Housing Choice Voucher Program Eligibility

Housing Choice Voucher Program Eligibility

Eligibility for the Housing Choice Voucher Program is detailed in THA's Administrative Plan [PDF].

Areas that state “THA Policy” are items that THA has added to be included in the policy. These policy statements are different than traditional housing policies.

The eligibility criteria for the Housing Choice Voucher Program from the Administrative Plan is summarized below. Click on any of these links below to take you to the section you would like to view:

Please Note: The following information does not encompass all of the criteria for eligibility for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. All details of the HCV Program can be found in Chapter 3 of THA’s Administrative Plan [PDF].

Income Eligibility

THA’s Moving to Work policy flexibility allows the agency to target 75 percent of low-income families to be admitted during a fiscal year. This differs with the standard policy of 75 percent extremely low families.

Income Limits

HUD is required by law to set income limits that determine the eligibility of applicants for HUD’s assisted housing programs, including the HCV Program. The income limits are published annually and are based on HUD estimates of median family income in a particular area or county, with adjustments for family size.

Types of Low-Income Families

  • Low-income family: A family whose annual income does not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area, adjusted for family size.
  • Very low-income family: A family whose annual income does not exceed 50 percent of the median income for the area, adjusted for family size.
  • Extremely low-income family: A family whose annual income does not exceed 30 percent of the median income for the area, adjusted for family size.

HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 30, 50, or 80 percent of the median income for an area if HUD finds that such variations are necessary because of unusually high or low family incomes.

Using Income Limits for Targeting

At least 75 percent of the families admitted to the PHA's program during a PHA fiscal year must be extremely low-income families. HUD may approve exceptions to this requirement if the PHA demonstrates that it has made all required efforts, but has been unable to attract an adequate number of qualified extremely low-income families.

Families continuously assisted under the 1937 Housing Act and families living in eligible low-income housing that are displaced as a result of prepayment of a mortgage or voluntary termination of a mortgage insurance contract are not subject to the 75 percent restriction.

THA Policy

THA will ensure that at least 75 percent of the families admitted to the PHA’s programs during the fiscal year will be very low-income families (50% AMI).

CITIZENSHIP OF ELIGIBLE IMMIGRATION STATUS

Citizenship of Eligible Immigration Status

At least one family member must be a citizen, national, or noncitizen with eligible immigration status in order for the family to qualify for any level of assistance.

All applicant families must be notified of the requirement to submit evidence of their citizenship status when they apply. Where feasible, and in accordance with the PHA’s Limited English Proficiency Plan, the notice must be in a language that is understood by the individual if the individual is not proficient in English.

Declaration

HUD requires each family member to declare whether the individual is a citizen, a national, or an eligible noncitizen, except those members who elect not to contend that they have eligible immigration status. Those who elect not to contend their status are considered to be ineligible noncitizens. For citizens, nationals and eligible noncitizens the declaration must be signed personally by the head, spouse, co-head, and any other family member 18 or older, and by a parent or guardian for minors. The family must identify in writing any family members who elect not to contend their immigration status (see Ineligible Noncitizens below). No declaration is required for live-in aides, foster children, or foster adults.

U.S. Citizens and Nationals

In general, citizens and nationals are required to submit only a signed declaration that claims their status. However, HUD regulations permit the PHA to request additional documentation of their status, such as a passport.

THA Policy

Family members who declare citizenship or national status will not be required to provide additional documentation unless the PHA receives information indicating that an individual’s declaration may not be accurate.

*Please Note: THA will never use the information collected to report a family (or its members), of any possible unlawful presence in the U.S.  to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Eligible Noncitizens: In addition to providing a signed declaration, those declaring eligible noncitizen status must sign a verification consent form and cooperate with PHA efforts to verify their immigration status. The documentation required for establishing eligible noncitizen status varies depending upon factors such as the date the person entered the U.S., the conditions under which eligible immigration status has been granted, the person’s age, and the date on which the family began receiving HUD-funded assistance.

Lawful residents of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau, together known as the Freely Associated States, or FAS, are eligible for housing assistance under section 141 of the Compacts of Free Association between the U.S. Government and the Governments of the FAS [Public Law 106-504].

