Housing Choice Voucher Programs FAQ

Are restrictions placed on where program participants may seek housing?2017-06-17T04:36:28-04:00

A participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.

When can I move in?2017-06-17T04:36:04-04:00

If you are on the waiting list, once your name is reached on the waiting list, the Housing Authority will contact you and request you to get certain information to determine eligibility and if approved you will be issued a voucher.

What do I tell the Landlord to fill out?2017-06-17T04:35:35-04:00

An applicant would not be asking a landlord to fill out anything at this point.

If I need an extension what do I do?2017-06-17T04:35:14-04:00

To me this is now a applicant question.  What would they need a extension for?

How do I apply?2017-06-17T04:34:32-04:00

Currently the waiting list is closed due to the number of applications.   When we resume taking applications, we will advertise in newspaper and radio spots.  When the waiting list is open you may apply.

What documents should I bring to my first appointment?2017-06-17T04:34:12-04:00

You should bring what is requested of you to verify eligibility.

What is the maximum amount of income that I can earn in order to qualify for HCV assistance?2017-06-17T04:33:46-04:00

Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the PHA based on the total annual gross income and family size .  Income limits are published yearly by HUD.

Do I have to be a citizen to apply for housing assistance?2017-06-17T04:33:26-04:00

Housing assistance is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status.

I have (gotten married, had a baby, adopted a child, divorced, lost my job, etc.) since I submitted my application. How will this affect me?2017-06-17T04:33:03-04:00

Because you are only a applicant at this time all that will be required is to notify the Housing Authority in writing of any changes.

If I moved since the time I submitted my application, do I need to notify the HCV office?2017-06-17T04:32:40-04:00

Yes, you need to notify the Housing Authority in writing of any changes in address or household composition.

What are some of the reasons that could prevent me from getting housing assistance?2017-06-17T04:24:50-04:00

You may be disqualified for Section 8(hcv) program for criminal activity, lifetime sex offender registration, misrepresentation and financial irresponsibility;  changes in income and household composition may also cause disqualification from the program.   Also, if you have rented through any program before and not  leave in good standing.

What are the responsibilities of the Housing Authority through the HCV program?2017-06-17T04:24:01-04:00

In addition to making sure program guidelines are followed, we have a duty to accept and review application, maintain waiting list, issue Housing Choice Vouchers, inspect and approve unit, issue Housing Assistant Payment, provide prompt and professional service.

How involved is the Housing Authority with the tenant/landlord relationship?2017-06-17T04:23:39-04:00

Yearly recertification unless are problems we are made aware between the landlord and tenant.

Is the Landlord required to pay the utilities?2017-06-17T04:23:17-04:00

The landlord is required to get the power/water on for us to do inspection and if the unit pass, it will be the tenant’s responsibility to get lights/water in their name.

Are landlords required to accept pets through the HCV program?2017-06-17T04:22:53-04:00


What type of criteria is the housing unit required to meet?2017-06-17T04:22:22-04:00

The unit must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards and the rent must be approvable within HUD Fair Market Rents and market rate comparable (copy of HQS available).

What type of housing units can participate in the HCV program?2017-06-17T04:22:01-04:00

Generally, a voucher-holder family may choose any available rental dwelling unit on the market in the PHA’s jurisdiction.  This could include the dwelling unit you are currently occupying.  The PHA MAY NOT  assist a unit under the voucher program if the unit is a public housing or Indian housing unit; a unit receiving project-based assistance under section 8 of the 1937 Act (42 U.S.C. 1437f); nursing homes, board and care homes, or facilities providing continual psychiatric, medical, or nursing services; college or other school dormitories; units on the grounds of penal, reformatory, medical, mental, and similar public or private institutions; a unit occupied by its owner or by a person with any interest in the unit.

How do I change my address or change ownership of the unit in which a HCV family resides?2017-06-17T04:21:38-04:00

If you have moved or simply want the check sent to a different address you must notify the Housing Authority in writing of your request and fill out a change of address form.  The owner may not assign the HAP contract to a new owner without the prior written consent of the PHA. If the owner requests PHA consent to assign the HAP contract to a new owner, the owner shall supply any information as required by the PHA pertinent to the proposed assignment.

What if the tenant damages my unit?2017-06-17T04:21:08-04:00

Damages beyond normal wear and tear and are tenant-related can be paid for by the tenant.  You should have a standard practice listed in the lease as to how damages will be paid for by the tenant.  After the tenant moves out, you may take compensation for damages beyond the normal wear and tear from the tenant’s security deposit and/or take court action.  The Housing Authority does not pay for any damages to your property.

