Skip to Main Content

HCV FAQs

What is the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program assists eligible very low income families pay a portion of the rent to a private landlord.

SECTION 8 RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM


  1. What is the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
    The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program assists eligible very low income families pay a portion of the rent to a private landlord.

  2. What are the eligibility guidelines to qualify for assistance?
    To qualify for Section 8 rental assistance, families must have at least one member who is an U.S. Citizen or legal residents of the U.S.; meet income guidelines based on family size; meet criminal background requirements; not owe money to any federally assisted housing programs, and must not have been evicted from any unit under a federally assisted housing program.

  3. How much rent does the family pay?
    The family pays a portion of the rent based on 30% of the adjusted gross monthly income of the entire household.

  4. Will the housing agency pay all of my utilities?
    No, the family is responsible for paying their own utility bills and any utility deposits needed to start the utility services. The utilities must be on in the head of household's name. Some families with very low income may be eligible for a monthly utility assistance payment.

  5. Where do families on the Section 8 Program live?
    Families may live anywhere within Okaloosa County. Except City Limit of Crestview.

  6. How does a rental unit qualify under the program?
    The rental unit must be inspected by the Fort Walton Beach Housing's Inspector and meet the HUD's Housing Quality Standards (HQS). The unit must meet the family's needs based on household size, and rent must be affordable for the family, and market reasonable.

  7. How do I find a rental unit?
    A list of landlords with available rental units will be provided to applicants at their eligibility briefing. Families are also encouraged to check the local newspapers and to contact realty companies and apartment complexes to inquire about vacancies.

  8. How long is the waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
    The Fort Walton Beach Housing Authority will not be able to predict when an applicant will receive a voucher.

  9. Can I move to another state with my voucher?
    If you provided an address within Okaloosa County when you joined the waiting list, once you've been issued a voucher you may take it to any other housing authority. This is called "portability or porting out". If you did not live within Okaloosa County prior to receiving a voucher you would not be eligible to use portability until you've resided in FWBHA jurisdiction for 1 year.
    A family must be in "good standing" with FWBHA and receiving PHA in order to port to another jurisdiction. This means the family must not owe any unpaid rent and are current on any over payment amounts due to FWBHA or the receiving PHA in order to receive a Housing Choice Voucher to move under portability.
    If you currently have a voucher and meet the above criteria contact your counselor to ask about using portability.

  10. If FWBHA can't pay the landlord the rent he wants, can I pay the difference?
    No. You should never pay more than the amount Housing Authority directs you to pay.

  11. Am I responsible for reporting changes while on the waiting list?
    No, all information will be updated at the Eligibility Interview. If there is an addition to your family (other than the birth/adoption of a child) you must request the addition 45 days prior to this appointment.

  12. How does the program work?
    When funding is available, and your name reaches the top of the waiting list, you will be notified by mail to attend a program briefing. Family information with be gathered, program requirements will be addressed, and approval is based on income as well as the ability to pass our background check. If approved, FWB Housing Authority will issue a voucher so you may begin searching for a rental unit.

  13. How do I apply?
    Submit your application on-line here.

  14. How long will it take to receive rental assistance?
    The time frame varies depending on how many people are on the waiting list, available funding, and number of vouchers available.

  15. How do I change my address?
    All applicants must submit a request in writing before an address or phone number can be changed or email to our office.

  16. How do I reschedule my briefing appointment if I need to cancel?
    Provide a written request to our office before the scheduled briefing date. Be sure to include your name, address, phone, number, social security number, and the reason you are requesting to be rescheduled. If you miss first scheduled appointment, you will be rescheduled one(l) time. If you miss more than 1 appointment, your name will be removed from the waiting list and you will have to reapply.

  17. How can a new landlord become part of S8 program?
    If you landlord wants to participate on program we need proof of ownership or management agreement, tax ID or SS# and mailing address, phone # and email address. All our payment are made by direct deposit. (need void check) (unit must be inspected for approval).

  18. What if my landlord didn't get paid. What do I need to do?
    Contact the Section 8 office and staff will research your payment information.

  19. My income has changed, what do I do?
    All changes must be reported to FWB Housing by submitting the required documents which can be obtained by visiting or email case worker. If you are already a Housing Voucher Participant all changes in income must be reported within 10 days of the change occurring. If you are currently in applicant status but have been issued a voucher all income changes must be submitted ASAP.

  20. This is an emergency! I'm homeless! What do I do?
    FWB Housing does not have any emergency housing. However, we have preference for homeless, elderly & disabled preference (verifications required are a letter from the (Homeless Housing Alliance). Also, for homeless veterans they can contact the Veteran Administration to obtain contact information regarding the VASH Program.

  21. What do I do when I want to move?
    Contact your Section 8 caseworker for moving instructions. Florida law requires all tenants to give their landlord a minimum of a 30-day written notice to vacate before moving out of a rental unit. You must have completed a 12-month contract before any new move can be approved. You must attend mover meeting. (second Thursday of month@ 9:00 am).

  22. What do I need to do if I want someone to move in with me?
    Contact your Section 8 caseworker for instructions. ***You may not move anyone into an assisted unit until they have been approved by the Housing Authority.

  23. Where am I on the waiting list and when will I get a briefing appointment?
    You are placed on the waiting list based on the date and time your application is received in our office. When funding is available, and your name reaches the top of the waiting list, you will be notified by mail to attend an appointment.