Ineligible Noncitizens: Those noncitizens who do not wish to contend their immigration status are required to have their names listed on a non-contending family members listing, signed by the head, spouse, or co-head (regardless of citizenship status), indicating their ineligible immigration status. The PHA is not required to verify a family member’s ineligible status and is not required to report an individual’s unlawful presence in the U.S. to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Providing housing assistance to noncitizen students is prohibited. This prohibition extends to the noncitizen spouse of a noncitizen student as well as to minor children who accompany or follow to join the noncitizen student. Such prohibition does not extend to the citizen spouse of a noncitizen student or to the children of the citizen spouse and noncitizen student. Such a family is eligible for prorated assistance as a mixed family.

Mixed Families: A family is eligible for assistance as long as at least one member is a citizen, national, or eligible noncitizen. Families that include eligible and ineligible individuals are considered mixed families. Such families will be given notice that their assistance will be prorated, and that they may request a hearing if they contest this determination. See Chapter 6 for a discussion of how rents are prorated, and Chapter 16 for a discussion of informal hearing procedures.

Ineligible Families

A PHA may elect to provide assistance to a family before the verification of the eligibility of the individual or one family member. Otherwise, no individual or family may be assisted prior to the affirmative establishment by the PHA that the individual or at least one family member is eligible. Verification of eligibility for this purpose occurs when the individual or family members have submitted documentation to the PHA in accordance with program requirements.

THA Policy

The PHA will not provide assistance to a family before the verification of at least one family member.

When a PHA determines that an applicant family does not include any citizens, nationals, or eligible noncitizens, following the verification process, the family will be sent a written notice within 10 business days of the determination.

The notice will explain the reasons for the denial of assistance, that the family may be eligible for proration of assistance, and will advise the family of its right to request an appeal to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or to request an informal hearing with the PHA. The informal hearing with the PHA may be requested in lieu of the USCIS appeal, or at the conclusion of the USCIS appeal process. The notice must also inform the applicant family that assistance may not be delayed until the conclusion of the USCIS appeal process, but that it may be delayed pending the completion of the informal hearing process.

Timeframe for Determination of Citizenship Status

For new occupants joining the assisted family, the PHA must verify status at the first interim or regular reexamination following the person’s occupancy, whichever comes first.

If an individual qualifies for a time extension for the submission of required documents, the PHA must grant such an extension for no more than 30 days.

Each family member is required to submit evidence of eligible status only one time during continuous occupancy.

THA Policy

The PHA will verify the status of applicants at the time other eligibility factors are determined.

Social Security Numbers

The applicant and all members of the applicant’s household age 6 or older the family must provide documentation of a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or a certification stating that no SSN has been issued. If a household member who is required to execute a certification is less than 18 years old, the certification must be executed by the individual’s parent or guardian. Assistance cannot be provided to a family until all SSN documentation requirements are met. If a household currently does not meet all SSN documentation requirements, please contact THA and we may be able to assist.

If a new member who is at least six years of age is added to the family, the new member’s SSN documentation must be submitted at the household’s next interim or regular reexamination, whichever comes first. If any member of the household who is at least six years of age obtains a previously undisclosed SSN, or has been assigned a new SSN, the documentation must be submitted at the family’s next regularly scheduled reexamination.

The PHA must deny assistance to an applicant family if they do not meet the SSN disclosure, documentation and verification, and certification requirements.

FAMILY CONSENT TO RELEASE OF INFORMATION

HUD requires each adult family member, and the head of household, spouse, or co-head, regardless of age, to sign form HUD-9886, Authorization for the Release of Information/Privacy Act Notice, and other consent forms as needed to collect information relevant to the family’s eligibility and level of assistance. The PHA must deny admission to the program if any member of the applicant family fails to sign and submit the consent forms for obtaining information.

 

STUDENTS ENROLLED IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

If a student enrolled at an institution of higher education is under the age of 24, is not a veteran, is not married, does not have a dependent child, and is not a person with disabilities receiving HCV assistance as of November 30, 2005, the student’s eligibility must be examined along with the income eligibility of the student’s parents. In these cases, both the student and the student’s parents must be income eligible for the student to receive HCV assistance. If, however, a student in these circumstances is determined independent from his/her parents in accordance with PHA policy, the income of the student’s parents will not be considered in determining the student’s eligibility.

The new law does not apply to students who reside with parents who are applying to receive HCV assistance. It is limited to students who are seeking assistance on their own, separately from their parents.

Dependent Child: a dependent child of a student enrolled in an institution of higher education. The dependent child must also meet the definition of dependent, which states that the dependent must be a member of the assisted family, other than the head of household or spouse, who is under 18 years of age, or is a person with a disability, or is a full-time student. Foster children and foster adults are not considered dependents.

