What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

JHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program provides eligible low‐income households with opportunities to reside in housing owned by private sector landlords. JHA pays the difference between the contracted rent and the participant’s portion of the contracted rent in the form of a housing assistance payment (HAP) to the landlord on behalf of the participant. The participant’s portion of the contracted rent is based on 30 percent of the household monthly adjusted income or the monthly minimum rent requirement of $50, whichever is greater (unless the participant is otherwise exempt from the minimum rent requirement of $50), JHA then applies an appropriate utility allowance for tenant‐paid utilities to determine the amount that the participant must pay to the landlord.

Is the Waiting List open for JHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program?

Due to the number of applicants and the length of time an applicant must wait to reach the top of the waiting list, JHA closed the Section 8 waiting list effective October 22, 2008. Should we receive additional funding, the waiting list will reopen, and the application process will be posted.

How do I apply for JHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, also commonly referred to as Section 8?

Generally, a family interested in participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program must apply through JHA when the Waiting List is open and applications are being accepted. JHA will provide a public notice advising when the Waiting List will open and where applications will be taken. JHA will advertise the public notice in local newspapers, at social service agencies, on the Housing Authority web page, and in other locations available to reach potential applicants.

If I reach the top of the waiting list, when will I receive my voucher?

Once reaching the top of the waiting list and there is an available voucher or Public Housing unit, applicants will be scheduled an appointment to complete necessary paperwork and to begin the eligibility process. Applicants are notified by mail of scheduled appointments. Eligibility is based on annual gross income along with family size and criminal background requirements. The program is also limited to U.S. citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status.

I have been placed on the waiting list. How do I know if I am eligible to receive assistance?

You will receive an appointment notice to determine eligibility when a voucher or Public Housing unit is available.

I have applied to be on a waiting list with multiple housing authorities, are you affiliated with each other

Each Housing Authority has its own waiting list and is independently operated. You will need to check with each Housing Authority to determine your status on the waiting list.

How do I report changes to my household?

Any changes in the household should be reported by submitting an update form to JHA by visiting the office located at 2747 Livingston Road Jackson, MS 39213. The completed form should also include documents that verify the change. For example, when submitting a Change Request Form to report an income increase, copies of paycheck stubs or other relevant documents must be included. Household changes should be reported to JHA within 10 calendar days of their occurrence.

Why does my number on the Public Housing waiting list move up?

For example, I checked my number yesterday and it was 20 and today it is 29.

An applicant’s position on the waiting list can fluctuate at times because other applicants may update their application by adding a local preference such as working income. When an application is updated, the applicant’s status can change and may give them a priority for housing assistance. In most cases, the fluctuation in numbers will not significantly affect your application or the time in which you are drawn from the waitlist.

What does it mean when my application reaches the top of the waiting list?

When your application reaches the top of the waiting list, it simply means you are number 1 on the list and will be notified by mail when there is a unit or voucher available to arrange an interview to determine your eligibility for the program.

How will I be notified when I’m selected from the waiting list?

All applicants selected from the waiting list will be notified by mail of an appointment date and time to complete the application process; this letter will be mailed to the most recent address on file. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that JHA has your correct mailing address at all times.

When will the Housing Authority begin mailing appointment letters?

There is not a specific date that appointment letters are mailed; it is strictly based on housing vacancies at that time.

I have received my Housing Choice Voucher. What area can I rent under JHA’s voucher program?

You may lease a unit in the city of Jackson, MS and within a 5 miles radius of Jackson city limits.

What is the difference between Section 8 and Public Housing?

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program allows the household to choose the rental unit anywhere in JHA’s jurisdiction. The landlord must agree to be a participant in the program and sign a contract with the Housing Authority. The rental unit will be required to pass the Housing Authorities Housing Quality Standards inspection, rent amount must approved and within reasonable rent amounts.

Public Housing units are owned and managed by the Housing Authority. The Public Housing and Section 8 waiting list are separate. All JHA Public Housing sites are maintained by a separate waiting list. You must apply for each location if you wish to be on any particular waiting list

What is the expected time frame I will remain on the waiting list?

There is not a specific timeframe an applicant will remain on the Section 8 or Public Housing waiting list.