To be eligible for the WtW Voucher program, a family must first
meet all existing eligibility requirements for the Section 8 Housing
Choice Voucher Program. The family must also meet all of the following
additional eligibility criteria:
- The family must:
- Be eligible to receive assistance or services funded by TANF;
- Be currently receiving assistance or services funded by TANF;
- Have received assistance or services funded by TANF within the
last two years.
- Section 8 tenant-based assistance is determined to be critical
to the family's ability to successfully obtain or retain employment.
It is the responsibility of the PHA in coordination with its partners
to determine that the Section 8 WtW voucher is critical to the
family's ability to successfully obtain or retain employment.
PHAs will have to define what "critical" means in relation
to local housing needs and local barriers to economic self-sufficiency.
- The family must not already be receiving tenant-based assistance.
- The family must be on the waiting list used by the PHA for its
Section 8 program. For IHAs/TDHEs the families must be on either
the Section 8 rental or homeownership waiting list.
Public housing families, families living in Section 8 project-based
units, and families receiving time-limited rental assistance under
the HOME block grant program or a state or local initiative are
eligible to participate as long as they meet the above-mentioned
Sample Selection Criteria
Developing clearly specified selection criteria is a critical front-end
task requires the PHA and its partners have a clear vision and understanding
of the objectives of the program, the critical housing needs of
the community, and the target population they intend to serve.
What type of criteria could PHAs establish? Following are some
- Must be in compliance with TANF work requirements and paying
more than 50 percent of income towards rent.
- Must be actively searching for employment but experiencing difficulty
due to geographic mismatch of current location and available employment
- Must be employed and paying more than 50 percent of income towards
- Must be employed and living in substandard housing or high crime
- Must be employed and lacking stable childcare or transportation
due to location.
Waiting List and Local Preferences
Families selected by a PHA to participate in the WtW Voucher Program
must be on the waiting list used by the PHA for its tenant-based
Section 8 program. For WtW programs administered by IHAs/TDHEs,
the families must either be on the rental or homeownership waiting
list of the IHA/TDHE. As long as the Section 8 waiting list is open,
a PHA can accept referrals of families that may be eligible for
the WtW voucher program.
If a PHA's waiting list is closed, the PHA cannot add individuals
to its waiting list, but can use referrals to identify families
that are already on its waiting list. If the PHA concludes that
there is an insufficient number of WtW eligible families on the
waiting list, the PHA must open its waiting list to ensure that
there are enough eligible families to meet the program's leasing
requirements. The PHA may decide to open its waiting list only for
families that qualify for the WtW Voucher Program. PHAs must then
follow the standard Section 8 procedures for opening a waiting list
and establishing local preferences, which are described below.
Opening the waiting list
If the PHA's waiting list is closed, the PHA must publish a
public notice announcing a new application process before applications
can be taken. The notice must be published in local newspapers of
general circulation and in minority media. The notice must provide
the following information:
- Where and when families may apply for the program
- Brief description of the WtW voucher program
- Any limitations on who may apply, e.g., only families that qualify
for the Welfare to Work Voucher Program
Establishing local preferences
To change its current preference system, a PHA must give notice
and opportunity for public comment, which may, for example, include
a public meeting or written public notice with an opportunity to
submit written comment.
The new participant selection system must be included in the administrative
plan and approved by the PHA's Board of Commissioners before it
can be implemented. Preferences must also be consistent with the
PHA plan and the consolidated plans for local governments in the
PHA jurisdiction. PHAs must explain each type of preference to applicants
and provide them with the opportunity to show that they qualify
for the preference.
Income Targeting Requirements
The final Merger Rule allows PHAs to disregard the admission of
a portion of WtW families who are not extremely low-income when
determining compliance with the PHA's income-targeting obligations.
HUD will grant approval only if and to the extent that the PHA demonstrates
that compliance with income targeting obligations for these Welfare
to Work families interferes with the objectives of the WtW Voucher
Program. HUD expects this authority to be needed only in exceptional
circumstances. HUD will approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
When an exception is granted, admission of that portion of WtW
families is not counted in the base number of families admitted
to a PHAs's tenant-based voucher program during the fiscal year
for the purposes of income targeting. HUD is currently developing
a standardized format for submitting a request for a waiver from
compliance with income-targeting requirements.