THA Policy

Independent Student: A student “independent” from his or her parents and the parents’ income will not be considered when determining the student’s eligibility if all of the following four criteria are met:

  1. The individual is of legal contract age under state law.
  2. The individual has established a household separate from his/her parents for at least one year prior to application for occupancy or the individual meets the U.S. Department of Education’s definition of independent student.
  3. The individual was not claimed as a dependent by his/her parents pursuant to IRS regulations, as demonstrated on the parents’ most recent tax forms.
  4. The individual provides a certification of the amount of financial assistance that will be provided by his/her parents. This certification must be signed by the individual providing the support and must be submitted even if no assistance is being provided.

To be considered an independent student according to the Department of Education, a student must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Be at least 24 years old by December 31 of the award year for which aid is sought
  • Be an orphan or a ward of the court through the age of 18
  • Be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Have one or more legal dependents other than a spouse (for example, dependent children or an elderly dependent parent)
  • Be a graduate or professional student
  • Be married

 

Institution of Higher Education: The PHA will use the statutory definition under Section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to determine whether a student is attending an institution of higher education.

Person with Disabilities: The PHA will use the statutory definition under Section 3(b)(3)(E) of the 1937 Act to determine whether a student is a person with disabilities.

THA Policy

Parents: For purposes of student eligibility restrictions, the definition of parents includes biological or adoptive parents, stepparents (as long as they are currently married to the biological or adoptive parent), and guardians (e.g., grandparents, aunt/uncle, godparents, etc).

Veteran: A veteran is a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released from such service under conditions other than dishonorable.

Determining Student Eligibility

If a student is applying for assistance on his/her own, apart from his/her parents, the PHA must determine whether the student is subject to the eligibility restrictions. If the student is subject to those restrictions, the PHA must ensure that: (1) the student is individually eligible for the program, (2) either the student is independent from his/her parents or the student’s parents are income eligible for the program, and (3) the “family” with which the student is applying is collectively eligible for the program.

THA Policy

For any student who is subject to the eligibility restrictions, the PHA will:

  • Follow its usual policies in determining whether the student individually and the student’s “family” collectively are eligible for the program
  • Determine whether the student is independent from his/her parents in accordance with the definition of independent student in this section
  • Follow the policies below, if applicable, in determining whether the student’s parents are income eligible for the program

If the PHA determines that the student, the student’s parents (if applicable), or the student’s “family” is not eligible, the PHA will send a notice of denial,and the applicant family will have the right to request an informal review.

Determining Parental Income Eligibility

THA Policy

For any student who is subjected to the eligibility restrictions and who does not satisfy the definition of independent student in this section, the PHA will determine the income eligibility of the student’s parents as follows:

  • If the student’s parents are married and living together, the PHA will obtain a joint income declaration and certification of joint income from the parents.
  • If the student’s parent is widowed or single, the PHA will obtain an income declaration and certification of income from that parent.
  • If the student’s parents are divorced or separated, the PHA will obtain an income declaration and certification of income from each parent.
  • If the student has been living with one of his/her parents and has not had contact with or does not know where to contact his/her other parent, the PHA will require the student to submit a certification under penalty of perjury describing the circumstances and stating that the student does not receive financial assistance from the other parent. The PHA will then obtain an income declaration and certification of income from the parent with whom the student has been living or had contact.

In determining the income eligibility of the student’s parents, the PHA will use the income limits for the jurisdiction in which the parents live.

DENIAL OF ASSISTANCE

OVERVIEW

A family that does not meet the eligibility criteria, must be denied assistance.

In addition, HUD requires or permits the PHA to deny assistance based on certain types of current or past behaviors of family members.

Forms of Denial

Denial of assistance includes any of the following:

  • Not placing the family's name on the waiting list
  • Denying or withdrawing a voucher
  • Not approving a request for tenancy or refusing to enter into a HAP contract
  • Refusing to process a request for or to provide assistance under portability procedures

Prohibited Reasons for Denial of Program Assistance

HUD rules prohibit denial of program assistance to the program based on any of the following criteria:

  • Age, disability, race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • Where a family lives prior to admission to the program
  • Where the family will live with assistance under the program. Although eligibility is not affected by where the family will live, there may be restrictions on the family's ability to move outside the PHA's jurisdiction under portability.
  • Whether members of the family are unwed parents, recipients of public assistance, or children born out of wedlock
  • Whether the family includes children
  • Whether a family decides to participate in a family self-sufficiency program
  • Whether or not a qualified applicant has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking if the applicant is otherwise qualified for assistance.

