Section 8 Frequently Asked Questions
When and where can I apply for Section 8 program?
We will advertise in the local newspaper informing the public when the Section 8 Waiting List application process will open. We will also post the information on the Housing web page http://housing.osceola.org.
Why does the Osceola County Section 8 Housing Office have a waiting list?
Due to the demand for affordable housing, specifically federally subsidized rental programs, the Osceola County Section 8 Housing like other housing authorities, maintains a waiting list. With the high volume of people needing housing assistance and limited resources, the Osceola County Section 8 Housing Office periodically re-opens its waiting list for new applications. Submitting an application does not guarantee that housing will be offered.
Why does Osceola County Section 8 Housing accept so many applications for the Waiting List?
Families in subsidized rental housing programs, such as the Section 8 Program can remain in the program as long as they adhere to program rules and regulations. We generally have a small turnover of housing units on an annual basis and expect to offer housing to a small percentage of applicants who apply. We allow the opportunity for anyone to apply, but however; it does not guarantee that housing will be provided. To ensure we are able to maintain our federal obligations to HUD for the number of families being assisted, we must keep a waiting list of families to be assisted should the opportunity become available.
Is the application only in English?
No! The application is available in English and Spanish.
How does the Osceola County Section 8 Housing Office determine the ranking for the waiting list?
Once you fill out the application your name is drawn randomly using a lottery system.
If I (relocate, get married, have a baby, lose my job) after applying, how will this affect me?
It is very important to notify the Section 8 Housing Office of any changes that occur in your household. You risk the chance of not being in the program if your information is not current at time of selection.
Do I have to be a United States citizen to apply for housing assistance?
No, you do not have to be a citizen; however, you must have eligible immigration status.
What are some of the reasons that could prevent me from getting housing assistance?
Below are some of the reasons that would prevent you from being accepted in the program. A detailed list will be provided at appointment if selected.
- A failed criminal background screening
- Previous evictions
- Being over income
- Failure to appear for scheduled appointments
- Failure to provide the necessary documents to determine eligibility
What is the maximum amount of income that I can earn in order to qualify for the Section 8 Program?
At the time of application, the most current Income Guidelines will be provided. You can also contact our office at 407-742-8406.
I am interested in moving into your jurisdiction. What would be my next step?
You must inform your initial/originating housing office of your decision to transfer your housing voucher to our jurisdiction. You will need to inform your housing office that our jurisdiction will not absorb your housing voucher and provide them the most current payment standards, please contact our office at 407-742-8400 or visit our Housing web page at www.osceola.org. If your transfer is approved, your housing office must mail your portability packet to our office at Osceola County Section 8 Housing Office, 330 N. Beaumont Ave, Kissimmee, FL 34741, attention Portability. Please note that portability packets will NOT be accepted via fax.
Is the Osceola County Section 8 Housing Office currently absorbing vouchers.
No! the Osceola County Section 8 Housing Office does not absorb vouchers. We will administer(bill) your housing office.
What documents should I bring to my first appointment?
The following is a list of the some of the documents that you should bring to your portability briefing appointment. A checklist of all the documents that will be required will be mailed to you with your appointment letter.
- Proof of all income for the household
- Birth Certificates for all members of the household
- Social Security Cards for all members of the household
- Photo identification cards/Driver’s License for all members of the household 18 years old and older
When will my inspection be scheduled?
If this is your initial inspection, once we are in receipt of your Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) and the landlord has been processed into our system, an inspection will be scheduled with your prospective landlord. You are not to be present at this inspection. You are to contact your prospective landlord for the status of the inspection. If this is your annual inspection, you will receive a letter from the Inspections Department indicating the inspection date. It is your responsibility to notify our office if you are not going to be available for your scheduled inspection. If you miss your first missed inspection, we will automatically mail you another appointment. If you miss a second inspection, you will have to request an appointment in writing.
I have an income or family composition change, what should I do?
Any changes in your household must be reported within ten (10) business days of the change. An Interim Re-Examination Form must be completed and must include all supporting documents. This form is available in the reception area located in our office at 330 N. Beaumont Ave, Kissimmee, FL 34741.
I received a termination letter, what do I do?
If you believe that your Housing Voucher should not be terminated, you have ten (10) business days from date of letter to respond in writing with your request for an informal hearing.
Is the recertification packet mailed? If lost, will you provide me with another copy?
The recertification packet is not mailed out. You will receive a letter indicating when you can pick up your recertification packet. The return date for the completed packet is indicated in the letter as well as in the packet. If someone other than yourself is picking up your packet, we require written notice indicating the name of the person. This person will also be required to show identification. If you misplace your recertification packet, it is your responsibility to contact your Housing Specialist to request another copy.
