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HUD has established requirements for participation in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program and provides guidance to UPS8H in establishing additional criteria. UPS8H strives for objectivity and consistency when applying these criteria to evaluate the eligibility of families who apply for assistance.

The factors which affect eligibility are family definition, income limits, citizenship status, and eviction for drug-related criminal activity.

When the Housing Choice Voucher is issued, the applicant or participant must be given information on the minimum the family is expected to contribute to housing costs and the maximum subsidy that UPS8H can pay. Your rent, which is referred to as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP) in this program, would be based on your family's anticipated gross annual income less deductions if any.

Some of the eligible exclusions are $480 for each dependent; $400 for any elderly family, or a person with a disability; and some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly person or a person with disabilities. Based on your application, UPS8H will determine if any of the allowable deductions should be subtracted from your annual income.

Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received from the family head and spouse, and each additional member of the family 18 years of age or older. The tenant rent will be based on 30 percent of the monthly adjusted income. (Monthly Adjusted Income is annual income less deductions allowed by the regulations).

Once a family finds a suitable unit and the owner is willing to lease the unit under the program, the family must request tenancy approval from UPS8H. UPS8H must ensure that rents charged by owners to the HCV program participants are reasonable.

The goal of the HCV program is to provide "decent, safe and sanitary" housing at an affordable cost to low-income families. Program regulations set forth basic Housing Quality Standards (HQS) which all units must meet before assistance can be paid on behalf of a family and at least annually throughout the term of the assisted tenancy. HQS regulations provide performance requirements and acceptability criteria to meet each performance requirement.

The tenant and the owner must enter and execute a written lease for the unit once it passes the HQS Inspection. UPS8H will sign a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract with the owner of the unit agreeing to make payments on behalf of a specific family leasing a specific unit. The lease term runs concurrently with the HAP contract term.