 

MANDATORY DENIAL OF ASSISTANCE

HUD requires the PHA to deny assistance in the following cases:

  1. Any member of the household has been evicted from federally-assisted housing in the last 3 years for drug-related criminal activity. HUD permits, but does not require, the PHA to admit an otherwise-eligible family if the household member has completed a PHA-approved drug rehabilitation program or the circumstances which led to eviction no longer exist (e.g., the person involved in the criminal activity no longer lives in the household).

THA Policy

The PHA will admit an otherwise-eligible family who was evicted from federally-assisted housing within the past 5 years for drug-related criminal activity, if the PHA is able to verify that the household member who engaged in the criminal activity has completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program approved by the PHA, or the person who was involved in the drug-related criminal activity, is no longer living in the household and that person can provide proof of another residence.

  1. The PHA determines that any household member is currently engaged in the use of illegal drugs.

THA Policy

“Currently engaged in” is defined as any use of illegal drugs during the previous twelve months.

*Please NoteMarijuana is a federally controlled substance and THA prohibits admission to its housing programs for any household with a member who the THA determines is illegally using a controlled substance. THA has the option to deny assistance or terminate specific marijuana users rather than the entire household for both applicant and existing tenants when appropriate. THA has discretion to determine, on a case-by-case basis, the appropriateness of program termination of existing residents for the use of medical marijuana.

3.   The PHA has reasonable cause to believe that any household member's current use or pattern of use of illegal drugs, or current abuse or pattern of abuse of alcohol, may threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

THA Policy

In determining reasonable cause, the PHA will consider all credible evidence, including but not limited to, any record of convictions, arrests, or evictions of household members related to the use of illegal drugs or the abuse of alcohol. A conviction will be given more weight than an arrest. The PHA will also consider evidence from treatment providers or community-based organizations providing services to household members.

  1. Any household member has ever been convicted of drug-related criminal activity for the production or manufacture of methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing.

THA Policy

THA will deny assistance to any household that has ever been convicted of drug-related activity for the production or manufacture of methamphetamine.

THA will deny assistance to any household that has a household member who is subject to a registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program THA will use a national registry to check for sex-offender status.

*Please Note: The HUD VASH program requirements may differ, in those cases THA will follow such program requirements.

OTHER PERMITTED REASONS FOR DENIAL OF ASSISTANCE

HUD permits, but does not require, the PHA to deny assistance for the reasons discussed in this section.

Criminal Activity

HUD permits, but does not require, the PHA to deny assistance if the PHA determines that any household member is currently engaged in, or has engaged in during a reasonable time before the family would receive assistance, certain types of criminal activity.

THA Policy

If any household member is currently engaged in, or has engaged in any of the following criminal activities, within the past five years, the family will be denied assistance.

Drug-related criminal activity: The illegal manufacture, sale, distribution, or use of a drug, or the possession of a drug with intent to manufacture, sell, distribute or use the drug [24 CFR 5.100].

Violent criminal activity: Any criminal activity that has as one of its elements the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force substantial enough to cause, or be reasonably likely to cause, serious bodily injury or property damage.

Criminal activity that may threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents or persons residing in the immediate vicinity; or

Criminal activity that may threaten the health or safety of property owners and management staff, and persons performing contract administration functions or other responsibilities on behalf of the PHA (including a PHA employee or a PHA contractor, subcontractor, or agent).

“Immediate vicinity” means within a three-block radius of the premises.

Evidence of such criminal activity includes, but is not limited to:

  • Any conviction for drug-related or violent criminal activity within the past 5 years.
  • Any arrests for drug-related or violent criminal activity within the past 5 years.
  • Any record of eviction from public or privately-owned housing as a result of criminal activity within the past 5 years.
  • A conviction for drug-related or violent criminal activity will be given more weight than an arrest for such activity.

THA reserves the right to deny assistance to households who have committed serious crimes more than 5 year ago. Examples of serious crimes include but are not limited to: homicide, pattern of criminal activity, felony assault, arson, or any other crimes that could threaten the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of other persons in the immediate vicinity. 

In making its decision to deny assistance, the PHA will consider the factors discussed in Section 3-III.E. Upon consideration of such factors, the PHA may, on a case-by-case basis, decide not to deny assistance.

Previous Behavior in Assisted Housing

HUD authorizes the PHA to deny assistance based on the family’s previous behavior in assisted housing:

THA Policy

The PHA will not deny assistance to an otherwise eligible family because the family previously failed to meet its obligations under the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program.

