How the Program Works

The Terrell Housing Department manages the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program (formerly known as Section 8) within the corporate city limits of Terrell, Texas.  This program has been available to this community for approximately 30 to 40 years and currently serves around 400 families.

The HCV Program depends on a cooperative relationship between the owner or property manager, the Housing department, and the assisted family.  The program is designed to maintain the regular owner/tenant relationship.  The role of the Housing department is to subsidize the family’s rent; all other aspects of the lease agreement must be resolved between the landlord and the tenant.  The following summarizes the responsibilities of each party.

The Housing Department’s Responsibilities:

  • Review all applicants to determine families’ eligibility for the program
  • Explain the rules of the program to families and property owners/managers.
  • Issues vouchers to families.
  • Inspect and approve the assisted unit for compliance with housing quality standards and conduct rent reasonable surveys based on the private market.
  • Calculate the family’s share of the rent and pays Terrell Housing Department’s rent portion to the property owner on behalf of the participant in a timely manner.
  • Re-examine the family’s income composition annually and adjust the family’s rent.
  • Process changes to rent portions when there are changes in the family’s circumstances.
  • Ensure that owners and families comply with the program rules.
  • Provide prompt, professional service to owners and tenant families.

The Owner:

  • Thoroughly screen and interview families that apply.
  • Maintain the property in compliance with Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and make necessary repairs in a timely manner.
  • Collect application fees, deposits, and the tenant’s monthly rent portion.
  • Manage the property and enforce the lease.
  • Comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract and HUD Tenancy addendum.
  • Comply with all fair housing laws and do not improperly discriminate against any family.
  • Notify the housing department if a tenant vacates the unit.  Return any housing assistance payments received after a family vacates a unit.
  • Promptly notify the housing department of ownership changes so payments are issued to the new landlord without delay.

The Family:

  • Provide the housing authority with complete and accurate information pertaining to the family income and composition.
  • Report Changes in income and family composition to Terrell Housing Department within 30 days of occurrence.
  • Locate a suitable unit before the voucher expires and pay the security deposit and application fee to the owner.
  • Attend scheduled appointments and return documents on time.
  • Maintain the unit in good, safe, decent, and sanitary condition.
  • Sign and comply with the terms of the lease.
  • Pay their portion of the rent on time to the owner.
  • Comply with the Family Obligations in relations to the HCV program.