Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher FAQ
I want to apply or have applied for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher with the City of Flagstaff Housing Authority, what do I need to know?
Please note this set of questions deals only with the Section 8 Waiting List. While the Section 8 Waiting List is open, you can apply at https://flagaz.myhousing.com/.
If you wish to request a reasonable accommodation due to disability, including modifications, auxiliary aids and services, in regards to applying, please contact us immediately via email at email@example.com; by mail to 3481 N Fanning Dr., Flagstaff, AZ 86004; or by phone at (928) 213-2730. The Section 8 Reasonable Accommodation form is available here. You can also come into our office at 3481 N Fanning Dr. during typical business hours. Written and oral language services will be provided upon request. Please note that the Flagstaff Housing Authority lobby is currently closed to limit the spread of COVID-19.
If you speak a language other than English, use the Google Translate menu for an approximate translation. The Google Translate menu is to the bottom right of your web browser window on a desktop/laptop or scroll to the bottom of this page on a mobile device. Web browsers also support many text-to-speech plug-ins. See the Chrome Web Store, Firefox Browser Add-Ons page, and this how-to Internet Edge or this how-to for Internet Explorer.
Question: How will I know if the Section 8 Waiting List is open? When will it open again?
Answer: The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is closed to new applications. It closed on Thursday, April 9, 2020. It had opened on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 8:00 am. Check this page for updates.
As was posted in local newspapers and on our website, when the Section 8 HCV waiting list reached 1,500 applicants, it was closed. Future openings will also be posted in local newspapers, on our website, and on our voicemail 30 days prior to opening.
Regarding Section 8 Portability: If you are currently receiving Section 8 and wish to port from your existing area to Flagstaff, first speak with your case worker at your current housing authority. Payment standards and contact information can be provided upon request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Flagstaff Housing Authority administers Section 8 for the City of Flagstaff; for a list of Arizona housing authorities, click here. Our Section 8 Portability Specialist is Cherise Barreto-Aguilar, email@example.com.
Q: How will I know if I am on the Waiting List for Section 8 HCV or not?
A: When you finished your online application, you received a confirmation number. If you received a confirmation number, you are on the waiting list. You can use that confirmation to register your account at https://flagaz.myhousing.com/Account/Login. If you have lost your confirmation number, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: If I need help with the Applicant Portal, what can I do?
A: The Applicant Portal includes a user guide that provides an overview on how to use the Applicant Portal; to access this log into the portal and click on the notification “Welcome to My Housing!” If additional assistance is needed, email us at email@example.com or visit the Flagstaff Housing Authority office at 3481 North Fanning Drive during typical business hours. For a schedule of federal holidays observed by the Flagstaff Housing Authority, click here.
Please note that the Flagstaff Housing Authority lobby is currently closed to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Q: I’ve applied for Section 8. What is my status or number on the Waiting List?
A: To find out more about your position on the Waiting List, go to the Applicant Portal at https://flagaz.myhousing.com/Account/Login; this will show you your active lists. Starting in 2020, periodic updates to the Portal will provide more information about your relative position on the list. The update will tell you the application dates for recently housed Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher applicants. Compare your application date with the application date of those who recently received a voucher for an idea of when you might receive your voucher; the difference from their application and yours is a rough estimate of your remaining time on the Waiting List.
Remember: We process those applicants with the residency preference before we process those that do not have it. Keep your file up-to-date to ensure you are processed at an appropriate time.
Q: What is the Waiting List screening process? When will I receive a voucher?
A: When your application is near the top of the list, you will be invited to attend an eligibility interview. You will receive the full application packet. Complete the full application packet, called the "Initial Declaration," and gather the requested documents to bring to your applicant eligibility interview. You’ll receive a voucher once you have been found eligible and a voucher is available. You must attend a Section 8 Briefing prior to receiving the voucher. Vouchers are only available when one is no longer in use by a current voucher-holder.
Q: What do you mean, “Preference”?
