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Questions Answer
Am I responsible for paying my utility bill if I receive a utility reimbursement? Yes. You must pay your utility bill when it is due. Typically, but not always, the reimbursement will be posted to your account within the first two weeks of each month.
Can a voucher be used to rent from a relative? Section 8 participants cannot rent from an immediate relative. This includes the participant's mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents, grandchildren, stepfamily, in-laws or any member of his or her household. Participants with disabilities may be eligible for an exception if it is necessary to provide a reasonable accommodation for a family member with a disability. Such an exception requires TCHAO approval in advance on a case-by-case basis.
Can I let a family member or friend move-in with me? No. Families must request, in writing, TCHAO approval to add a new family member, live-in aide, foster child or foster adult. This includes any person not on the lease who is expected to stay in the unit for more than 30 consecutive days, or 90 cumulative days, within a 12 month period. If you allow someone to move in with you without TCHAO and landlord approval, you will be in violation of your lease and you could be evicted and/or loose your assistance.
Can TCHAO help me to find a place to live?

No. TCHAO does not offer this service unless, in extreme cases, where a family can justify special circumstances that have prevented them for finding housing within the allotted timeframe.

If you have tried everything you know to do and you are unable to find housing, you may fill out and submit to TCHAO the Mobility Assistance Request form. Based upon your circumstances and TCHAO resources, we will determine what assistance can be provided.

How are participants assured of good quality housing? Applicants should "see/carefully inspect" the property they are planning to rent before signing anything. TCHAO performs Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspections prior to move-in to ensure that the unit is decent, safe and sanitary. The unit must pass the inspection before the family is allowed to move in. If it does not, the family will be allowed to seek acceptable housing elsewhere.
How do I apply for housing? Currently, we are not accepting applications due to the large number of people we already have on the waiting list. When we are able to open the waiting list and begin accepting applications, it will be posted on our website.
How do I report a change? You must come in and fill out a "Change Form" or call 817- 531-7640 and we will mail one to you.
How does a Section 8 participant find places to rent?

All new Section 8 participants must attend a briefing at TCHAO to receive their voucher.  The Housing Authority has partnered with Affordable Housing, which provides an enhanced program to list rental properties on line. Listings are available to potential Housing Choice Voucher tenants seeking apartment units, duplexes, single-family homes or townhomes in the private market.  However, it is the responsiblity of the family to find suitable housing that meets and passes a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection.  Families are encouraged to use every means possible of seeking housing via newspapers, other web searches, apartment complex directories, reccomendations from churches, community organizations, friends and relatives, etc.

How much can a landlord charge for a security deposit? The landlord is allowed to charge a security deposit similar to what is charged to other tenants. TCHAO does not make these rules or assist with security deposits.
How much rent will I have to pay? Your rent portion is determined based off your income.
If I am a person with disabilities can I get an accessible unit? Yes. Federal regulations require property owners to make certain accommodations and modifications in order for persons with disabilities to have equal access to housing. You will need to communicate with each individual property owner or manager to determine their policy on this subject if it is not stated in the lease.
If I am a person with disabilities does TCHAO make reasonable accommodations?

If you or a member of your household is a person with disabilities, you may require special accommodations to have equal access to the HCV program. The types of reasonable accommodations TCHAO can consider include changes, exceptions, or adjustments to a rule, policy, practice or service. Such a request should be made in writing to TCHAO on a Reasonable Accomodations Request form along with the Reasonable Accommodation Request Verification form to be completed by your healthcare provider.  A review will be conducted along with a home visit and a determination will be made. The following three conditions must be met:

  1. The request is made by or on behalf of a person with a disability.
  2. There is a disability-related need for the accommodation.
  3. The requested accommodation is reasonable. This means that it would not impose an undue financial and administrative burden on TCHAO.

An example of some of the types of reasonable accommodations TCHAO may consider are, but not limited to:

  • Permitting applications and re-examinations to be completed by mail.
  • Conducting home visits in lieu of requiring the participant to come into the office.
  • Providing time extensions, etc.
If I need a live-in aide, what do I need to do? A family's request for a live-in aide must be made in writing and written verification will be required from a reliable, knowledgeable professional, such as a doctor, social worker, or case worker that the live-in aide is essential for the care and well-being of the elderly, near-elderly or disabled family member.
In what cities can I look for a place to live? There are about 39 cities within the jurisdiction of TCHAO where you can look for housing. For a complete list, please view our map of Tarrant County Incorporated Areas with a listing of the cities in our jurisdiction. For your convenience some of the cities are Bedford, Euless, Fort Worth, Hurst, North Richland Hills, Watauga, White Settlement, to name just a few.
What are the responsibilities of TCHAO, the family and the property owner?

