The Housing Choice Voucher Program is designed to help low income families rent housing in safe, decent, and sanitary conditions. The Program provides for direct payment to the property owner on behalf of the family to cover part of the participant rent. The participant pays the remainder of the rent. Regulations for the Housing Choice voucher Program are determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). All Colorado Tenant/Landlord laws and Fair Housing laws apply.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who screens the participant?
The Arvada Housing Authority (AHA), by providing housing assistance, in no way verifies a family's suitability as a participant. The landlord is responsible for screening participants according to his/her own tenancy requirements. If requested by the landlord, the AHA may provide the landlord with a current and last known address of the prospective participant.
What forms will I have to complete to participate in the program?
(To download forms please look to the right under Resources)
- Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) Landlords complete a HUD form called a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) to provide basic information about the unit and need to provide an unsigned copy of their lease for us to review. We evaluate the RFTA and lease information to determine if the unit is affordable for the prospective participant. Once the unit is determined to be affordable, the AHA inspector will conduct an inspection (See “A Good Place to Live” for inspection guidelines).
- IRS Form W-9 New landlords must complete the W-9 form attached to the RFTA. The tax identification or social security number you provide must belong to the owner or persons responsible for payment of taxes.
- Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP) to Owner Once the unit is determined to be affordable and has passed inspection, the landlord is required to sign a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract and execute the lease with the participant. If you need assistance or have questions about the paperwork, each participant who receives funding through this program has a trained Housing Specialist who is available to help. Rental assistance payments are sent directly to the landlord on behalf of a participating family. The family then pays their portion of the rent directly to the landlord.
- Landlord Obligations The Landlord Obligations form highlights a few of the obligations found in the Housing Assistance Payments Contract (HAP). By signing this form the landlord is agreeing to comply with the listed obligations.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure Housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint that may be a health hazard if not managed properly. The landlord is required to disclose his/her knowledge of lead-based paint in the unit. Presence of lead-based paint does not disqualify the unit, however, it is important for the participant to be informed of the presence of lead-based paint.
How long does it take to get approved?
The AHA will notify the family and owner of approval or denial within 10 days of receiving all required forms. If AHA determines that the tenancy cannot be approved for any reason, the owner and the family will be notified in writing and given the opportunity to address any reasons for disapproval. The AHA will instruct the owner and family of the next steps for approval.
When will I receive the rent?
The AHA will not release payment until a copy of the signed lease is received and the HAP Contract is executed. The first payment is usually received within 30 to 45 days of the HAP Contract being signed. Though uncommon, you should be aware there could be a delay of up to 60 days before receiving the first rental assistance payment. However, after any initial delay, you can expect the check on or about the first of every month. The participant must pay their portion of rent according to the requirements of the lease. You may not penalize the participant for a delay in the assistance payment.
How do I request a rent increase?
After the initial term of the lease, the landlord may request a rent increase by providing at least 60 days written notice of an upcoming increase to the AHA and the participant. The proposed increase must be reasonable and may not exceed the rent for unassisted rental units of the same size and type that you own. The AHA reserves the right to deny any rent increase found to be unreasonable based on market conditions at the time or to delay the start of an increase when proper notice has not been given.
Can I evict a participant?
The landlord may evict a participant by following the terms of the lease along with state and local laws for eviction. Landlords are required to notify the AHA in writing of lease violations and eviction actions. Providing copies of any legal notices or warning letters to the AHA and the contract agency is sufficient notice that a lease violation has occurred. However, the landlord may not evict a family for nonpayment of the housing assistance payment by AHA.
Who pays if damages occur to my unit?
The participant is responsible for damages. It is important to actively manage all of your rental properties including those occupied by our program participants. No one can promise that a Housing Choice Voucher participant, or any renter for that matter, will not damage a unit. However, if you enforce your lease by sending notices and warnings when necessary and if you meet your landlord obligations as required by the HAP Contract, we will assist you when problems occur by reminding participants of their program obligations. Sometimes, you may have to evict a participating family and even sue for damages just as you would with any participant. You can reduce your risk of problems from any participant by having a comprehensive screening policy and adhering to it.
Am I allowed to rent to a relative?
Federal regulations prohibit the AHA from allowing a participant family to rent a unit from a relative unless the AHA determines that approving the rental unit provides a reasonable accommodation for a participant family member who is a person with disabilities. The AHA handles such requests on a case-by-case basis.
§ 982.306 PHA disapproval of owner.(d) The PHA must not approve a unit if the owner is the parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother of any member of the family, unless the PHA determines that approving the unit would provide reasonable accommodation for a family member who is a person with disabilities. This restriction against PHA approval of a unit only applies at the time a family initially receives tenant-based assistance for occupancy of a particular unit, but does not apply to PHA approval of a new tenancy with continued tenant-based assistance in the same unit.
Who do I call if I have a question or problem?
Contact the participant’s Housing Specialist with any questions or concerns.
- Carrie Espinosa: Housing Choice Voucher Supervisor
- Dena Kothe: Housing Specialist
Johnny Yang: Housing Specialist
- Fax Number:
- Street Address:
8001 Ralston Road, Arvada, CO 80002
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.