A: We give preference to those who live or work in Flagstaff. Your residency preference status on the Waiting List is based on whether your primary residence is in Flagstaff, an adult household member works or is self-employed at least twenty (20) hours a week in Flagstaff, or an adult household member has an offer of work in Flagstaff. If this changes for you it will change your position on the Waiting List. If you are experiencing homelessness, you are encouraged to report that in your application or in an update.
If your situation changes, please update your information through the Portal. Your preference status can change while you’re on the waiting list. In 2020, you will be able to check the Applicant Portal login page to see the latest information on recently housed applicants.
Q: I applied and have not received a letter or a phone call.
A: If you received a confirmation number when you applied, you are on the waiting list. We do not send letters confirming that your name is on the waiting list. If you’ve registered your confirmation number to the Applicant Portal, you can receive email notifications when there are notices posted to your dashboard. Visit the Applicant Portal, https://flagaz.myhousing.com/Account/Login, and check the Dashboard for recent messages. You can also see which list you are on by clicking on "My Waiting List." The Flagstaff Housing Authority does not request or disclose information over the phone.
Q: How do I obtain a Login for the Applicant Portal?
A: Go to the Applicant Portal Registration page at https://flagaz.myhousing.com/Registration, then enter the confirmation number provided when you completed your application. If you did not record your confirmation number, you can receive assistance at the City of Flagstaff Housing Authority office at 3481 North Fanning Drive during normal business hours or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As with all applicant updates, we cannot discuss your information over the phone. This is to protect your personal information.
Q: After I apply, why does it take so long to receive assistance?
A: We have only a limited number of vouchers to offer. We are unable to offer assistance to a new family until one who is currently assisted leaves the program. By responding clearly, completely, and quickly to requests for information, you can help us house your family as promptly as possible.
Be sure to keep your information up-to-date through the Applicant Portal.
Q: How do I change my address or phone number? How do I add another household member? How do I update my income/report a new job?
A: To make changes, go to the Applicant Portal at https://flagaz.myhousing.com/Account/Login. You will need your confirmation number the first time you log in, then be sure to record your login credentials. If you do not have access to a computer, come into our office at 3481 North Fanning Drive and complete the change with our lobby computers. There, our staff can provide additional assistance.
It can take up to three business days or longer to approve changes, especially when our staff our on leave, such as around holidays. You cannot make additional updates until our staff resolve any pending changes.
Q: I don’t have my confirmation number. How can I get it?
A: You can make a request for your confirmation number in person or in writing. That includes posted mail to 3481 North Fanning Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86004, or email to email@example.com. Under no circumstances does the City of Flagstaff Housing Authority disclose file information over the phone.
Q: Why should I update my application?
A: You should update your information so that we can contact you quickly when you near the top of the list and that your preferences are accurate. If you fail to update your email and mailing addresses, you may miss the opportunity to be housed and/or may be removed from the waiting list. At which point you would have to reapply, losing your original application date and time. You are encouraged to verify your file information every six months. You can update your information by logging in to the Applicant Portal: https://flagaz.myhousing.com/Account/Login. If you need access to a computer or additional assistance, come into our office Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. For a schedule of federal holidays observed by the Flagstaff Housing Authority, click here.
Q: If I have a felony will that automatically make me ineligible? What about rental history or other criminal activity?
A: No, felonies do not immediately make applicants ineligible. Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher applicants will be screened for program suitability. We review criminal activity related to drug, disturbance and/or violent activity documented through police reports, Landlord references or convictions. This will include credit, landlord reference, and criminal background checks. (Criminal background checks are requested for all residents 18 years or older as part of pre-interview screening.) Sex offenders under lifetime registration requirements are disqualified under federal law.
Reasons for disqualification include, but are not limited to:
- Drug or alcohol related arrests or evictions,
- Gang related activity,
- Violent crimes,
- Past evictions or poor landlord references,
- Debts owed to previous landlords or Public Housing Authorities,
- Delinquent utility debts, and
- Property tax liens.
