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/.
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 opened on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 8:00 am.
This opening has been posted in local newspapers, on our website, and on our voicemail 30 days prior to opening. You can apply by going to https://flagaz.myhousing.com. This website will change at 8:00 am Arizona time on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, and not before. Future openings will also be posted in local newspapers, on our website, and on our voicemail 30 days prior to opening.
If you are currently on one of our Low-Income Public Housing waiting list, the process is different. First register at https://flagaz.myhousing.com/Account/Login using your waiting list ID (also called a confirmation number). Please contact us at email@example.com if you need assistance.
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.
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, please 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.
Q: I am already on the Low Income Public Housing Waiting List; how do I apply for Section 8?
A: If you have applied for Low Income Public Housing and wish to apply for Section 8, you are encouraged to first register at the MyHousing Portal and then use the "Update My Application" menu item (right side of page on most computers, at the top of the screen on mobile devices). When you reach the My Lists, you can select the Section 8 waiting list to add yourself to it.
To register, you will need your waiting list ID number or confirmation number. If you have not received or have misplaced your waiting list ID number or confirmation number, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to our office at 3481 North Fanning Drive in Flagstaff. File information is not disclosed over the phone.
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: When will I receive a voucher? What is the Waiting List screening process?
A: You’ll receive a voucher when you’re at the top of the list and a voucher is available. Vouchers are only available when one is no longer in use by a current voucher-holder. When your application is near the top of the list, 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 interview. Section 8 applicants are briefed during their time on the waiting list prior to receiving their voucher.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. 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. Click for VAWA paperwork.
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 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 (VAWA, click here for a PDF), you cannot be denied because you were a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Grievance Hearing requests are addressed to Tracey French, Section 8 Manager, who can be reached at email@example.com 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.
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.
Do you have another question? Do you have a recommendation for what we should add to this page? Let us know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org!