Pre-applications Allow Qualified Residents to Join Lottery for Rental Assistance
FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 11, 2021 – Fort Worth Housing Solutions, the public housing authority for the nation’s 13th largest city, will open its wait list for the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program between 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25, and 11:59 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29. The wait list was last opened in November 2017.
Over the five-day period, qualified residents may apply online at www.applyfwhs.org. Disabled residents and others who need assistance applying may contact the housing agency at 817-333-3654. A team member will be available to assist from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 25-28. Individuals who previously applied for the HCV program must reapply.
FWHS will add a maximum of 5,000 qualified individuals to the wait list through Jan. 29. An applicant’s place on the list is based on a lottery system, not the time and date the pre-application was submitted. A pre-application does not guarantee a place on the list.
About 40 individuals leave the FWHS Housing Choice Voucher Program each month, making room for new participants pulled from the wait list. Applicants often must wait several years for his or her opportunity to obtain a rental assistance voucher. The “choice” portion of the program means that voucher holders may use their assistance to help cover rent at any property that accepts the voucher.
“Fort Worth Housing Solutions is pleased to be able to open our Housing Choice Voucher wait list for the first time in more than three years,” President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “We know that thousands of Fort Worth families need assistance in covering rent, especially in these difficult economic times. Our agency is committed to making as many vouchers available as our budget allows each year.”
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded FWHS 5,104 vouchers. But the agency’s budget allows it to allocate only about 4,500 vouchers at any time. FWHS has aggressively pursued additional vouchers as they become available, especially for special populations such as those reserved for veterans, persons with disabilities or the chronically homeless.
What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
The Housing Choice Voucher program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.
The 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.
Am I eligible?
Eligibility is determined by income and household size and is limited to U.S. citizens and certain non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family’s income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the Fort Worth area. For an individual it is $28,550 and for a family of four it is $40,750. View the 2020 HUD Income Limits here.
How much is a Housing Choice Voucher worth?
Voucher holders pay 30% of their adjusted monthly income toward their rent. FWHS determines the total rent based on what is considered reasonable. The housing authority pays the difference between the resident’s payment and the approved rent. The maximum rent FWHS can pay for new voucher holders is based on Small Area Payment Standards that are set to the ZIP code location of the rental property.
I’m a landlord? How Can I Join the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
FWHS is always recruiting good landlords who want to help individuals and families find safe, affordable housing with a guaranteed payment stream. FWHS landlords benefit from prompt rental payments directly deposited to a designated bank each month; payment adjustments if a voucher holder’s income is reduced and reported timely; regular inspection of units; and a requirement that voucher holders take a “Good Neighbor/Good Tenant” class.
For more information, please contact Landlord Liaison RaVonda Thompson at email@example.com.
About Fort Worth Housing Solutions
Fort Worth Housing Solutions is changing the face of affordable housing by providing mixed-income rental and home ownership opportunities that provide the foundation to improve lives. The agency was established by the City of Fort Worth in 1938 to provide decent, safe housing for low- to moderate income people. Today, the agency operates 40 properties with almost 6,700 affordable units and manages Housing Choice Vouchers that help families and individuals cover rental costs. Fort Worth Housing Solutions works closely with numerous partners to promote economic independence and positive change in the lives of the more than 28,000 individuals we touch on a daily basis. Learn more at www.fwhs.org.
Kristin Sullivan, FWHS Communications Manager