Housing Kitsap's (HK) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program works because of the cooperation of private landlords in Kitsap County. Our HCV program is administered by the Bremerton Housing Authority (BHA). Housing Kitsap endeavors to make the program a profitable, worthwhile and satisfactory arrangement for our participating landlords. HK's primary responsibility is to pay its share of the rent directly to landlords. HK pays local landlords about $2 million each year in rent subsidy payments.
Opportunities & Benefits
An owner's willingness to rent to a family that participates in the HCV Program expands the pool of potential tenants available to him or her. An owner will usually have several participants from the program to choose from. Since the Program is voluntary, the landlord retains the right, and the responsibility, to decide whether to rent to a program participant and, if so, which one to select.
At HK's expense, each adult member of a participating family is screened for serious criminal history when they first enter the program. The fact that a participant passes HK's criminal background check, however, does not diminish the landlord's responsibility for selecting their tenant. HK encourages owners and property managers to use the same screening practices for Program participants that they would for any other potential tenant, including running credit histories and checking previous tenancies for problems or troublesome evictions. HK can offer no guarantee that a tenant is suitable. The owner or property manager must determine that for him or herself.
How the program works:
- The voucher makes the rent affordable to the tenant. This makes rent defaults less likely.
- Each month, HK mails the landlord a check covering HK's share of the rent.
- Rental rates are based upon fair market rents.
- HK inspects the rented unit for Housing Quality Standards prior to initial lease up and once a year thereafter at no cost to the landlord.
- Tenant participants are expected to comply with the lease. HK can terminate them from the program for serious or repeated lease violations.
- Landlords can charge security deposits and late fees as long as they are consistent with charges made to private market renters.
- By renting to voucher holders, landlords help provide quality and affordable housing opportunities for families in our community.
The HCV Program is good business!
Owner Rights and Responsibilities
Owners who rent to a voucher participant have important rights and responsibilities. Most of these are the same as those that apply in unsubsidized tenancies.
The owner has the right to:
- Set reasonable rules about tenant behavior and use of the unit and common areas;
- Require a security deposit;
- Receive payment of rent in full and on time;
- Require the tenant to refrain from damaging the property;
- Take legal action to evict a voucher holder for lease violations.
The owner has the responsibility to:
- Screen prospective tenants and determine whether they would be good tenants;
- Maintain the property in good condition;
- Provide the voucher holder with information about lead-based paint in the unit;
- Complete needed repairs within a reasonable time. Complete emergency repairs within 24 hours. These include no hot or cold water, heat, electricity or a condition which is imminently hazardous to life;
- Give the tenant 48 hours notice before entering the unit, except for emergencies;
- Comply with Washington State Landlord-Tenant Law;
- Comply with the lease and Housing Assistance Payments Contract;
- Send HK a copy of any written notices or communications he has had with the tenant, especially about lease violations;
- Submit requests to HK for rent increases in writing at least 60 days prior to the participant's anniversary date and to notify the tenant of the request.
"Housing Kitsap's (HK) Housing Choice Voucher program is administered by the Bremerton Housing Authority (BHA). If you are interested in the HCV program, please call BHA at their Main Number: (360) 479-3694."
Click Here : BHA Housing Choice Voucher Program