Welcome! As a current participant in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), you have an opportunity to select and rent decent and affordable homes in the private market. Participants residing in voucher units pay 30-40% of their income for rent and utilities. Housing subsidies are paid directly to the landlord on the participants' behalf. Housing Choice Voucher Holders are eligible to move or transfer after 12 months of holding their lease.
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Participants must submit income, assets, expense, and family composition information to CMHA on an annual basis to demonstrate continued eligibility for the HCVP. About 120 days prior to your recertification date, CMHA will send a notice to recertify via your portal account. CMHA will review and verify all information submitted and will notify the participant and the landlord through a Lease Addendum Notice of the family’s portion of the rent and how much CMHA will pay in housing assistance.
Participants that experience a change in household income or family composition in between their regularly scheduled annual recertification, should report the change to CMHA within 30 days. An interim change could include:
- A change in your household income (up or down)
- Only Families with zero income are required to report all increases in income, including new employment, within 30 calendar days
- If you report a decrease in income, an interim Re-Examination may also be necessary
- Change in Family Composition
- Birth, adoption, foster or court-awarded custody/legal guardianship of a child
- The return of a family member from active military service, a child or a family member who is now disabled
- Marriage, civil union or domestic partnership
- Addition of an elderly parent(s), a grandparent(s) or a parent to an existing minor in the family to the household
- The need for a reasonable accommodation (e.g., addition of a live-in aide)
- A change in certain expenses, such as medical, childcare and elderly/disability
You can report an interim through CMHA’s Participant Portal.
After your Housing Choice Voucher contract has been in effect for a year or according to the terms of your lease with the owner, you may request moving papers from HCVP. You may not move during the first year of the contract.
In order to move, you must first fill out the move request form. If you are eligible to move, you will be invited to a Movers session. Movers sessions are held weekly in both virtual and in-person formats. You may use your HCVP voucher anywhere within Cuyahoga County, or you can transfer or “port” it to another housing authority within the United States. If you are interested in porting to another housing authority, please see our Portability page.
Whether or not a family receives a utility allowance check is determined by family income and the utilities for which the family is responsible. The tenant’s total payment (approximately 30% - 40%of their monthly adjusted income) includes the rent portion and utilities. If the tenant’s rent amount is less than the utility allowance for the unit, the family will receive the difference in a utility check.
The utility allowance is based on the typical cost of utilities and services paid by households that occupy housing of similar size and type in the same locality. Allowances are not based on an individual family’s actual energy consumption.