Can I terminate the tenancy of a HCV program participant?2017-06-17T04:20:38-04:00

The landlord can issue a proper notice to vacate at the end of the initial term of the lease or at the end of any successive term.  The landlord can issue notice to terminate during the lease term for lease violations or other good cause.  Landlords are strongly encouraged to document tenant violations and to provide the tenant and the Housing Authority with written warnings or notices of the violations whenever possible.  A copy of the notice of termination must be sent to the Housing Authority.  If the tenant does not vacate within the time set forth in the termination notice, the eviction action which follows is just like any other eviction action.  If the Section 8(HCV) tenant is evicted, the Housing Authority will pay through the end of the month in which the tenant was evicted.

After the first twelve month lease, can I raise the contract rent?2017-06-17T04:20:16-04:00

After one year, the lease is renewed for a specified time period.  If the tenant remains in the unit, the tenant is recertified for eligibility and the unit is inspected for Housing Quality Standards annually, at which time the landlord may request an annual adjustment rent increase which must be approved by the Housing Authority.

What are the responsibilities of the landlord?2017-06-17T04:19:51-04:00

The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent.  The dwelling unit must pass the program’s housing standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments.  The landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with the HA.

What are the responsibilities of the tenant?2017-06-17T04:19:25-04:00

When the family’s unit is approved and the HAP contract is executed, the family must follow the rules and regulations in order to continue participating in the housing choice voucher program.

When will I get paid?2017-06-17T04:19:00-04:00

During the term of the HAP contract, the PHA payments to the owner are at the beginning of each month.

If the HCV office cannot approve the rent amount that I request, can the tenant pay the difference?2017-06-17T04:18:39-04:00

NO!!! It’s illegal for landlords, owners, agents, or property managers to collect or request rent payments over the family’s approved rent portion as stated in their Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract, lease or lease amendment.

How much of the rent is paid by the tenant?2017-06-17T04:18:17-04:00

Generally, the monthly housing assistance payment by the PHA is difference between the payment standard and 30 percent of monthly adjusted family income.

How is the unit size (number of bedrooms) determined?2017-06-17T04:17:55-04:00

Unit size is based on family composition.

How much rent can I ask for?2017-06-17T04:17:32-04:00

You determine the price for the unit.  However, the rent must be reasonable compared to other units of similar location, quality, size, type, and age.

What happens once I’ve selected a tenant?2017-06-17T04:16:53-04:00

When you have selected a tenant, he/she will have a “Request for Tenancy Approval” form for you to complete. When the tenant submits the form to our office, a housing representative will contact you to schedule an inspection.

How do I rent my unit(s) to HCV participants?2017-06-17T04:16:20-04:00

Contact the HCV department and ask for your name to be placed on our landlord listing or go to www.SCHousing Search.com and list your property.

My employment terminated two months ago and I reported it today. When will my rent decrease?2017-06-17T04:41:59-04:00

If the family share of the rent is to decrease,  the decrease will be effective on the first day of the month following the month in which the change was reported and all required documentation was submitted.  In cases where the change cannot be verified until after the date the change would have become effective, the change will be made retroactively.

How much notification do I need to give my landlord?2017-06-17T04:41:25-04:00

At least 30-day written notice and a copy sent to the Housing Authority.

When can I move to another unit?2017-06-17T04:40:59-04:00

Moves are permissible as long as the family notifies the Housing Authority ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the appropriate provisions, and finds acceptable alternate housing under the voucher program.

Can I add someone to my existing household?2017-06-17T04:40:35-04:00

You must request written approval to add any other family member as an occupant of the unit.

Can I lose my rental assistance?2017-06-17T04:40:07-04:00

Yes, not following the guidelines of the program.

Does the Housing Authority assist with Security Deposits funds?2017-06-17T04:39:47-04:00


How is income verified?2017-06-17T04:39:21-04:00

Annual income means all amounts, monetary or not, which go to or on behalf of the family head or spouse or to any other family member.  There is also a list of income that is excluded.

I received a termination letter. What do I do?2017-06-17T04:38:56-04:00

You have 10 days from the receipt of the letter to respond in WRITING to request a hearing.

If I have an income or composition change, what should I do?2017-06-17T04:38:31-04:00

Promptly notify the Housing Authority in writing of any changes in household income or family composition within 10 days.

Is the HCV office currently absorbing the vouchers of those persons wishing to transfer in from other housing authorities?2017-06-17T04:38:04-04:00


I am interested in transferring to your housing agency, what would be my next step?2017-06-17T04:37:42-04:00

This process is called PORTABILITY.  You must be in good standing with your present Housing Authority and / or present landlord.  In order for you to transfer your Section 8 (hcv) to another jurisdiction you must request that your current Housing Authority send your portability papers to the Housing Authority having jurisdiction in the area to which you plan to move.

