Housing Choice Voucher Program

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation is no lon​ger accepting pre-applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list.​ Already submitted an application? Check your status using WaitList Check.

2018 Annual Agency Plan and Administrative Plan Available here.​ The plans describe how the city operates the Housing Choice Voucher Program.​​​​​

​The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) is a Federally-funded program administered by the Department of Housing & Neighborhood Preservation (DHNP) Rental Housing division. The program provides housing assistance to eligible, very low- and extremely low-income persons/families and enables them to find decent, safe and sanitary housing by subsidizing a portion of ​their rent. This subsidy is paid directly to the landlord.

Selection of those who are income-eligible is done by the housing agency according to housing priorities. Any rental housing in the city can qualify, providing the unit is decent, safe, and sanitary; the rent is reasonable; and it passes a housing quality standards inspection. The family selects the housing it prefers, which must meet the above guidelines and must be approved by the housing agency.

Payments are made to the landlord each month by the family according to their income (as calculated by the department) and by the housing agency as a subsidy.

The term of the initial lease cannot be less than one year. Landlords retain the rights to select their residents as long as they do not discriminate according to race, color, creed, sex, national origin, handicap or family status. The benefits to the landlords are:

  • Rental of vacant units​
  • The landlord selects the residents and retains management
  • HUD contracts directly with the landlord for a specified time
  • Assurance of receiving the housing assistance payment covering a portion of the rent on a regular basis

 FAQs

Who participates in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program?
The Housing Choice Voucher Program assists low-income households. The Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation (DHNP) selects families/individuals from the current HCV waiting list who meet income and eligibility guidelines. A participating household may choose to remain in the unit they are currently living in or move to a unit anywhere in Virginia Beach.

What's the difference between tenant-based and project-based assistance?
Tenant-based vouchers are attached to you as a tenant. A project-based voucher is attached to a particular property. If you live in a unit with a project-based voucher and you move, the assistance stays with the property and the next tenant uses the voucher. With a tenant-based voucher, you can take it anywhere as long as the home you wish to rent accepts HCV and meets the standards of the Housing Choice Voucher program.

How is rental assistance provided?
DHNP calculates the amount of assistance each family receives. The level of assistance is based upon family size, income, and current reasonable market rents. A household is expected to pay 30% to 70% of it's income toward the monthly rent. Each month, DHNP makes housing assistance payments directly to the landlord to make up the difference.

What are the tenant's rent responsibilities?
The renter must pay all rent and utilities that are not covered by the lease. Because the family is receiving assistance, the rent burden should be reduced, enabling the family to pay rent more easily and on time. Renters must pay their rent on time according to the terms of their lease. Tenants are also responsible for abiding by the terms and conditions spelled out in the tenancy addendum.

What are the terms of the lease?
The term of the lease will be a minimum of 12 months but may not total 365 days. The HAP and lease beginning and ending dates must coincide. All HAPs and leases will end on the last day of the month prior to the start month (i.e. starts 11/03/11 - ends 10/31/12)

How much may a landlord charge for security deposit?
The landlord is allowed to charge a security deposit similar to what is charged to other fair market tenants.

What if the landlord wants to terminate the lease?
If the lease term is a month to month, the property owner or manager can give the tenant a legal notice to vacate at anytime. Upon the end of a specific lease term (6 months, 1 year, etc), the agreement rolls over into a month to month unless the owner and the tenant choose to sign a new lease. If the owner wants a tenant to vacate who has NOT fulfilled their lease term, the owner can only give the tenant a notice WITH CAUSE and with the proper action according to the Virginia Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA).

What if the renter vacates the unit in violation of the lease?
The property owner may retain the security deposit for the amount of unpaid rent and any damages caused to the unit.

Who do I contact if I need housing assistance?
For assistance with housing, you may contact The Regional Housing Crisis Hotline​,  ​at (757) 227-5932.

 ​Portability

Portability is the ability of a family to move with their tenant-based voucher from one jurisdiction to another.
 
