Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Welcome to the FAQ page for Fort Worth Housing Solutions. We know navigating through the process of finding a place to live or seeking a service can be difficult. Below is a list of categories and questions regarding each area we hope you will find useful. If you do not find what you need here, visit our Contact page to email, call a department or submit a question to us directly. Thank you.
FAQs – Homeownership
Q: Is this a rent-to-own program?
A: No. The Homeownership Program provides assistance with mortgage expenses for Housing Choice Participants who purchase a home. You must be determined “mortgage ready.”
Q: Do I have to be a Housing Choice Voucher holder in order to qualify for participation in the Homeownership Program?
A: Yes. You are required to be on Housing Choice Tenant-based assistance for at least one year.
Q: I am not working now. Can I apply for the program?
A: No. You must be employed full time. Elderly persons and individuals with disabilities are exempt from the employment requirements.
Q: I have bad credit. What can I do?
A: First, you will meet and work closely with a credit counselor who will help you develop a personal plan of action for credit repairs.
Q: If I am denied, can I re-apply?
A: Yes, once you have met the threshold requirements.
FAQs – Landlord
Thank you for your interest in the Fort Worth Housing Solutions (FWHS) Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), formerly known as Section 8, and Special Programs for the homeless. The HCVP provides rental assistance to families who have placed their name on the waiting list and have subsequently been determined eligible for assistance. Special Programs provide rental assistance to homeless disabled individuals and families who are receiving Supportive Services from other community agencies.
Things you should know about the landlord orientation:
Orientation starts promptly at 9:00 a.m. NO LATE COMERS WILL BE ADMITTED. Orientation is located at the Fort Worth Housing Solutions Office, 1201 E. 13th St. The orientation lasts approximately one and a half hours with an open forum. This forum will allow you to ask any questions you may have regarding paperwork or orientation content.
Frequently asked questions
Q. How do I get my property added to the “Property Availability” list you have for your clients?
A. Landlords attend a one and a half hour Landlord Orientation hosted by FWHS to obtain all necessary paperwork and information to become a knowledgeable participant in Assisted Housing.
Q. Once my property is on the list, how do the clients know my property is available?
A. Clients have access to the property listing site, GoSection 8, at www.gosection8.com to see your properties.
Q. How do I sign up for your Landlord Orientation?
A. You do not have to register for a Landlord Orientation. Orientation dates are always the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. (with the exception of December, when there is no orientation). Simply choose which orientation you wish to attend.
Q. How much does this Orientation cost?
A. There is no cost to a potential landlord. This orientation is offered as an informational tool to benefit you and your potential tenant.
Q. How do I know if someone is a voucher participant?
A. A participant, whether HCVP or S+C, will be in possession of paperwork provided by the agency that will verify their participation in FWHS Programs.
Q. What is Special Programs?
A. Programs similar to HCVP that serves only homeless and disabled individuals and families. All participants have Case Managers who make regular home visits to check on them and provide necessary supportive services. Landlords are given the name and number of the Case Manager to contact in the event of problems with the tenant.
Q. What is the process for becoming a Special Programs landlord?
A. It is the same as stated above for the HCV program.
Q. How does Special Programs differ from the Voucher Program?
A. RFTAs or Requests For Inspection (RFI) are faxed to the landlord by the Special Programs office. Special Programs participants are given an Approval Letter (rather than a Voucher) that gives the size unit for which they are approved and what the participant portion will be in an All Bills Paid unit. Special Programs participants cannot pay over the amount of our Payment Standard AND Rent Reasonable. Rental assistance payments will come separately from the HCVP payment, but on the same schedule/direct deposit procedure. Special Programs does maintain a separate property listing, updated monthly for participants and Case Managers.
Q. How is the voucher size determined?
A. A voucher participant is issued a “voucher” for rental payment subsidy by FWHS based on the number of family members in their home. The number of family members determines the bedroom size. The number of bedrooms determines the maximum Payment Standard.
Q. Can a voucher participant rent my property if it is a larger bedroom size than their voucher?
A. Yes. However, this can only happen if:
- Your property is priced within the Payment Standard of the client’s voucher size,
- If it is authorized through FWHS. An internal calculation must be completed to determine if the client can financially afford to pay for a larger, more expensive unit.
