 days.
DETCOG directs voucher holders to www.gosection8.com . This website contains a list of landlords with vacancies that are open to accepting vouchers. Landlords are encouraged to list available units here; however you should also look for other private landlords willing to accept the voucher. It is your responsibility to find a unit that is suitable for your specific situation.
Once you find an acceptable unit, you must request the landlord complete and sign the Request for Tenancy Approval. This packet should be returned to your Housing Specialist as soon as it is completed.
DETCOG will contact the landlord to schedule an inspection once the Request for Tenancy has been completed. If the unit does not pass inspection or the landlord is unwilling to make necessary repairs in a timely manner, you must start looking for another apartment immediately.
You may not move-in without the approval of your Housing Specialist. If you do, you will be responsible for your full rent.
HUD requires the PHA to deny assistance in the following cases
Any member of the household has been evicted from federally-assisted housing in the last 3 years for drug-related criminal activity. HUD permits, but does not require, the PHA to admit an otherwise-eligible family if the household member has completed a PHA-approved drug rehabilitation program or the circumstances which led to eviction no longer exist (e.g., the person involved in the criminal activity no longer lives in the household).
DETCOG will admit an otherwise-eligible family who was evicted from federally-assisted housing within the past 3 years for drug-related criminal activity, if DETCOG is able to verify that the household member who engaged in the criminal activity has completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program approved by DETCOG, or the person who committed the crime, is no longer living in the household.
The PHA determines that any household member is currently engaged in the use of illegal drugs.
Currently engaged in is defined as any use of illegal drugs during the previous six months.
The PHA has reasonable cause to believe that any household member's current use or pattern of use of illegal drugs, or current abuse or pattern of abuse of alcohol, may threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.
In determining reasonable cause, DETCOG will consider all credible evidence, including but not limited to, any record of convictions, arrests, or evictions of household members related to the use of illegal drugs or the abuse of alcohol. A conviction will be given more weight than an arrest. DETCOG will also consider evidence from treatment providers or community-based organizations providing services to household members.
Any household member has ever been convicted of drug-related criminal activity for the production or manufacture of methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing
Any household member is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program
Other Permitted Reasons DETCOG Will Deny Assistance
HUD permits, but does not require, the PHA to deny assistance for the reasons discussed in this section.
HUD permits, but does not require, the PHA to deny assistance if the PHA determines that any household member is currently engaged in, or has engaged in during a reasonable time before the family would receive assistance, certain types of criminal activity.
If any household member is currently engaged in, or has engaged in any of the following criminal activities, within the past five years, the family will be denied assistance.
Drug-related criminal activity, defined by HUD as the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution, or use of a drug, or the possession of a drug with intent to manufacture, sell, distribute or use the drug [24 CFR 5.100].
Violent criminal activity, defined by HUD as any criminal activity that has as one of its elements the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force substantial enough to cause, or be reasonably likely to cause, serious bodily injury or property damage [24 CFR 5.100].
Criminal activity that may threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents or persons residing in the immediate vicinity; or
Criminal activity that may threaten the health or safety of property owners and management staff, and persons performing contract administration functions or other responsibilities on behalf of the PHA (including a PHA employee or a PHA contractor, subcontractor, or agent).
Immediate vicinity means within a three-block radius of the premises.
Evidence of such criminal activity includes, but is not limited to:
Any conviction for drug-related or violent criminal activity within the past 5 years
Any record of eviction from public or privately-owned housing as a result of criminal activity within the past 5 years.
A conviction for drug-related or violent criminal activity will be given more weight than an arrest for such activity.
In making its decision to deny assistance, DETCOG will consider the factors discussed in Section 3-III.E.
Upon consideration of such factors, the DETCOG may, on a case-by-case basis, decide not to deny assistance.