What is the maximum amount of income that I can earn to continue in the Section 8 program?
Income guidelines are established by HUD and are updated annually. See your Housing Specialist for the most recent income guidelines based on your household size.
I need copies of documents in my file, will they be provided?
If you are in need of copies of documents in your file, you must request it in writing. Your request will be processed within 24 to 48 hours and there is a charge of $.15 per page.
What is the Section 8 Program?
The Section 8 Program is a federal rental subsidy which assists participants in the program with monthly rental payments. The program ensures that the families have a safe, decent and sanitary place to live. The Osceola County Housing Office administers funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and distributes them in the form of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouches to eligible families and individuals. A Housing Choice Voucher allows participating families (tenants) to rent housing that meets their needs. The tenant pays a portion of the rent directly to the landlord. The Section 8 program through the Osceola County Housing Office pays the landlord the difference between the tenant’s portion of the rent and the total rental amount.
I am interested in listing my property on your Section 8 program. What is the process?
If you are interested in listing your property under the Section 8 program, you will need to fill out a New Landlord Registration Packet. This packet can be picked up at our office located at 330 N. Beaumont Ave, Kissimmee, FL 34741, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00am–5:00pm. The packet can also be downloaded from our Housing web page at www.osceola.org.
Please note that when returning the completed New Landlord Registration Packet, a copy of the following should accompany;
- Copy of Social Security Card
- Copy of Photo ID/Driver’s License
- Copy of Property Deed
- Copy of Current Mortgage Statement (If you do not have a mortgage on the property, please provide the HUD statement from the closing, a satisfaction of mortgage, or a letter from the bank indicating that the property is free and clear. If the property is being managed by a Property Management Company, include a copy of the property management agreement.)
- Copy of Voided Check for direct deposit (this should be attached to the Authorization for Direct Deposit Form included in the packet)
Once the information is received, reviewed and accepted, your property will be added to the Section 8 Rental Listing. If you require further information, please contact our office at 407-742-8406.
What are my responsibilities as a Landlord in the program?
As a Section 8 landlord, you will be responsible for the following:
- Screening your future tenants.
- Complying with all fair housing laws.
- Making all repairs that are not tenant caused in a timely manner and making sure that these repairs meet the Housing Quality Standards. You can download the Housing Quality Checklist from our Housing web page at www.osceola.org.
- Complying with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).
- Collecting the rent due by the tenant.
- Enforcing the terms of your lease with the tenant.
- Attend a mandatory Landlord Orientation that will address every aspect of the program and erase any misconceptions.
What amount of rent may I ask for?
Please refer to the Housing Choice Voucher Payment Standards located within your New Landlord Registration Packet. Please note that the payment standards include all utilities and are updated annually.
What happens once I have a tenant?
Once you have selected a tenant you must complete the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) packet for your prospective tenant. It is the responsibility of the prospective tenant to return the RFTA packet to our office. When the RFTA approved, the Inspections Department will contact you to schedule an inspection of the property. Please be aware that only the landlord must be present for this inspection. Once the unit passes inspection and the proposed rental amount is approved, you are to notify your prospective tenant and execute the lease. You will also have to sign a Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP) with our office. If the property or unit does not pass inspection, we will allow up to ten (10) business days for correction of the repair(s). A re-inspection of the property/unit will be required to confirm that the corrections have been completed. Tenants have only 120 days to find housing before they risk losing their Housing Choice Voucher, so repairs must be made in a timely manner.
How much of the rent is paid by the tenant?
The tenant will pay between 30% and 40% of their monthly adjusted income and also depends on the following factors:
- Participant’s income
- Deductions to which the participant is entitled to under the program
- Number of members in the household
- Housing Choice Voucher size
- The applicable amount in the Payment Standards
- The utility allowance participant is entitled to in reference to the rental unit
When will I get paid?
The Osceola County Housing Office cannot begin paying until after the unit passes inspection. Once the unit passes inspection, we will process the file and generate a Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP) which will require signature. When we received the signed HAP and a copy of the signed lease we will process the payment.
How do I request a rental increase?
At contract renewal, landlords will be given the opportunity to request a rent increase. Requests must be made sixty (60) days prior to the start of the new lease. Each landlord must complete a Rental Increase Request Form, and provide backup documentation for their request. Requests will be reviewed and approved by management on a case by case basis. If additional documentation or information is needed, it will be requested. Landlords will be notified if their rental increase is either approved or denied.
What happens if the tenant damages my unit?
As the owner of the rental property, you are entitled to charge security deposit. You cannot charge a Section 8 tenant any more than you would charge a tenant that is not on the program. The security deposit can be used to compensate for the damages caused by the tenant. If the damages exceed the security deposit amount, you have the option to go to court and get a court order for the remaining amount.