Participant Information and Forms

Participant Information


Your rental assistance is important. We want those who qualify to have every opportunity to participate in the program. All participants have certain responsibilities to ensure the funds are being properly spent and to make sure that the participant is paying the proper amount of rent that is affordable and correctly calculated. Participants that do not accept their responsibilities will be terminated from the program.

Reasonable Accommodation


We want to ensure equal access and participation of all persons in the assisted housing programs. If you have a disability requiring an accommodation for participation in the program, please let us know. Examples of an accommodation may include:

1.   A change in the way we communicate with you or give you information; or
2.   A person-to-person meeting to help explain program rules; or
3.   An interpreter (sign language for hearing impaired) or;
4.   Large print documents (for visually impaired); or
5.   A change in a rule or policy that will provide an equal opportunity for you or your family to
         participate in our program;
 


Limited English Proficiency


The City of Dubuque has an affirmative responsibility to provide persons who are “limited English proficient” (LEP) equal opportunity for participation in the Section 8 Assisted Housing Program. If any person is not fluent in English, the Housing Authority will provide an interpreter or utilize a translation service at no cost to the LEP person. The Housing Agency will take proactive steps to ensure the LEP person is able to understand the services and benefits available.


Fair Housing


The City of Dubuque will not discriminate against any applicant, participant, or any client because of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin or ancestry, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or familial status; nor will any criteria be applied, nor information be considered, pertaining to attributes or behavior that may be imputed by some to a particular group or category. All criteria applied and information considered in administering this plan shall relate to the attributes and behavior of the individual members of the household. http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/FHLaws/yourrights.cfm

Participant Responsibilities


Family Obligations:

1.   The participant and all family members must report in writing any changes in household members within 30 days of the change occurring. Changes must be accompanied with verification and/or documentation of the change. Household Composition Change form

2.  The family must report all income from all sources for the entire year on their annual reexamination forms.  Remember income for all household members must be reported. Interim Change formEmployer Verification form
    a.  Increase in Income: You are required to report all increases in income in writing within 30 days of the increase.  Your portion of the rent payment will increase if the income increase is more than $200 per month.  Annual cost of living increases for all Social Security Benefits does not need to be reported.
    b.  Decrease in Income: Please report any decreases in income in writing, and provide verification of the decrease (ex: pay stubs) by the 20th of the month in order for it to be effective by the 1st of the next month.  Decreases reported with proper verification between the 20th and end of the month will be processed and retroactively dated for the 1st of the next month.  In this case, you might have to pay your rent share until the following month when the new payment amount is processed, so please work with your landlord.

3.   The family must notify Housing staff in writing if the family is going to be absent from the unit for two weeks or longer. Any absences extending beyond 30 consecutive days must have Housing staff approval in writing prior to the absence. Approval for absences longer than 30 days will be given due to physician-approved medical causes. However, the tenant cannot be absent from the assisted unit for more than 180 consecutive calendar days.

4.   The family must notify Housing staff within 30 days of the birth, adoption, or court-awarded custody of a child.

5.   The family must request written approval from the Landlord before adding any other person into the household and must notify Housing staff in writing if any family member moves from the household or the family is requesting to add any other person into the household. No other person, adult or child, other than those listed on the lease and Housing application shall live/stay in the unit other than on a temporary basis without prior written permission by the Landlord and notification to Housing staff.  Any person who is not on your lease who is expected to stay in your unit for more than 15 days in a row or 30 days total within a 12 month period is not considered a guest and must be added to the household.  Exceptions will be made for non-custodial children but you must contact your caseworker and landlord.

6.   Use of the assisted dwelling unit's address by any person other than those approved by the PHA to live in the assisted housing unit shall be used as evidence that the person is living in the unit as an unauthorized member resulting in the termination of the participant family.

7.   The family must have all utility services including phone and cable that the family is responsible to pay in the family’s own name. The utilities must remain in service at all times.

8.   The family will not allow any family member to engage in drug-related criminal activity or violent criminal activity or other criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of other residents and persons residing in the immediate vicinity of the premises.  
  
9. No family member can be related to the owner or other interested party of the rental unit. You must disclose any relationship between the owner's
family and the tenant’s family.

10. The family is expected to comply with the lease and the program requirements as listed on the Voucher form, pay its share of rent on time, maintain the unit in good condition and notify the PHA of any changes in income or family.

11.  Under no circumstances shall an assisted housing unit be used for places of furlough for anyone that is incarcerated.

12.  The assisted housing unit must be the family's (including all members of the household) only residence.

13.  A family may move only once during any twelve month period.

14.  Any move or unit change during the initial term (first year) of the lease is prohibited.

15.  The family must notify Housing and the landlord in writing before moving to a new unit.

16.  Participation in the Assisted Housing program shall be terminated if a participant or any member of the household has two or more drug-related or violent criminal activity convictions from separate incidents classified as simple misdemeanor or equivalency within a twelve-month period prior to the date the Public Housing Authority provides notice to the family. 

17.  Participation in the Assisted Housing program shall be terminated if a participant or any member of the household has a drug-related or violent criminal activity conviction classified as serious/aggravated misdemeanor or equivalency within a three-year period prior to the date the Public Housing Authority provides notice to the family
 
18.  Participation in the Assisted Housing program shall be terminated if a participant or any member of the household has a drug-related or violent criminal activity conviction classified as a felony or equivalency within a seven-year period prior to the date the Public Housing Authority provides notice to the family

19.  Participation in the Section 8 programs shall be terminated if the applicant or any family member has any criminal activity associated with alcohol abuse that includes evidence that the alcohol abuse interferes or could interfere with the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents while under the influence of alcohol.

20.  Deferred judgments shall constitute a guilty conviction.
      

Portability


An eligible family that has been issued a Housing Choice Voucher may be eligible to move to another area where another housing agency operates the same program. Please refer to your briefing packet or contact your caseworker. Portability Request form

Fraud and Abuse


HUD and the City of Dubuque are seriously concerned about fraud and abuse in the various housing assistance programs. All reports of program abuse are investigated by a City of Dubuque Police Corporal assigned to the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Please complete this form if you become aware of any violation of the program rules by any person. You may furnish your name but your name is not required. Additionally, staff participates in the computer matching income verification program established by HUD to identify any discrepancy in reporting from participants. (Fraud and Abuse Reporting Form) (Fraud...Is it Worth It?)

Family Self-Sufficiency


If you are a Voucher holder on the Rental Assistance program, you may be eligible to participate in the Family Self Sufficiency program. Please contact one of our Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinators for more information.