Because I am on a time restraint, may I turn in several RFTA’s at a time?2017-06-17T04:37:20-04:00

No, only one RFTA at a time.   It is called RFTA (request for tenancy approval).

What happens after a Landlord selects me as a tenant?2017-06-17T04:37:00-04:00

The PHA approves the unit and lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at least one year.  The tenant will be required to pay a security deposit to the landlord.

Public Housing FAQ

How long can I stay in public housing?2017-06-17T01:10:53-04:00

There is no limitation on the time that you can stay in public housing as long as you abide by the lease and still quality for housing.

What is the role of the HA?2017-06-17T01:10:18-04:00

SCRHA3 is responsible for the management and operation of its local public housing program ensuring compliance with all HUD regulations as well as local and state laws.  SCRHA3 is also responsible for maintaining all units in a safe and decent manner.

Who is eligible?2017-06-17T01:05:11-04:00

Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. Eligibility is based on: 1) annual gross income; 2) whether you qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family; and 3) U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status.

What is public housing?2012-11-27T14:44:54-05:00

Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered single family houses to high-rise apartments for elderly families. There are approximately 1.2 million households living in public housing units, managed by some 3,300 HAs. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to local housing agencies (HAs) that manage the housing for low-income residents at rents they can afford.

If my application is denied what options are available?2017-06-17T01:12:47-04:00

If your application is denied, you will receive written notice of the denial detailing the reason for denial.  This notice will also inform you of your right to appeal this decision and what steps that you need to take.

Will I have to sign a lease?2017-06-17T01:08:20-04:00


Will I need to produce any documentation?2017-06-17T01:07:17-04:00

Yes.  At a minimum the following documentation will be requested:

  1. Birth Certificates of all household members
  2. Social Security Cards of all household members
  3. Release of information consent forms in order to verify all information provided on the application or obtained during the interview process. (Ex. Income verification, Asset verification, Student Status, Landlord References, etc)

I t will also be requested that you completed several forms that are required by HUD along with forms required by SCRHA3.

How does the application process work?2017-06-17T01:06:35-04:00

Everyone is required to complete a written application. (If necessary, you can request that SCRHA3 assist you in the completion of your application.) The following is a list of information that you will need in order to complete the application:

(1) Names of all persons who would be living in the unit, their sex, date of birth, and relationship to the family head;

(2) Your present address and telephone number;

(3) Be prepared to tell us about your current housing situation (homeless, substandard, working family, etc.).  You may be asked to provide documentation in order to qualify you for a housing preference;

(4) Names and addresses of your current and previous landlords

(5) An estimate of your family’s anticipated income for the next twelve months and the sources of that income;

(6) The names and addresses of employers, banks, and any other income source

(7) SCRHA3 reserves the right to conduct a home visit also..

How do I apply?2017-06-17T01:05:52-04:00

Download an application here.

Applications can be completed at the following locations or you can call 803-259-4600 to have an application mailed to you.

Fairfax Union Apartments 1545 Union Ave., Fairfax, SC 29817
Denmark ABC Apartments 40 Generette Ct., Denmark, SC 29042
Blackville Beaver Dam Apartments 134 Beaver Dam St., Blackville, SC 29817
Salley Apartments 255 Poplar Street Apt. 21, Salley, SC 29137
Wagener-Oakwood Apartments 136 Seivern Rd. Wagener, SC 29164
Williston-Lincoln Park Apartments 113 Lincoln Park (121 Windsor Road), Williston, SC 29853
Barnwell Litchfield Apartments 262 Litchfield St., Barnwell, SC 29812
Branchville Turnkey Apartments 110 Hutto St., Branchville, SC 29432
Orangeburg Saint Paul Apartments 500 Fletcher St., Orangeburg, SC 29116
Francis Villa Apartments 179 Bradley Rd., Moncks Corner, SC 29461
St. Stephens Apartments 1069 Russellville Rd., St. Stephens, SC 29479
Hardeeville Apartments 188 Walsh Dr., Hardeeville, SC 29927
Marshall Apartments 1727 Fred St., Orangeburg, SC 29118
Santee Apartments 180 Cantey Dr. Apt. 201, Santee, SC 29142
How is a security deposit determined?2017-06-17T01:11:57-04:00

Security Deposits are based upon income with $50 being the minimum security deposit.  In determining the amount of security deposit to be paid the same formula is used that is used for calculating rent.  However, your security deposit is equal to the amount of monthly rent before you subtract the HUD approved utility allowance.