Efforts to repay past delinquencies and successful completion of drug or alcohol abuse programs will be taken into account when determining tenant suitability. Lack of credit history is not cause for disqualification. If you are denied admission, you have the right to request a Grievance Hearing. Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you cannot be denied because you were a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. If you are seeking VAWA protection, the request is available here and information concerning your rights is available here (PDF).
Q: How will I know what size of home I can apply for with a Section 8 voucher?
A: Bedroom size is calculated by looking at the age and sex of the family members. Children of the opposite sex will share a room up to age 10. Children of the same sex will share a room up to age 16. Therefore a family of four with one adult parent (first room), two children under age 10 (second room), and one child 16 or over (third bedroom) would qualify for a three bedroom unit. If the family of four included an adult parent (first room), a male child of 11 (second room), a female child of 13 (third room), and a child of 17 (fourth room), they would qualify for a four bedroom unit.
Q: My family includes citizens and/or permanent resident non-citizens. My family also includes non-citizens who are not Permanent Residents. Are we still eligible for Section 8/Low-Income Public Housing?
A: Yes. While HUD regulations prohibit assistance to individual ineligible family members, mixed-eligibility households may receive assistance from either Section 8 or Low-Income Public Housing. However, assistance will be provided on behalf of family members who are eligible. Income from both eligible and ineligible household members are included in calculating household rent responsibility. Both eligible and ineligible household members are included in the household size when determining the appropriate income limit and eligible number of bedrooms.
Concerning Section 8 and §9.6.3 of the Administrative Plan, rental assistance for a mixed-eligibility family is calculated as if all the family members are eligible and then adjusted by the family’s percentage of eligibility. Calculating a family’s subsidy considers factors such as eligible bedroom size (see the question above), the market rate of the rental unit, and the household income of all family members (including ineligible family members). Based on this formula, if the full subsidy that would be paid to the landlord for a completely eligible household were $1,000, the landlord of a family with three eligible members and one ineligible member would receive a subsidy of $750. The household would be responsible for paying both their typical rent responsibility (30% of household income) and this difference to their landlord.
Q: What would my rent be with a voucher?
A: Your rent will be based on your family income. In most cases, you will pay approximately 30% of your adjusted income toward rent. When there is a change in household income, that may change your rent. When you attend a briefing, you will be provided a voucher that identifies the value of your voucher.
Once you are receiving your voucher, it is important to keep your income information updated. If income information is filed late, and that income is greater than our files, you will likely need to arrange a payment agreement with the Flagstaff Housing Authority to reconcile the over-payment of your voucher.
Q: I have been denied. What can I do?
A: If you are denied admission, you have the right to request a Grievance Hearing. Under the Violence Against Women Act, you cannot be denied because you were a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault (click here for form). Grievance Hearing requests are addressed to Tracey French, Section 8 Manager, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Tracey French, Flagstaff Housing Authority, 3481 North Fanning Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86004. You can mark envelopes for VAWA submissions as Confidential if you prefer. For more information on VAWA, click here.
Q: Where are the homes I can rent?
A: The Housing Choice Vouchers maintained by the City of Flagstaff Housing Authority can be used for homes with a physical address of 86001, 86004, 86005, or 86011. Not all landlords accept Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. For our list of complexes with whom we have worked well in the past, click here.
Q: I have been discriminated against in my search for housing. What can I do?
A: The City of Flagstaff is committed to fair housing and you can find more information here. The Federal Fair Housing Act and the State of Arizona prohibit housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, and familial status. For legal assistance, the City of Flagstaff Housing Authority refers households to the non-profit DNA Legal Services and to the Southwest Fair Housing Council.
For more information see U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development: Fair Housing, the National Fair Housing Alliance, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Fair Housing First, Housing Discrimination Page with the Arizona Attorney General, Section 109 of the Housing & Community Development Act of 1974, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Americans with Disabilities Act Title II Regulations, and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization 2013.
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