If you want to transfer to Virginia Beach, VA:
  • Please submit a Request to Transfer to your current housing authority.
  • If the staff there determines that you are eligible for transfer, they will forward your portability package to Housing & Neighborhood Preservation.
  • Once you know that they have sent your package to us, please contact us to schedule an appointment and to receive a list of the necessary documents required for briefing. You must be on time for your appointment with Housing & Neighborhood Preservation.
We will be billing your home agency.  Please do not located a unit in our jurisdiction prior coming to briefing, please review the Payment Standards and Occupancy Standards for our agency. Our occupancy standards are:Two persons per bedroom
 
All incoming portability documentation for participants who are porting into our jurisdiction is to be e-mail, faxed or mailed to:
City of Virginia Beach
Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation 
2424 Court house Dr. Bldg 18A
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Portability Contact Information:
Contact Person: Angelia Anderson 
Contact Email: Angander@vbgov.com
Contact Phone: (757)385-5815 
Direct Fax: (757)385-5766

We require all incoming vouchers to have a minimum of 45 days remaining before they expire, and have the initial housing authority be willing to offer an extension to both the voucher and the billing deadline if it is requested.​

Leaving Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation jurisdiction:
  • You must give proper notice to your housing specialist and your landlord.
  • You must be in good standing with the terms of your lease including being current in your rent.
  • You must schedule an appointment with your housing specialist for a port-out briefing.

 Landlord Registry

​​​​​Landlords and rental property owners are key partners in the Housing Choice Voucher Program by making their housing units available to voucher holders. We continually seek new landlords to work with the department in providing rental assistance to eligible persons. The unit must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards and the rent must be approvable within HUD Fair Market Rents and market rate comparable.
 
Rental voucher holders select a unit from the private rental market. Rental assistance makes market rate housing affordable. Program participants normally pay no more than 30% of monthly adjusted income towards rents and utilities. The housing assistance payment subsidizes the balance of the rent to the property owner.

​The benefits to landlords are:

  • Rental of vacant units
  • The landlord selects the residents and retains management
  • HUD contracts directly with the landlord for a specified time
  • Assurance of receiving the housing assistance payment covering a portion of the rent on a regular basis

If you are interested in making your property available to participants, please click on the links below or call (757) 385-5750 for more information:

 HCV Landlord Payment Schedule

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Housing & Neighborhood Preservation appreciates the ongoing participation of landlords in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) -- an important program that provides decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing opportunities to nearly 2,000 households in Virginia Beach. We are committed to providing landlords with timely and effective payments. 
 
Housing Choice Voucher and Rental Housing Subsidy payments will be issued in accordance with ​the following schedule.​ This schedule is in compliance with HUD Cash Managemen​t procedures, and no late fees will be paid out due to this schedule. These dates are anticipated and cannot be guaranteed.

The City encourages vendors to sign up fo direct deposit. Earlier this year, the City began providing the opportunity for all rental assistance vendors to sign up for direct deposit. Previously it had only been those with a business TIN.

Landlords can signup for Direct Deposit to streamline payments.

 Family Self-Sufficiency

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program promotes self-sufficiency among families participating in the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program and connects them to supportive services to help them achieve financial independence. The program offers stability to families by providing affordable housing and allows them to invest their energy in other efforts including employment, education and job training.

Benefits of the FSS Program

Through the FSS Program, participants can:
Get connected to resources and supportive services
  • Increase earnings
  • Establish an escrow account
  • Gain financial independence
  • Achieve self-sufficiency!

Types of Supportive Services

Participants are connected with agencies and services that assist with:
  • Housing and homeownership counseling
  • Education
  • Counseling
  • Legal services
  • Job placement and training
  • Emergency services
  • Budgeting
  • Healthcare

For more information, call (757) 385-5750 or view the program brochure.

 Resident Advisory Board

The Resident Advisory Board (RAB) is made up of Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8)Program participants. Its mission is to enhance the delivery of the program through ongoing dialogue between the board and Housing & Neighborhood Preservation's Rental Housing staff. Members are committed to enhancing the overall quality of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) in Virginia Beach.
 
All Virginia Beach Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) participants are welcome to attend the RAB's meetings to hear updates and give your input on important issues involving the program.
 
Meetings are held quarterly at the Department of Housing & Neighborhood Preservation from 5:30 to 7 p.m. For more information about the RAB, call (757) 385-5750.