Housing voucher application period ends May 27
The Boise City-Ada County Housing Authority expects to put 2,500 families on its waiting list for the Housing Choice Vouchers it administers, housing programs manager Jillian Patterson said.
Working through that list will take about 18 months to two years, Patterson said, with about 70 percent of families finding homes and the remainder removing themselves from the list.
The application period for vouchers opened May 9. It closes at 5 p.m. on May 27. Visit the housing authority's website to start the application process. The pre-application process can be completed on any computer, smart phone or other internet-enable device. A list of places that offer public access to computers is available at the housing authority’s website.
After confirming applicants' eligibility, the housing authority will run the applications through a computerized lottery that randomly picks which ones make the list of 2,500 households on the voucher wait list, said Deanna Watson, executive director of the housing authority.
More details on the application and wait list are available here.
Housing Choice Vouchers are payments from local housing authorities — like the Boise City-Ada County Housing Authority — that help low-income tenants pay rent.
The housing authority administers about 2,000 vouchers worth around $12 million each year. That number has declined in recent years due in part to scarcity of affordable rental housing and rules imposed by the source of the money, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The federal government establishes fair market rent rates — the amount it believes tenants can expect to pay for reasonable housing and utilities in a given geographical area. In turn, housing authorities set what's known as a payment standard, which equals 90-110 percent of the federal government's fair market rent rate for each housing type in that area.
Households that receive vouchers are required to pay 30 percent of their adjusted income —gross income minus eligible expenses such as childcare and out-of-pocket medical bills — on rent. The voucher covers the rest of the payment standard.
Vouchers' dollar values vary by income and the number of people in a household. The less money voucher recipients earn, the more the voucher is worth. Some households have no income. In these cases, vouchers cover 100 percent of the rent and tenant-paid utilities, which together cannot exceed the area's payment standard.