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Updates to HCV Program Operations during COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Updates to HCV Program Operations during COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

PAYMENTS

I am a property owner and should have received a Housing Assistance Payment on the first of the month. However, I don’t see the payment in my account. When will I receive payment? Unless the unit is in abatement or the HAP Contract has been terminated, HCV property owners should continue to receive Housing Assistance Payments timely. Note: Property owners can see the status of their properties as well as HAP statements on the Landlord Portal at www.cchra.com.

I am a participant and should have received a Utility Reimbursement Payment on the 1st of the month. However, I don’t see the payment in my account. When will I receive payment? Utility Reimbursement Payments are being processed and released as usual.

I saw that some Housing Authorities have postponed rent collection for Public Housing residents. As a HCV participant, am I still required to pay my rent portion? Yes, participants should continue to pay their rent portion to the property owner. While some property owners may choose to postpone rent collection from their tenants, CUMBERLAND COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY cannot compel HCV property owners to postpone rent collection. If you cannot afford to pay your rent portion due to a decrease in income, you should report the change to your Housing Representative immediately in writing.

I am a participant, and I cannot afford to pay my rent portion. Can CUMBERLAND COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY help me? If you cannot afford to pay your rent portion due to a decrease in income, you should report the change to your Housing Representative in writing immediately. You may also call 211 for resources.

I saw that the CARES Act established a 120-day moratorium on evictions for “covered property”. Is my unit on the HCV Program considered a “covered property”? Yes, units rented through the Housing Choice Voucher Program are considered “covered property”. Section 4024.b of the CARES Act states: “During the 120-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the lessor of a covered dwelling may not— (1) make, or cause to be made, any filing with the court of jurisdiction to initiate a legal action to recover possession of the covered dwelling from the tenant for nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges; or (2) charge fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent.” If you have questions about how this federal moratorium impacts your specific circumstance, CUMBERLAND COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY recommends that you seek legal counsel.

REPORTING AND REQUESTING CHANGES

I need to report a change in my income. How can I do that? To report a change in your income, you must submit the change in writing to your Housing Representative via mail, email, fax and provide supporting documents, such as check stubs or a letter from your employer. If you are not providing supporting documentation, you will receive verification forms in the mail from your Housing Representative for verification.

I received a stimulus payment from the IRS. Do I need to report that money as income? No, you do not need to report your stimulus payment from the IRS as income.

APPOINTMENTS

How does my Re-Examination work? How will I be recertified? All Annual Reexaminations are continuing as usual. All Annual Reexaminations are completed by mail. If you need to get something to your caseworker you can email, fax, mail or place it in the drop box at the office.

I was scheduled for a certification briefing, but it was cancelled. How will I receive my voucher? At this time, all in person certification briefing classes are cancelled. However, we have recorded a certification briefing and posted it on our website for consumers to view when they receive their certification briefing packet via mail. This way, individuals can still be informed of important information and policies and still receive their voucher.

INSPECTIONS

There is an issue with the unit. How can I request an Inspection? CUMBERLAND COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY is not currently scheduling Complaint Inspections for items that are not considered life threatening, emergency hazards. You can view a list of hazards that CHA considers emergencies in the HQS Inspections portion of the Administrative Plan posted on the website. To request an Inspection, please contact your landlord first to have a discussion regarding the issue you are having. CUMBERLAND COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY encourages property owners and participants to communicate with each other to resolve unit health and safety concerns and document all requests. If the issue cannot be resolved between you and your landlord then please contact your Housing Representative or Inspector. The Housing Representative and Inspector may request proof or pictures of your complaint.

I submitted a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) packet for a move. When will the inspection be scheduled? CUMBERLAND COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY is continuing to schedule Initial Inspections and Initial Re-Inspections for unoccupied units. The Inspections Department will contact the property owner to schedule the inspection. If the unit is currently occupied, the Inspections Department will schedule the Initial Inspection with the tenant or landlord and complete a phone inspection and request photos of the unit. Once it is safe to do so a physical inspection will be completed.

The unit was scheduled for a Regular (annual) Inspection, but it was cancelled. When will it be rescheduled? CUMBERLAND COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY will reschedule all outstanding Regular Inspections (annual) once the Pennsylvania Shelter in Place Order has been lifted and it is safe to do so. At that time, both the property owner and participant will receive notice of their new inspection date.

How are inspections being handled? The inspections department is not completing any physical inspections at this time, unless it is an unoccupied unit. All occupied units are having a remote virtual inspection. You will receive a phone call from the inspector to go over important safety questions. The inspector may ask you for pictures of your unit and to test smoke detectors. If the unit fails the remote virtual inspection, the inspector will contact the landlord to make repairs. The inspector will then contact you or the landlord to remotely self-certify completed repairs. All inspections that are taking place in this manner will then be scheduled for a physical inspection when the Pennsylvania Shelter in Place Order is lifted and it is safe to do so.