The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is available in all 13 counties in SIRHA's service area. Included are the counties in southwest Iowa - Adair, Adams, Cass, Clarke, Decatur, Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Taylor and Union, excluding the city of Council Bluffs in Pottawattamie county. Nebraska City, Nebraska is also in SIRHA’s service area.
Families are responsible for locating a unit that is eligible for the program. The family will pay rent to the landlord based on between 30 to 40 percent of the family’s gross monthly adjusted income. SIRHA will form a contract with the landlord to pay the difference directly to the landlord on behalf of the family.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS:
- There is a waiting list for this program. Contact SIRHA for a preliminary application or you can print an application by clicking on the Preliminary Application LINK.
- We have adopted a waiting list preference for Residency, Elderly, Disabled or Handicapped, and Veterans. You need to show documentation of these preferences and submit it with your application.
- The applicant will be sent a letter regarding an initial appointment. During the appointment the family will complete paperwork to be certified for eligibility based on the family income. A criminal background check may be done on family members age 18 and older.
- SIRHA will then verify the information provided at the enrollment meeting to determine if the applicant is eligible.
- If eligible, the family will be invited to a briefing meeting where the family will receive a Housing Choice Voucher for rental assistance.
- If a family is determined not eligible for the program, they will be sent a letter informing them that they have been dropped from the waiting list. The family has 10 days to appeal the decision.
- At the briefing meeting the family will receive paper work that needs to be completed by the landlord of the unit where the family wishes to receive rental assistance.
- Once SIRHA receives the required paperwork a SIRHA representative will set up an appointment to do a Housing Quality Standards Inspection (HQS). This is an inspection to insure that the unit meets HUD standards for safe and sanitary living conditions. Click on this link to view a copy of the HUD brochure
"A Good Place to Live", which gives information about HQS.
- The tenant's rental assistance will begin the first of the month after the unit passes the HQS inspection and the rent is found by the Housing Authority to be reasonable.
- Once on the program, tenants are required to report all changes in family composition and income in writing to their Section 8 Housing Specialist within 10 days of the event.
- The tenant will be recertified at least annually. The recertification is required to ensure that the family and the unit are still eligible for the program.