TCHAO's Responsibilities:

  • Follow all federal, state and local laws
  • Review and process applications to determine applicant eligibility
  • Develop and explain TCHAO policy and rules to qualified families
  • Issue vouchers
  • Approve/disapprove applicants, participants, units and owners
  • Make HAP payments in a timely manner
  • Ensure that owners and families comply with program rules
  • Provide families and owners with prompt and professional service
  • Determine rent reasonableness

Owner's Responsibilities:

  • Screen applicants
  • Comply with all federal, state, local laws and HAP contract
  • Refrain from violation of any fair housing laws
  • Maintain the unit at all times in compliance with HQS or make repairs in a timely manner
  • Collect tenant's portion of rent and security deposit from the tenant
  • Properly maintain and manage the unit and property
  • Provide TCHAO with a copy of any eviction notice at the time it is given to tenant
  • Immediate notification to TCHAO of any change in contact information, management and/or ownership

Family Responsibilities:

  • Disclose and verify to TCHAO on a timely basis, all family, household and financial information
  • Make best effort to find a place to live that is suitable and that qualifies for the program
  • Cooperate in attending all appointments scheduled by TCHAO
  • Comply with the terms of the lease with the owner
  • Comply with the family obligations of their voucher
  • Comply with all applicable state, federal, local and TCHAO laws, rules and policies for all household members and guests
What changes do I have to report? You must report all changes in family composition i.e. births, marriage, family members leaving the unit, marital status, name changes, employment, contact information such as telephone numbers, email addresses, etc. You must complete a "Change Form" or call 817- 531-7640 and we will mail one to you.
What does it take to qualify for Section 8? Section 8 participants must fall into the Extremely Low Income" or "Very Low Income" category as defined by HUD. At present, a family of four in Tarrant County can have a total income of up to $24,250 a year to be considered Extremely Low Income, or up to $34,850 to be considered Very Low Income. These figures (effective April 1, 2015), are based on the median family income for Tarrant County as designated by HUD. Criminal Background checks are conducted on all family members 18 years and older. The HUD "One Strike" policy prohibits admission of applicants, if during the past five years, any household member was evicted from federally assisted housing for drug-related criminal activity, has a criminal history for violent, drug-related criminal offenses, or sexual offenses against minors as determined by police reports. Persons convicted of lifetime registration as a sex offender will not be considered for assistance. A property owner may refuse an applicant based on his/her past history as a renter, including credit checks, non-payment of rent, reports of property damage, etc.
What is a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection? TCHAO inspects all units at initial occupancy, and at least once annually, using the HUD form 52580-A to record and document the inspection. The primary objective is to ensure that participants receiving assistance are provided with what HUD considers to be a basic level of acceptable housing. The owner or a representative must be present for all initial inspections. If the unit does not pass inspection, the inspector will provide the owner with a copy of the needed repairs and schedule a date for re-inspection. All units must pass inspection before a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract can be executed.  This is a contract between TCHAO and the owner and how owners get paid. Failure to keep units up to HQS guidelines could result in the abatement of payment or termination of the HAP contract.
What is an annual and interim re-examination and why is it done? TCHAO is required to conduct a re-examination of family composition and income at least once annually. The information collected must be verified and documented. Interim re-examinations are completed when the family reports a change in income or family composition. Also, TCHAO may initiate an interim re-examination at any time for good cause.
What is the purpose of the Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA or RFTA)? The purpose of the RTA, along with the lease, is to ensure that all required actions and determinations have been completed. By this, we mean that the unit is eligible, the lease is approvable, the rent to be charged by the owner is affordable and does not exceed 40 percent of the family's monthly adjusted income, among other things. If the RTA is not approved the family may continue to search for eligible housing within the timeframe of the issued voucher.
What number am I on the waiting list?

You can check you wait list status at

For more information, got to the waiting list section of our website.

What types of housing can someone rent with a Section 8 Voucher? Section 8 vouchers can be used to rent single-family homes, manufactured homes, duplexes, and multifamily apartments. Other housing types, such as group homes and shared rentals are only available as a reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities, upon TCHAO approval in advance, on a case-by-case basis.
When can I move? After one year or at the time of your annual recertification, unless there are serious health or safety extenuating circumstances. This must be approved in advance by TCHAO. Contact your housing counselor.
When do utility checks go out? Usually, but not always during the first two weeks of each month.
When will the waiting list reopen? The waiting list is currently closed and TCHAO is not accepting new applications due to the large number of applicants still remaining on the list. At this time TCHAO does not have a specific date when the waiting list will re-open.
Who can I call for help with my utilities or security deposit? A 24 hour line called "2-1-1 Texas" is available to connect those Texas citizens seeking help to those agencies providing help. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1, or 877-541-7905 to find information on resources in your local community. Whether you need help finding utility assistance, food, child care, calling 2-1-1 is a good starting point.
Who do I pay my rent to? You should pay your rent portion directly to the property owner or manager, on time, each month.
Will my housing assistance be terminated if I am evicted? Yes.