The PHA will deny assistance to an applicant family if:

  • The family does not provide information that the PHA or HUD determines is necessary in the administration of the program.
  • The family does not provide complete and true information to the PHA.
  • Any family member has been evicted from federally-assisted housing in the last five years.
  • Any PHA has ever terminated assistance under the program for any member of the family.
  • Any family member has committed fraud, bribery, or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with any federal housing program.
  • The family owes rent or other amounts to any PHA in connection with the HCV, Certificate, Moderate Rehabilitation or public housing programs, unless the family repays the full amount of the debt prior to being selected from the waiting list.
  • If the family has not reimbursed any PHA for amounts the PHA paid to an owner under a HAP contract for rent, damages to the unit, or other amounts owed by the family under the lease, unless the family repays the full amount of the debt prior to being selected from the waiting list.
  • The family has breached the terms of a repayment agreement entered into with the PHA, unless the family repays the full amount of the debt covered in the repayment agreement prior to being selected from the waiting list.
  • A family member has engaged in or threatened violent or abusive behavior toward PHA personnel or anyone acting on behalf of the housing authority.
    • “Abusive or violent behavior” includes verbal as well as physical abuse or violence. Use of racial epithets, or other language, written or oral, that is customarily used to intimidate may be considered abusive or violent behavior.
    • “Threatening” refers to oral or written threats or physical gestures that communicate intent to abuse or commit violence.

In making its decision to deny assistance, the PHA will consider the factors discussed in Section 3-III.E. Upon consideration of such factors, the PHA may, on a case-by-case basis, decide not to deny assistance.

SCREENING

Screening for Eligibility

PHAs are authorized to obtain criminal conviction records from law enforcement agencies to screen applicants for admission to the HCV program. This authority assists the PHA in complying with HUD requirements and PHA policies to deny assistance to applicants who are engaging in or have engaged in certain criminal activities. In order to obtain access to the records the PHA must require every applicant family to submit a consent form signed by each adult household member.

THA Policy

The PHA will perform a criminal background check through local law enforcement for every household member over the age of 16.

If the results of the criminal background check indicate that there may be past criminal activity, but the results are inconclusive, the PHA will request information from an external screening company.

PHAs are required to perform criminal background checks necessary to determine whether any household member is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender program in the state where the housing is located, as well as in any other state where a household member is known to have resided.

If the PHA proposes to deny assistance based on a criminal record or on sex offender registration information, the PHA must notify the household of the proposed action and must provide the subject of the record and the applicant a copy of the record and an opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of the information prior to a denial of admission.

Screening for Suitability as a Tenant

The PHA has no liability or responsibility to the owner for the family’s behavior or suitability for tenancy. The PHA may opt to conduct additional screening to determine whether an applicant is likely to be a suitable tenant.

THA Policy

The PHA will not conduct additional screening to determine an applicant family’s suitability for tenancy.

The owner is responsible for screening and selection of the family to occupy the owner’s unit. The PHA must inform the owner that screening and selection for tenancy is the responsibility of the owner. An owner may consider a family’s history with respect to factors such as: payment of rent and utilities, caring for a unit and premises, respecting the rights of other residents to the peaceful enjoyment of their housing, criminal activity that is a threat to the health, safety or property of others, and compliance with other essential conditions of tenancy.

HUD requires the PHA to provide prospective owners with the family's current and prior address (as shown in PHA records) and the name and address (if known) of the owner at the family's current and prior addresses. HUD permits the PHA to provide owners with additional information, as long as families are notified that the information will be provided, and the same type of information is provided to all owners.

The PHA may not disclose to the owner any confidential information provided in response to a PHA request for documentation of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking except at the written request or with the written consent of the individual providing the documentation.

THA Policy

The PHA will inform owners of their responsibility to screen prospective tenants, and will provide owners with the required known name and address information, at the time of the initial HQS inspection or before. The PHA will not provide any additional information to the owner, such as tenancy history, criminal history, etc.

CRITERIA FOR DECIDING TO DENY ASSISTANCE

THA Policy

The PHA will use the concept of the preponderance of the evidence as the standard for making all admission decisions.

Preponderance of the evidence: Evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it; that is, evidence which as a whole shows that the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not. Preponderance of the evidence may not be determined by the number of witnesses, but by the greater weight of all evidence.

Consideration of Circumstances

HUD authorizes the PHA to consider all relevant circumstances when deciding whether to deny assistance based on a family’s past history except in the situations for which denial of assistance is mandated.

