Landlords Role in the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Rental Assistance Program
HUD Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Rental Assistance Program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income individuals, families, the elderly, and the disabled to rent decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.
This program is financed through federal funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is available to anyone living in or wishing to live in Dodge County, Wisconsin that meets the program requirements.
The Voucher provides subsidy paid directly to the landlord and allows the household to choose any housing in the private market including duplexes, mobile homes, apartments, townhouses and single family homes as long as the property meets the housing quality standards. Households must not exceed the designated income limits to be eligible for the program.
Applicants complete a preliminary application to be placed on the waiting list. Applications are processed on a first come, first serve basis by the date the application is received in our office.
The household will be issued a voucher when their name has reached the top of the waiting list. The voucher is a form issued from our office to verify that the household is actively looking for housing.
For more information regarding the Voucher Program and how it works, please visit for list of commonly asked questions and answers.
What do I do when a voucher holder contacts me?
Landlord screens tenants – You must screen the prospective tenant carefully to insure you are making a good selection. We only certify that the household is income eligible for the program. You should use the same screening methods that you use for all your prospective tenants. Please see above attachment that explains how the process works.
Paperwork – After the unit passes inspection and the rent has been approved, the landlord and tenant enter into a lease for an initial term of one year. The Housing Authority and the landlord will execute a Housing Assistance Payment Contract. A sample of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP Contract) is available from our office.
If at any time you have a question, do not hesitate to contact the Dodge County Housing Authority at (920) 386-2866 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Assistance is calculated
Total income including gross wages, child support received, unemployment compensation, Social Security, SSI, SSD, etc. is calculated for all household members.
Deductions from gross income include an annual dependant deduction per child and child care expenses the household pays while working or attending school. For senior citizen, handicapped and disabled households there is an annual deduction in addition to the deduction of allowable medical expenses.
Program participants pay 30% of the household’s adjusted income (+ 100% of the amount over the payment standard).
The payment standard is the amount that HUD designates for rent and utilities for a unit based on bedroom size. It is important to note that the payment standard used for the household will be based on the household composition AND the actual number of bedrooms in the unit. The payment standards in Dodge County are:
These limits include rent and tenant paid utilities. If the rent does not include utilities, tenant-paid utilities are calculated based on a schedule of monthly averages for Dodge County. Using this schedule we calculate the utility allowance for the unit.
The rent plus the utility allowance is the Gross Rent for the unit. If the gross rent exceeds the payment standard, the program participant pays 30% of the household’s adjusted monthly income plus 100% of the amount over the payment standard. For example,
- If the gross rent (rent plus utility allowance) is at or below the payment standard, the tenant pays 30% of the household’s adjusted monthly income toward the gross rent.
- If the gross rent (rent plus utility allowance) is $25.00 more than the payment standard, the pays 30% of the household’s adjusted monthly income + $25.00 toward the gross rent.
The tenant cannot pay more than 40% of the household’s adjusted monthly income or the unit will not qualify for the program.
We pay the landlord the difference between 30% of the household’s adjusted monthly income and the payment standard. This amount is paid directly to the landlord.
Since each participant’s share is the result of a unique calculation, it is impossible to quote a rental amount without applying required personal information to the formula.
HQS (Housing Quality Standards) Inspections
When a property comes onto the HUD program an initial inspection is performed to determine whether the housing unit is decent, safe and sanitary according to Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
The unit will then be inspected annually in order for the family to continue to receive assistance.
For a more specific list and questions regarding HQS Inspections please visit our Common questions and answers for Landlords regarding the Housing Voucher Program (Section 8)
Landlords Tenant Issues
The Dodge County Housing Authority often receives phone calls regarding issues between landlords and tenants. To avoid problems, it is important that you know what these rights and responsibilities are.
The Dodge County Housing Authority cannot give advice regarding these issues. A lease is a legal and binding document between the landlord and tenant. If you have a legal question, you need to contact and attorney.
If you are looking for basic information, we recommend you contact the Department of Consumer Protection. You may also reference the following link that may be helpful and outlines topic subjects such as: Things you should know before renting, responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant, terminating a tenancy, eviction, tenant rights. https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Publications/LandlordTenantGuide.aspx
There are many misconceptions when it comes to the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. It is important for you to have accurate information when making decisions and it is worth the time and effort to be an informed landlord or tenant. To see a list of tenant rights please see the following document: https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/LT-TenantsRights143.pdf