These are the common questions that arise during our different processes inside the programs.
INSURANCE FAQ - Does the Housing Authority currently carry coverage for Hope Station?
Yes, coverage is consistent with what is being requested in the RFP.
INSURANCE FAQ - Should vouchers for homeless programs be covered under your policy?
Yes, there was an error in the originally published RFP. While there is insurance for the site-based homeless programs (number 7 in the updated overview of programs), the vouchers are not covered by an existing policy (see number 2 in the updated overview of programs).
INSURANCE FAQ - Is the Housing Authority an additional insured for Hope Station Insurance?
Yes, the Housing Authority of the County of Cumberland is listed as an additional insured for the Hope Station property insurance for contents up to $30,000.
Does the Housing Authority run credit and background checks on participants?
No. The Housing Authority does run a criminal background check because we can deny a person entry into our programs for some criminal offenses. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to conduct your normal check on a potential tenant. This could include a credit check, former landlord references, etc. We do not provide references for prospective tenants—we review only their eligibility for our rental programs.
Can the rent be increased during the term of the lease?
No. You cannot increase the rent during the term of the lease. The lease is renewed each year on the anniversary date. Approximately 60 days before the end of the lease, you will receive a letter from the Housing Authority indicating the lease is about to expire. At that time, you may increase the rent by submitting the request in writing. If you no longer wish to rent to the tenant, you must notify the tenant in writing at least 30 days prior to the end of the lease.
How does the property owner receive the full rent payment?
The Housing Authority calculates how much the tenant will pay toward rent based on their monthly income. The Housing Authority pays the difference between the tenant’s portion and the rent the owner is charging. The landlord will receive two rent payments each month—one from the tenant, and one from the Housing Authority. The Authority mails checks between the first and fifth day of each month.
Note: For the Rapid Re-Housing and West Shore SHP programs, the Housing Authority pays the full amount of the rent directly to the landlord. The tenant pays their portion to the Housing Authority.
What kind of housing is eligible?
Any type of rental housing is eligible—from single-family dwelling to high-rise apartment.
Is there a limit on the amount of rent I can charge a tenant?
Yes. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) “fair market rents” and “rent reasonable rates” are used to assure that an equitable rent is paid for units participating in rental assistance programs. These rates are set by HUD each year and cannot be changed by the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority determines the gross rent of each unit (contract rent plus tenant-paid utilities). Gross rent cannot exceed fair market rent or reasonable rent. The Housing Authority must make this determination before the unit can be inspected.
How do I become an approved landlord?
Any property can be approved for rental assistance, however, it cannot be approved until a tenant wants to live in it. Property owners who advertise units as “HUD approved” may have had a rental-assistance tenant in that unit previously, but it would still need to be inspected and approved by the Housing Authority with each new tenant.