THA Policy

The PHA will consider the following factors prior to making its decision:

  • The seriousness of the case, especially with respect to how it would affect other residents
  • The effects that denial of assistance may have on other members of the family who were not involved in the action or failure
  • The extent of participation or culpability of individual family members, including whether the culpable family member is a minor or a person with disabilities, or (as discussed further in section 3-III.G) a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking
  • The length of time since the violation occurred, the family’s recent history and the likelihood of favorable conduct in the future
  • In the case of drug or alcohol abuse, whether the culpable household member is participating in or has successfully completed a supervised drug or alcohol rehabilitation program or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully
    • The PHA will require the applicant to submit evidence of the household member’s current participation in or successful completion of a supervised drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, or evidence of otherwise having been rehabilitated successfully.

Removal of a Family Member's Name from the Application

HUD permits PHAs to impose as a condition of admission, a requirement that family members who participated in or were culpable for an action or failure to act which results in the denial of assistance, to not reside in the unit.

THA Policy

As a condition of receiving assistance, a family may agree to remove the culpable family member from the application. In such instances, the head of household must certify that the family member will not be permitted to visit or to stay as a guest in the assisted unit.

After admission to the program, the family must present evidence of the former family member’s current address upon PHA request.

Reasonable Accommodation

If the family includes a person with disabilities, the PHA’s decision concerning denial of admission is subject to consideration of reasonable accommodation.

THA Policy

If the family indicates that the behavior of a family member with a disability is the reason for the proposed denial of assistance, the PHA will determine whether the behavior is related to the disability. If so, upon the family’s request, the PHA will determine whether alternative measures are appropriate as a reasonable accommodation. The PHA will only consider accommodations that can reasonably be expected to address the behavior that is the basis of the proposed denial of assistance.

NOTICE OF ELIGIBILITY OR DENIAL

If the family is eligible for assistance, the PHA will notify the family when it extends the invitation to attend the voucher briefing appointment, as discussed in Chapter 5.

If the PHA determines that a family is not eligible for the program for any reason, the family must be notified promptly. The notice must describe: (1) the reasons for which assistance has been denied, (2) the family’s right to an informal review, and (3) the process for obtaining the informal review [24 CFR 982.554 (a)]. See Chapter 16, for informal review policies and procedures.

THA Policy

The family will be notified of a decision to deny assistance in writing within 10 business days of the determination.

Criminal and Sex Offender Registration

If a PHA uses a criminal record or sex offender registration information, as the basis of a denial, a copy of the record must precede the notice to deny, with an opportunity for the applicant to dispute the accuracy and relevance of the information before the PHA can move to deny the application. In addition, a copy of the record must be provided to the subject of the record. The PHA must give the family an opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of that record, in the informal review process in accordance with program requirements.

THA Policy

If based on a criminal record or sex offender registration information, an applicant family appears to be ineligible the PHA will notify the family in writing of the proposed denial and provide a copy of the record to the applicant and to the subject of the record. The family will be given 10 business days to dispute the accuracy and relevance of the information. If the family does not contact the PHA to dispute the information within that 10-day period, the PHA will proceed with issuing the notice of denial of admission. A family that does not exercise their right to dispute the accuracy of the information prior to issuance of the official denial letter will still be given the opportunity to do so as part of the informal review process.

PROHIBITION AGAINST DENIAL OF ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE, AND STALKING

The Violence against Women Act of 2005 (VAWA)  and the HUD regulation at 24 CFR 5.2005(b) prohibit PHAs from denying an applicant admission to the HCV program on the basis that the applicant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking if the applicant otherwise qualifies for assistance or admission.

Definitions of key terms used in VAWA are provided in section 16 IX of this plan, where general VAWA requirements and policies pertaining to notification, documentation, and confidently are also located.

Notification

THA Policy

The PHA acknowledges that a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking may have an unfavorable history (e.g., a poor credit history, a record of previous damage to an apartment, a prior arrest record) that would warrant denial under the PHA’s policies. Therefore, if the PHA makes a determination to deny assistance to an applicant family, the PHA will include in its notice of denial the VAWA information described in section 16 IX. C of this plan and will request that an applicant wishing to claim protection under VAWA notify the PHA within 10 business days.

Documentation/Victim Documentation

THA Policy

If an applicant claims the protection against denial of assistance that VAWA provides to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, the PHA will request in writing that the applicant provide documentation supporting the claim.