(Annual gross income – HUD approved deduction) / 12 x 30%=Security Deposit

Are there any selection preferences?2017-06-17T01:08:45-04:00


Definitions of Preferences:

  1. Applicants with an adult family member enrolled in an employment training program, currently working twenty or more hours a week or attending school on a full time basis. This preference is also extended equally to all elderly families and all families whose head of household or spouse is receiving income based on their inability to work or actively enrolled in the Family Independence (FI) Program through Department of Social Services.
  2. Involuntary Displaced. Individuals or families displaced by government action or whose dwelling has been extensively damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster declared or otherwise formally recognized pursuant to Federal Disaster Relief Laws.
  3. Individuals or families living in substandard housing.
  4. Applicants paying more than 50% of income for rent and utilities.
When will I be notified?2017-06-17T01:07:56-04:00

If you are deemed ineligible, you will be notified as soon as the determination is made.  You will receive a letter informing you why it was determined that your application was ineligible.  At that time, you will have the right to appeal this decision.

If your application is deemed eligible, you will be notified as soon as a unit is available.  This time period varies from a couple of weeks to years depending on the availability of units and your position on the waiting list.

*Typically a decision is not made in regards to eligibility until SCRHA3 is ready to offer a unit.

What is the difference between income based rent and flat rent?2017-06-17T01:16:36-04:00

An income-based rent is a tenant rent that is based on the family’s income and the PHA’s rent policies for determination of such rent. A PHA’s rent policies may specify that the PHA will use a percentage of family income or some other reasonable system. In no case, may the income-based rent exceed the total tenant payment (TTP) for the family minus any applicable utility allowance for tenant-paid utilities.

Flat rents are based on the market rent charged for comparable units in the private unassisted rental market. It is equal to the estimated rent for which the PHA could promptly lease the unit. The flat rent is designed to encourage self-sufficiency and to avoid creating disincentives for continued residency by families who are attempting to become economically self-sufficient.

What is the Earned Income Disallowance (EID)?2017-06-17T01:13:54-04:00

The earned income disallowance (EID) is an incentive to encourage current public housing residents to become self-sufficient (no longer dependent on government aid).  This incentive allows qualified tenants to not count a portion of income for a total of 12 months.  In order to qualify for EID one of the following events must occur while a tenant lives in public housing (it could not have happened prior to move in.)

  • Employment of a family member who was previously unemployed for one or more years prior to employment.
  • Increased earnings by a family member during participation in any economic self-sufficiency or other training program.
  • New employment or increased earnings of a family member during or within 6 months after receiving assistance, benefits, or services under any state program for temporary assistance (TANF, Welfare-to-Work).
How is income verified?2017-06-17T01:11:25-04:00

Income is verified through the use of the Enterprise Income Verification system and third party verifications.

How is rent determined?2017-06-17T01:09:45-04:00

Rent is based upon your income.  HUD has established a formula for determining the exact amount of your rent, however, rent is typically 30% of your annual gross income minus a HUD approved utility allowance and any HUD approved deductions.  However, there is a $50 minimum rent.


(Annual gross income – HUD approved deduction) / 12 x 30%-HUD approved utility allowance=monthly rent

How do I handle maintenance issues?2017-06-17T01:20:37-04:00

All maintenance issues need to be reported to the property manager for proper processing.  Any emergency after hour maintenance issues must be reported by using your sites emergency number. The items listed below are the only incidents that the maintenance department will respond to after normal work hours, including weekends and holidays:  Fire, broken water line (which cannot be cut off), stopped up main sewer line or commode (if only one in unit) doesn’t include bath tub, kitchen sink, or washing machine, no heat in unit (if outside temperature is below 50 degrees, range should not be used as a source of heat), Cannot shut and/or secure front or rear entry doors, total loss of electrical power in unit (weekends only), gas leak inside or outside unit, totally non-working water heater, refrigerator, or range (weekends only), other calls may be acceptable if they are life threatening,  and hazardous to health of resident or causing damage to property inside/outside the unit

What is the payment timeline for rent and other charges?2017-06-17T01:19:42-04:00

If the family fails to pay their rent by the fifth day of the month, and the PHA has not agreed to accept payment at a later date, a 14 day Notice to Vacate will be issued to the resident for failure to pay rent, demanding payment in full or the surrender of the premises.

