Decoding Tampa's Section 8 Program: Navigating the Lease Up Process in 8 Steps

Article by: Ankush Shah

If you’re participating in the Section 8 Program in Tampa, understanding the Lease Up Process is crucial. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown to guide you through the key components;

  1. Initial Documentation for Participants:

    • Housing Choice Voucher (HCV): Highlights qualified bedroom size, voucher expiration, and family obligations.
    • Notice To Family Seeking Housing Form: Provides Total Tenant Payment (TTP), Maximum Rental Burden (MRB), and suggested rent range.
    • Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA): Completed by prospective landlords, expressing their willingness to rent to the tenant.
  2. RTA Details:

    • Address and Unit Information: Complete unit address and number of bedrooms.
    • Contract Details: Specifies requested contract rent and tenant responsible security deposit.
    • Utilities Information: Clarifies fuel type, responsibility for utility payments, and the entity administering utilities.
    • Rent Comparability: Essential for properties with more than four units, comparing rent with other unassisted units.
  3. Rent Eligibility:

    • Request for Tenancy Approval is reviewed to determine tenant eligibility for the requested rent.
    • Landlords may be asked to adjust the rent if the tenant doesn’t qualify.
    • The landlord has the choice to accept or deny the request.
  4. Landlord Liaison Department:

    • Confirms tenant eligibility for requested rent.
    • Checks ownership through the county property appraiser’s site.
    • New landlords are requested to register and create an online application.
  5. Inspections:

    • Request for Tenancy Approval is sent to the Inspections Department.
    • Inspection is scheduled, and the landlord confirms the appointment.
    • Rent Comparability Study ensures the requested rent is reasonable.
  6. Move-in Approval:

    • Approval is granted once inspection and rent comparability are successful.
    • Tenants are advised not to move in before inspection completion.
  7. Lease and Housing Assistance Payment Contract:

    • Housing Specialist requests a copy of the lease and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract.
    • The lease should contain essential details without mentioning the housing authority.
  8. Housing Assistance Payment Contract and Payment:

    • Housing Assistance Payment Contract between THA and the landlord mirrors the lease.
    • Payments are initiated around the 1st and 15th of the month.
    • Clear timeframes are provided for various steps in the process.

This comprehensive process ensures that both landlords and tenants meet their obligations within the Section 8 Program in Tampa. If you have questions or need assistance, reach out to the Tampa Housing Authority for guidance.