Around Lynchburg & Smith Mountain Lake: The Housing Choice Voucher Program - Section 8 - Housing and Urban Development

The Housing Choice Voucher Program - Section 8 - Housing and Urban Development

Investors may be unaware of the Housing Voucher or Section 8 Program available from HUD (Housing and Urban Development). My husband and I have been partnering with this program in Lynchburg, Virginia for over 10  years.  I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR US, but our experience with the local Public Housing Agency has been positive. There is a need for decent, safe housing in Lynchburg- in all neighborhoods- and the PHA has a waiting list of qualified tenants. We have reasonably priced properties listed in the Greater Lynchburg area and for the first time investor, this can  be a great introduction to owning investment property. My husband and I have over 25 years experience and are glad to share that experience. Out of area owners- for a small fee, you could hire a local Property Management company to oversee your investment.

The head of the Lynchburg program is Glenna Jordan. She is always available to talk to and we have never had a property damaged by a Section 8 tenant. We receive our rent check directly through PHA and it arrives like clockwork every month. We are required to maintain our property and undergo an inspection every year. Frankly, we would maintain our properties anyway, so there are no surprises when the inspections take place. If you would like more information on the program benefits and requirements, feel free to email me and I'll be glad to share them with you.

Housing Choice Vouchers -Section 8 Program

This is one of the houses we've renovated in downtown Lynchburg over the years. For landlords to qualify for the program, the property must meet program requirements.

From the HUD website:

 

WHAT IS A HOUSING VOUCHER?

The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.

 

Roles - the tenant, the landlord, the housing agency and HUD
Once a PHA approves an eligible family's housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and, at the same time, the landlord and the PHA sign a housing assistance payments contract that runs for the same term as the lease. This means that everyone -- tenant, landlord and PHA -- has obligations and responsibilities under the voucher program.

 

WHAT IS THE LANDLORDS OBLIGATION?

The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program's housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with the PHA.

TYPES OF VOUCHERS

AM I ELIGIBLE? HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM?  Read the Program Overview below:

 

Program Overview


Programs may vary state to state. For more information on the program in Lynchburg, VA, contact the Lynchburg Housing Authority at:


Lynchburg RHA
Phone: (434)845-9011
Fax: (434)845-9144
918 Commerce Street
Lynchburg
VA 24504
 

 

For information on investment properties in the Greater Lynchburg area, contact:

 

Debbie Malone, ABR, ASP, e-PRO                                             I make a donation to the Children's Miracle Network from every transaction

RE/MAX 1st Olympic Realtors

(434)546-0369 

malone1981@aol.com 

Member: Lynchburg Association of Realtors

               Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors

2006, 2007, 2008  RE/MAX Executive Club Award

2006, 2007  LAR Honor Society

Contributor to Teri. B. Clark's " The Complete Guide to Your First Rental Property"


 

 
 
Debbie Malone
RE/MAX 1st Olympic Realtors
Lynchburg & Smith Mountain Lake, VA
(434) 546-0369
debbiemalone@remax.net
 
 
 

 

 
12 commentsDebbie Malone • February 25 2009 01:01PM

Comments

Debbie - a BIZILLION years ago, in another life, I managed over 50 units under the Napa Housing Authority and actually sat on the selection committee when they hired an Executive Director...the rules and inspection guidelines were reasonable, they were responsive and actually assisted clients getting off the program....when the program reverted to the voucher system, the PHA mentality changed.  There is no longer an intent to assist clients since those clients may be gone tomorrow.  Also, the "cronic" clients became more demanding as the clientele aged and welfare guidelines changed.

Participating in many section 8 programs is NOT for the newbie landlord or absentee landlord.  Landlords need to know the program, the guidelines as you suggest and the market for their property.  In many areas, landlords get lower rent and have to perform MORE maintenance for high-maintenance residents which makes their participating problematic....getting references from local landlords on the program, interviewing and screening protential tenants and reviewing the inspection guidelines are a must.

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 5 years ago

Hi Wallace, I appreciate your input. I agree that many programs are not administered like the one in Lynchburg, and I'm speaking from my experience which has been positive. I think the people make the difference. I know if we've ever had a concern, it's been addressed. We've never had a tenant kicked off the program for damage or neglect and repair requests have been reasonable. Thanks for commenting.

Posted by Debbie Malone, From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369 (RE/MAX 1st Olympic) about 5 years ago

Hi Debbie, I know this can be a great program; however, we have been very selective in choosing tenants for our rentals...so far, I've opted out. But who knows? One day when I have time to figure it all out, THEN, if the opportunity arises, I'll re-think. Good for you though. I think there is such a need...;-)

Pepper

Posted by Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor (Teri Ellis at Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC) about 5 years ago

Hi Teri, I agree;  your experience is going to depends on your local program and how it's administered. We've been fortunate in Lynchburg, we're a smaller community than most and I feel that's worked in our favor. Thanks for weighing in.