In addition, if the resident fails to make payment by the end of office hours on the fifth day of the month, a late fee of $25.00 will be charged. Notices of late fees will be in accordance with requirements regarding notices of adverse action. Charges are due and payable 14 calendar days after billing. If the family requests a grievance hearing within the required timeframe, the PHA may not take action for nonpayment of the fee until the conclusion of the grievance process. If the resident can document financial hardship, the late fee may be waived on a case-by-case basis.

A resident may make partial payments as long as the bill is paid in full by the due date.

What is the purpose of a security deposit and do you get it back?2017-06-17T01:18:48-04:00

Within 30 days of move-out, the PHA will refund to the resident the amount of the security deposit (excluding interest earned on the security deposit), less any amount needed to pay the cost of unpaid rent, damages listed on the move-out inspection report that exceed normal wear and tear, and other charges due under the lease.

The PHA will provide the resident with a written list of any charges against the security deposit within 30 business days of the move-out inspection. If the resident disagrees with the amount charged, the PHA will provide a meeting to discuss the charges.

When is the rent due?2017-06-17T01:18:09-04:00

The tenant rent is due and payable at the PHA-designated location on the first of every month. If the first falls on a weekend or holiday, the rent is due and payable on the first business day thereafter.

If I owe maintenance fees how long do I have to pay them?2017-06-17T01:17:36-04:00

When applicable, families will be charged for maintenance and/or damages according to the PHA’s current schedule. Work that is not covered in the schedule will be charged based on the actual cost of labor and materials to make needed repairs (including overtime, if applicable).

Notices of maintenance and damage charges will be mailed monthly and will be in accordance with requirements regarding notices of adverse actions. Charges are due and payable 14 calendar days after billing. If the family requests a grievance hearing within the required timeframe, the PHA may not take action for nonpayment of the charges until the conclusion of the grievance process.

Nonpayment of maintenance and damage charges is a violation of the lease and is grounds for eviction.

Am I allowed to transfer to another unit?2017-06-17T01:17:03-04:00

Yes.  Residents requesting a transfer to another unit or development will be required to submit a written request for transfer.

In case of a reasonable accommodation transfer, the PHA will encourage the resident to make the request in writing using a reasonable accommodation request form. However, the PHA will consider the transfer request any time the resident indicates that an accommodation is needed whether or not a formal written request is submitted.

The PHA will respond by approving the transfer and putting the family on the transfer list, by denying the transfer, or by requiring more information or documentation from the family.

If the family does not meet the “good record” requirements under Section 12-III.C., the manager will address the problem and, until resolved, the request for transfer will be denied.

Who is considered an overnight guest and how many days are they allowed to stay?2017-06-17T01:16:12-04:00

Anyone other than those persons listed on the lease that stays overnight is considered an overnight guest.

All resident families must notify the PHA management prior to the event when, an overnight guest will be staying in the unit.  The resident must complete a visitation form and be approved prior to the visitation. A guest can remain in the unit no longer than 14 consecutive or cumulative days during any 12 month period.  The twelve month period begins on the effective day of their re-exam date.  There will be one set of fourteen-day visitation allowed per re-exam year with written permission from management.

A family may request an exception to this policy for valid reasons (e.g., care of a relative recovering from a medical procedure expected to last 20 consecutive days). An exception will not be made unless the family can identify and provide documentation of the need and to what residence the guest will return.

An overnight guest must meet basic occupancy requirements (e.g., registered sex offender, a fleeing felon, and/or a previously evicted public housing resident will not be considered).

The resident is responsible for the guest’s action(s) while the guest(s) is on the apartment complexes’ property.

Does public housing allow pets?2017-06-17T01:15:23-04:00

Yes but pets must be registered with the PHA before they are brought onto the premises.

Registration includes documentation signed by a licensed veterinarian or state/local authority that the pet has received all inoculations required by state or local law, and that the pet has no communicable disease(s) and is pest-free. This registration must be renewed annually and will be coordinated with the annual reexamination date.

Pets will not be approved to reside in a unit until completion of the registration requirements.

Pet owners are required to pay a pet deposit in addition to any other required deposits. The amount of the deposit is $150.00, and must be paid in full before the pet is brought on the premises.

The PHA requires pet owners to pay a non-refundable nominal pet fee of $100.00.

How often will my unit be inspected?2017-06-17T01:14:53-04:00

A move in inspection will be conducted.  After move in, at a minimum, inspections will be conducted annually.  However, based upon the needs of the property, SCRHA3 reserves the right to inspect your unit in addition to the annual inspection.  You will be given notice before any inspection occurs.

What do I need to do if my income changes?2017-06-17T01:14:22-04:00

You must report any and all changes to your income or household composition to your property manager.  At that time, you and your property manager will determine if it is necessary to perform an adjustment.

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