HCV Program Details
Current HCV Participants: Log in here to report changes, find your rent amount or contact your HCV Specialist
Housing Choice Vouchers: Tenant-Based Assistance
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), also known as Section 8, program provides tenant-based subsidies for rents paid by low-income households based on their income. The housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by Metro West Housing Solutions on behalf of the participating family. The family pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.
In cases where utilities are not included in rent, the program may pay a larger portion of the rent so that the tenant is able to afford utility payments. Tenants on the HCV program typically pay 30-40% of their adjusted gross income for rent.
Once a person is accepted into the Housing Choice Voucher Program, they must remain in good standing. That requires being a considerate neighbor, paying their rent on time, reporting any changes in the members of their household or their income to their HCV specialist, ensuring that their house or unit is kept up to HUD standards, and certifying any changes.
Frequently Asked Questions
HCVs are in high demand and therefore MWHS has a waitlist. MWHS periodically opens its HCV lottery waitlist for new registrants. MWHS will post on its website, social media, and in area publications the dates that the lottery waitlist will open (typically for a 2–5-day period, once a year).
The first step to becoming an HCV participant is to register when the HCV lottery waitlist opens.
When the lottery is open, you must register as an applicant through RentCafe. You will need a current email address to create an account. It is very important to keep your log-in information as your account will be how you submit information if selected and work with an HCV specialist at MWHS.
No, you may use your existing login credentials.
- Select My Waiting List Status.
- Then select Click Here to apply. Make sure to update any new information on your pre-application.
- Then mark the box next to 2023 lottery from the Waiting List Tab and save.
Even with an existing RentCafe account, you must still register for the HCV lottery waiting list pre-application.
- At the login screen click Click here to register.
- Select I want to apply to this property.
- Select I do not have a registration code.
- Fill in the personal details and once you fill in your email it should recognize you and a pop-up should appear so that you can enter your password.
MWHS cannot reset your password
To reset your password
- Select Click Here to Register
- Select I do not have a Registration Code
- Fill in the personal details and email making sure to use the tab key for each box.
- At the pop-up, select use your existing account
- Click reset your password
- You must register again to reach the pop-up and use your new password
This means you already have an account with RentCafe.
Start the registration again and tab through the email section until you get the pop-up asking if you want to use this account and a pop-up should appear so that you can enter your password.
Selected and approved families will need to meet the following basic program requirement to include but is not limited to:
- Meet HUD basic eligibility requirements: not a registered sex offender and/or not convicted of methamphetamine manufacture or production on public housing premises.
- Have not been evicted from federally assisted housing for drug-related criminal activity in the past 3 years.
- Have not been evicted from federally assisted housing within the past 5 years.
- Does not owe monies to any subsidized housing programs.
- Cannot exceed income guidelines.
- You must be 18 years of age or older to apply.
- Only one application per family will be accepted.
- Pre-applicants must also meet the following household income limits:
- 1 person: $43,450
- 2 people: $49,650
- 3 people: $55,850
- 4 people: $62,050
- 5 people: $67,050
- 6 people: $72,000
- You also MUST always provide a current mailing and email address as you will be contacted through both for the intake certification process. If your mail comes back as undeliverable or if there is no response because you moved and mail was not forwarded, your pre-application will be removed and you will need to reapply when the waiting list reopens.
All income received by all household members must be reported. Examples of income include but are not limited to wages (including tips, bonuses and overtime), unemployment, Social Security income, VA pensions, TANF, pensions and income from assets. Assets must be reported as well and include but are not limited to: savings accounts, checking accounts and trust funds.
Yes, income is not required.
The bedroom size will be based on your household composition. Once you complete the online intake certification, you will be assigned the corresponding bedroom/voucher size.
Learn more about your status here.
You will be contacted to complete the intake certification. This process verifies your eligibility for the program. Your intake certification will be processed through RentCafe so your log-in information from when you registered is important to keep.
Once you have been approved to become a participant you will be scheduled for a briefing, then you will receive your voucher and rental budget for you to locate a rental. Once you have located your rental you will submit a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) so that MWHS can verify the rental meets HUD standards. Once the RFTA is submitted, MWHS schedules an inspection and will notify you within 15 days on approval or denial of that rental.
Participants are required to report any changes in the family household. This includes additions due to birth, adoption, and court-awarded custody. Household additions/members that are not reported within the 10 days will be considered unauthorized household members. This is considered a serious program violation and may result in the termination of assistance. Report a change.
Whenever your household income changes, you are required to report the change to your HCV Specialist within 10 days of the change. Your HCV Specialist will review your information and determine if and when a change in rent is needed. Failure to report an increase in income is considered and serious program violation and may result in program termination and money owed to MWHS.
For current participants, your income is reviewed annually during the recertification process.
Approximately 90-120 days prior to your anniversary date, you will be notified to begin your recertification process. You will need to complete forms and provide information in order to verify your income and continued eligibility for the program.
Find your HCV Specialist’s contact information in your resident portal via RentCafe.
No. MWHS does not have any emergency housing. Please see community services for area agencies that may be able to assist you.
Portability in the HCV program refers to the process through which the family can transfer or “port” their rental subsidy when they move to a location outside the jurisdiction of the HCV administering agency that first gave them the voucher when they were selected for the program.
Your Housing Authority will begin the process by sending a portability package to MWHS. We will send you an email requesting that you complete the online intake certification via RentCafe which includes a background check.
This process takes 2-3 weeks depending on how soon the paperwork is submitted before you are notified of approval.