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Selection and Termination Criteria Resources - Welfare to Work Vouchers

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 -   Eligibility Requirements
 -   Sample Selection Criteria
 -   Waiting List and Local Preferences
 -   Income Targeting Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

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:

  1. The family must:
    - Be eligible to receive assistance or services funded by TANF;
    - Be currently receiving assistance or services funded by TANF; or
    - Have received assistance or services funded by TANF within the last two years.

  2. 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.

  3. The family must not already be receiving tenant-based assistance.

  4. 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 criteria.

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 examples:

  • 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 opportunities.

  • Must be employed and paying more than 50 percent of income towards rent.

  • Must be employed and living in substandard housing or high crime neighborhood.

  • 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.

 
Content current as of 5 October 2001   Follow this link to go  Back to top   
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