Portsmouth Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher program (typically referred to as “Section 8”) provides housing assistance payments on behalf of qualified renters to over 160 landlords in the region. This HCV program provides direct cash subsidies to landlords of rental properties in exchange for a promise to rent to people with low incomes and a promise to meet Housing Quality Standards which will be certified by Portsmouth Housing inspectors. Area landlords benefit from this program by having a reliable pool of tenants and assurance that Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) will be paid on time every month. To learn how to become a landlord who participates in the program, call our Section 8 program office at 603-436-4310 ext. 160, or email us at HCVmanager@nh-pha.com.
Forms & Resources:
Other towns and cities outside of this jurisdiction will either be administered by their own housing authority or by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. More information about NHHFA statewide voucher program can be found at www.nhhfa.org/section-8-housing.
1. List your property.
We highly recommend you advertise your property and include “Section 8 OK” in your advertisement. Property advertisements can also be shared with the PHA's Section 8 Department and we will distribute it during our new voucher holder briefings. Please make sure your advertisements include the following:
- Monthly Rent Amount
- Bedroom Size
- Utilities Paid for by Tenant and source of utilities (ie oil heat, electric water, etc) and utilities paid for by Landlord
- Date Available for Lease Up
- Contact Information
Your property can also be listed by registering online at www.GOsection8.com.
2. Screen prospective participants.
Landlords are responsible for screening their prospective participants. The Housing Authority screens prospective participants’ eligibility but does not screen assisted families for suitability as tenants. Additionally, federal regulation requires that a landlord may not be the parent, child, grandchild, grandparent, sister, or brother of the HCV participant you select.
3. Select a participant.
Tenant selection is based on your own selection criteria. Charging an application fee is acceptable as long as HCV participants are charged the same fee as non-HCV participants. The use of renter reference services is encouraged. As in all cases, Fair Housing is the law.
4. Complete Landlord registration packet and return to Portsmouth Housing.
To get copies of the registration packet, please contact Portsmouth Housing at 603-436-4310 ext. 160 or HCVmanager@nh-pha.com.
5. Qualify for Eligibility
After PHA determines eligibility, the unit is inspected to assure it meets our Housing Quality Standards. See document listed below.
6. Sign Contract
Sign the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract with Portsmouth Housing and sign a minimum one-year lease with the resident.
First the apartment or home that the voucher holder chooses to rent must pass a Housing Quality Standards inspection. Next, Portsmouth Housing determines if the rent is reasonable according to federal and local standards. This “rent reasonableness” standard takes into account a variety of factors including unit age, location, condition, market area, structure type, amenities, tenant paid utilities, supplied appliances, and family composition. This study ultimately determines the rental amount supported by similar properties in the market and ensures that the approved rent is consistent with the private market.
Rents are based upon the market area comparable rents at the time of leasing. Although the units are identical, families may have vouchers that vary in size. The family composition, income, and allowances will not be identical, resulting in differing rents.
If the owner of the property has changed, the new owner must complete the Change of Ownership/Management Form and sign a new contract with Portsmouth Housing before Housing Assistance Payments will be paid. The Change of Ownership/Management form may be downloaded here.
Yes, until the participant signs a lease entering them into a legally binding contract, he or she has every right to reassess their decision to lease that particular unit.
Local public housing agencies help HUD establish monthly rental allowances for eligible recipients in HUD's public housing program. As part of a family's monthly rental allowance, HUD includes a utility allowance.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development helps low-income families afford their housing costs under the 1937 U.S. Housing Act. The Housing Choice Vouchers Program, formerly known as Section 8, requires landlords participating in the program to include a utility allowance in its rental charges to low-income tenants.