Posted by Debbie Malone, From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369 (RE/MAX 1st Olympic) about 5 years ago

Hi Debbie!  Now, you know we could write a book on this!  I am pleased to see your offer of quality homes for investors.... AND your assistance to help walk them through the program.  I'm glad to see it work in your favor... screening and follow-up is definitely the key!!  (Personally it's tooooo much work for us..... not the screening part - just the aftermath).  Lynchburg must be mighty special!

Have you witnessed or know of anyone going beyond the rental stage in their transition to home-owner plans?

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC (Diane Rice, Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) about 5 years ago

Hi Diane, A lot of folks have not had the experience with Section 8 that we've had here in Lynchburg, we're fortunate to live here. I truly believe it's the people who administer the program that make the difference. , They don't tolerate foolishness!

One service I offer my investor clients is follow up: We've been there, made the mistakes so we can give advice, resources, our list of contractors and information so they don't get discouraged. For example, my husband will show the new owner how to measure AND install replacement windows - that teach a man to fish thing.

We're currently renovating a house we've owned for 10 years, new siding, new windows. The tenant has been there for 9 years and has wanted to buy for the last 5. A series of setbacks, none in her control has kept her from purchasing until now. She's gone to the bank to be qualified and we're hoping she'll be able to buy the house. We'll work with her, she'll pay less for a mortgage payment than rent. It's a win-win.

Posted by Debbie Malone, From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369 (RE/MAX 1st Olympic) about 5 years ago

This sounds like a great program and you have definitely provided some excellent info. It appears from the comments that peoples' experience with it varies widely by location.

Posted by Rich Dansereau (Positive Real Estate Professionals) about 5 years ago

Rich, I'm not surprised at the difference in opinion of the program- my experience has been is in a small city, with a group of people I can personally contact. There is accountability, which may be lacking in other areas. Thanks for your comments!

Posted by Debbie Malone, From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369 (RE/MAX 1st Olympic) about 5 years ago

Debbie - Glad to hear that the Section 8 program is working well for you.  Here in Central Arkansas we deal with 6 different housing authorities - Little Rock, North Little Rock, Jacksonville, Cabot, Benton and Pulaski County.  Their standards of effectiveness and ease of use are all different and is definately set by the agency's Director.  The difference can be as obvious as day and night.  The amazing thing to me is they all operate under the same federal program and guidelines yet they are so different in their interpetation.  We have found excellent tenants from within the program and others of course are not quite so excellent.  The important thing is to continue doing the thorough background checks that we do consistently with every tenant.  Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Posted by Betty Fletcher, MPM, RMP - Little Rock Arkansas Property Manager (Fletcher Property Management Inc CRMC® * www.FletcherPM.com) about 5 years ago

Betty, isn't that something, SIX agencies with six different takes on the program! I'm interested to hear what other people have been experiencing with Section 8. It confirms my belief that we have a good thing here in Lynchburg. Thanks so much for commenting.

Posted by Debbie Malone, From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369 (RE/MAX 1st Olympic) about 5 years ago

I know, Debbie, that this post is over a year old, but I just found it today.

You did a great job generating a quick summary of the Section 8 benefits from the landlord's perspective.

I'm glad that you and your husband keep getting excellent luck with this.  For someone who has the money to be a landlord but really isn't good at it, renting to Section 8 tenants can be tricky.  (This is our specialty.)

Again, great job on this post!

Posted by Chris Wechner (CW Health Inc) about 4 years ago

I just received a voucher a few weeks ago and I live in Charlottesville, VA. Hardly anyone takes them here, and the ones that do, have really run down houses in REALLY BAD neighborhoods that I dont wanna live in. Iam a single mother of six children. I left my abusive spouse and am currently living in a section 8 apt now, but wanted my kids to be away from this kind of neighborhood that we are in where there is drugs and violence. Its not their fault that we are poor. We have a very old van, so I cant move to the country because I need to be on the bus line. I cant move to Lynchburg because my abusive spouse lives there. I have no family here, so I am on my own. (all my family was in the Lynchburg area too) we had to leave because he was just too violent and it wasnt safe to stay. I have been approved for a 4BR house for $1335/month in rent but cost of living here in Charlottesville is very high, and they wont give me any more than that. What can I do? Is there anything I can do but just keep looking and hope for the best? Someone said that bc of the Domestc Violence that they could help get me into a home with a landlord, but you cant make a landlord move you in. do you have any advice?

Posted by crystal martin almost 3 years ago

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