The Lexington Housing Authority uses HMS PAL TM (Payment Access for Landlords) for efficient and ease of access. Using this system, Landlords are able to register and access information regarding their monthly Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) for all current tenants. LHA Landlords use HMS PAL TM to help reduce environmental waste, use less paper, and help become more efficient.
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Housing Quality Standards, Inspection & Rent Reasonableness
HUD regulations require that all housing rented under the HCV program meet HUD’s basic standards for decency, safety and sanitation, therefore, LHA must conduct a unit inspection to determine that the rental unit meets HQS and any additional standards instituted by LHA before the family may move into the rental unit. Property owners who rent units to families who have a Housing Choice Voucher may not charge the voucher holders more rent than is charged to other tenants in the same building or for similar rental units. Additionally, the property owner may not charge more rent than other property owners charge for similar rental units in the area. LHA will determine if the rent being charged is reasonable.
Housing Authority Role
LHA must make initial determinations of eligibility of all families and must re-determine family income and family composition annually in order to calculate family rent to the owner. LHA must also inspect all subsidized rental units in its voucher program each year to ensure that they still meet HQS. LHA is responsible for making rent payments to property owners and ensuring that owners and tenants abide by the rules of the program. Payments to Landlords/Owners are released by the 5th business day of the month.
Lease and Contract Execution
The family and the owner must sign a lease with for an initial period required by the LHA. The owner may provide their lease and the LHA will attach the HUD Tenancy Addendum to the lease. LHA does not sign the lease. The lease is between the owner and the section 8 voucher holder. The family may also be required to pay a security deposit directly to the owner and LHA does not subsidize the security deposit. The owner is responsible for collecting the security deposit and the family’s share of the rent directly from the family. The owner and LHA must sign the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract no later than 60 days after the commencement date of the lease and other documents necessary to initiate the payment. LHA will pay the rent subsidy directly to the owner.
Voucher Issuance & Housing Search
LHA will issue a HCV to the families who have been determined eligible to participate in the program. Families can select housing anywhere, but are encouraged to choose units in areas where there are high functioning schools and where access to employment and transportation is good. Families are also given a listing of available assisted housing in our jurisdiction or may access the information at www.GoSection8.com.
Download the “How To Search” guide below to start your housing search using www.GoSection8.com.
When the family finds a unit that the owner is willing to lease under the program, the family will submit the completed Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form. LHA will process the form to determine if the unit selected is affordable and contact the property owner to schedule a HQS inspection.