Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher)
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program consists of housing subsidies that allow families to rent apartments in the private rental market. J. D’Amelia & Associates, LLC (JDA) provided more than 8,300 vouchers to eligible families in 2021 through the Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher Program.
The vouchers subsidy provides income-eligible families with housing subsidies equal to the difference between 30% of the household’s income and the payment standard established for the household’s family size. The Housing Choice Voucher Program allows a family to pay up to 40% of their monthly-adjusted income for rent. HUD’s portability guidelines allow families with a housing choice voucher to move anywhere in the United State and its territories after residing in Connecticut for an initial twelve months.
RAP (Rental Assistance Program)
The Rental Assistance Program (RAP) administered by JDA provides rental subsidies to low-income families residing in rental housing. RAP participants have the freedom of choice in locating housing suitable to their needs. JDA pays rental assistance subsidies to the owners of the units in which participating families reside.
JDA provides certificates to eligible Rental Assistance participants. Families and elderly or disabled individuals whose income does not exceed 50% of the median income for the area in which they live, as determined by JDA, are eligible to participate in the RAP Program. Typically, families with RAP certificates pay property owners either 10% of their gross income or 40% of their adjusted gross income less a utility allowance, whichever is greater. Eligible individuals who are elderly or disabled contribute 10% of their gross income or 30% of their adjusted gross income less a utility allowance, whichever is greater. RAP Certificates are portable and may be used in any municipality within the state. The rents paid cannot exceed the rent levels established by the State of Connecticut Department of Housing.
Currently, there are approximately 6,400 RAP Certificates are in use throughout the state.
FSS (Family Self Sufficiency)
The purpose of the FSS Program is to reduce the dependency of low-income families on housing and public assistance. The resultant contractor shall provide the participating families with appropriate supportive services to promote self-sufficiency. HUD requires FSS participants to enter into a participation contract. The contract must incorporate training and service plans including interim and final goals for each participant. The contract must stipulate that each FSSS family will fulfill the obligations set forth within the participation contract no later than five (5) years after the effective date of the contract. The term may be extended for two (2) additional years.
The program requires JDA to establish separate FSS escrow accounts for each participant. In general, the FSS credit into the FSS account shall be equal to the difference between thirty percent (30%) of the family’s monthly-adjusted income and the family’s rent, which is calculated by disregarding any increase in earned income from the effective date of the contract. The participant is entitled to the balance of the FSS account when the terms of the participants contract have been successfully completed.
Project-Based Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
In contrast to a tenant based rental subsidy, in which a tenant can move from one eligible unit to another, the project-based voucher program has the rental subsidy connected to a specific unit in a property. Under the project-based voucher program, the owner of the property reserves some or all the units in a building for low-income tenants, and in return the program guarantees to make up the difference between the tenant’s portion of the rent, defined as 30% of the partipcants adjusted gross income, and contract rent. A tenant who leaves a subsidized project will lose access to the project-based subsidy. To continue to receive rental assistance, these individuals must obtain a tenant-based voucher or wait for another project-based voucher unit to become vacant and available.