Housing Choice Voucher Program
General Lease-Up Process for Landlords, Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and Tenants
  1. Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA): Before approving the assisted tenancy and executing the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract, the PHA must ensure that the following program requirements have
    been met:
    • The unit is eligible;

    • The unit has been inspected by the PHA and meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS);

    • The lease includes the tenancy addendum;

    • The rent charged by owner is reasonable; and

    • For families receiving HCV program assistance for the first time, and where the gross rent of the unit exceeds the applicable payment standard for the family, the PHA must ensure that the family share does not exceed 40 percent of adjusted monthly income. This cap is referred to as the maximum family share (24 CFR 982.508).

    In addition, the PHA must not approve:

    • If the PHA has been informed (by HUD or otherwise) that the owner is debarred, suspended, or subject to a limited denial of participation under 2 CFR part 2424.

    • 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.

    • Other reasons as defined in 24 CFR 982.306.

  2. Rent Reasonableness: HUD regulation 24 CFR 982.507 requires that PHAs perform a rent reasonableness determination before executing a HAP contract and before any increase in rent. The PHA must determine that the proposed rent is reasonable compared to similar units in the marketplace and not higher than those paid by unassisted tenants on the premises.

  3. Inspections: PHA must inspect the unit leased to a family prior to the initial of the lease, at least biennially during assisted occupancy (triennially for rural PHAs), and at other times as needed, to determine if the unit meets the HQS.

    Some, but not all, PHAs have additional flexibility to approve tenancy and begin paying HAP on a unit that fails to meet the HQS, provided the deficiencies are not life-threatening and/or to approve assisted tenancy of a unit before the PHA conducts the initial HQS inspection if the property has, in the previous 24 months, passed a qualifying alternative inspection. For more information on these provisions see PIH Notice 2017-20.

  4. Housing Assistance Payment (HAP): is the monthly assistance payment by a PHA, which is defined in 24 CFR 982.4 to include: (1) A payment to the owner for rent to the owner under the family’s lease; and (2) An additional payment to the family if the total assistance payment exceeds the rent to owner.

    The HAP contract is the housing assistance payments contract between the owner and the PHA.

HCV Family Self-Sufficiency
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is a work incentive program for participants receiving Section 8 HCV rental assistance. The FSS program coordinator will work with the head of the household to establish a five-year plan that includes employment, education, and training goals. 


Rental Assistance Program
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency established the Housing Trust Fund Rental Assistance Program (RAP) to provide affordable housing opportunities to prevent and end homelessness for low income families. Rental assistance is intended to be temporary. Participants pay approximately 30% of their income for rent.