***Please note that accepting additional money from a client that has not been authorized by FWHS is illegal. It is a federal offense and is prosecutable by the Attorney General’s Office. This is explained in detail during the Landlord Orientation.
Q. How much rent may I charge for my property?
A. Many factors affect the final rent amount approved by FWHS. The property must be compared to other similar properties in the area; Fair Market Rent (FMR), a guideline established by HUD of maximum fair rents by unit size, must be considered; and a Rent Reasonable study to determine the individual property’s value on the open market is conducted. In addition, if the tenant is paying the utilities, a Utility Allowance must be deducted from the FMR to establish a rent amount. The Landlord Orientation answers this question extensively.
Q. How can I find out if my property will pass your inspection?
A. In the Landlord Orientation, you will be provided an overview of what is necessary for your property to pass inspection. FWHS follows HUD Housing Quality Standards Guidelines as well as city and state rental property requirements to ensure that all accepted properties are safe, sanitary, and secure.
Q. After I have attended the Landlord Orientation, when will my property be inspected?
A. Inspections are never scheduled until the inspections department has received the HCVP Participant’s Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA). Once a client has expressed an interest in your property and you have selected that client as a tenant, both of you must complete and submit the RFTA form. Once that form has been received, a FWHS inspector will contact you to schedule the inspection.
Q. Where can I get a Request for Tenancy Approval?
A. The Request for Tenancy Approval is only provided to the FWHS client. Landlords cannot obtain this form from anyone other than their prospective HCVP renter. (Please note: Special Programs clients will not receive an RFTA; it must be requested from the Special Programs office.)
Q. After the inspection, when can the client move in?
A. The client can move in once the property passes inspection, you have received the Move-In Approval form from the agency, and the client’s current lease has expired.
Q. How long does this process take?
A. Inspections are scheduled as soon as possible following the date you have put on the RFTA as to when the unit is ready for inspection (box 8 of the RFTA). This is, of course, assuming all of your paperwork has been received by the FWHS and you have been assigned a vendor number – it’s all up to you and your renter. Attending the Landlord Orientation and submitting all of the required paperwork prior to selecting a Housing Choice Voucher Participant definitely shortens the length of time it takes to get your inspection.
Q. Can a client move in before the inspection is done?
A. No payment will be made for a client until the property has been inspected and you as the property owner have received your move-in approval from the agency.
Q. Do I need to bring anything to the Orientation?
A. No. However, if you want to get ahead of the game, you may bring a copy of your ownership documentation and the process to set you up as a vendor can begin that day.
Acceptable ownership documentation:
- A copy of your Warranty Deed (this copy must have the seal/stamp on it from the courthouse in which it was filed to be acceptable), OR
- A copy of your Settlement Statement/HUD 1 (this copy must have the signature of the seller as well as your signature as the buyer to be acceptable).
FAQs – Public Housing
FWHS’ Public Housing program provides housing to more than a thousand families with very low income in Fort Worth. Applicants must be income eligible and residents must adhere to program rules.
For all FWHS rental assistance programs, specific eligibility requirements must be met for admission. All applicants must qualify as a family. A family includes but is not limited to:
- A family with or without children;
- An elderly family;
- A disabled family;
- A displaced family;
- A single person.
To Be Eligible, You MUST:
- Qualify as a family OR be 62 years of age or older, OR be disabled or handicapped, OR be an eligible displaced person; displaced by government action or by a federally-recognized disaster, or be a single person under 62 years of age, not disabled or handicapped (elderly families, disabled, or handicapped persons and displaced person receive preference over single persons.)
- Meet family income guidelines.
- Pay any overdue accounts or money owed to the Housing Authority from a previous tenancy. Repayment of money owed from a previous tenancy does not guarantee eligibility.
- Have a total family income of no more than what is indicated on the Income Limits Form
Applicant must complete the entire application which can be found at each of the public housing properties.
- All spaces must be filled in. If something is not applicable, write “N/A”.
- Incomplete application WILL NOT be processed.