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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Reporting Changes  

Annual Recertification 

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. 

Interim Recertification 

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.

Voucher Holder FAQs
What is my caseworker’s name?
To find your case worker’s direct dial telephone number, fax number and email address, go to the HCVP Participant Portal on this websiteYou will need either your CMHA client number or social security number. 
Is there a rule about renting from your mother, father or other relatives?
The owner (including a principal or other interested party) may not be the parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, brother or spouse of any member of the assisted family. Renting from a family member may be approved as a reasonable accommodation for a family member who is a person with disabilities. If CMHA grants such approval, the owner and family will be notified in writing.
When can I move to another unit?

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. 

How do I qualify for a utility check?

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. 

What date will my unit be inspected, and when will the inspector arrive?
For biennial inspections, appointments are generally scheduled two weeks in advance. Inspections will be scheduled within a 4 hour time frame. Inspections for new contracts are scheduled within one week. Inspectors will arrive within the time frame specified in your appointment letter, either between 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. – 5 p.m. 
Must I be present when the inspection occurs?
No. However, there must be a responsible adult present, age 18 or over, to let the inspector in. We advise it is in your best interest to be present for the initial inspection. This is an opportunity for you to find out firsthand why the unit may not be passing inspection. Also, it is an opportunity for you to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the HCVP Program. 
I was not at home for my inspection. What do I have to do?
If the first inspection is missed, the unit will be failed and will automatically be scheduled for a second appointment. If tenant misses a second appointment, they will be proposed for termination from the HCVP. If landlords miss a second inspection, the unit will be placed in abatement. 
In what circumstances can a participant ask for an informal hearing?
Any participant who is proposed for termination from the HCVP Program is entitled to an informal hearing. To receive an informal hearing, the participant must make a request, in writing, within 15 days of the notice of proposed termination. The written hearing request may be in the form of a short (1 or 2 sentence) letter, or the client may fill out a “request for hearing” form, which is available at 8120 Kinsman Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44104.