The housing choice voucher program (HCV) is a federal program for assisting low-income families, the elderly, and individuals living with a disability to afford housing in the private rental market. Once a voucher is issued, the family is free to choose housing that meets the requirements of the program and may include the family's present residence. Rental units must be inspected and meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the program requirements. The voucher holding family is responsible for finding a housing unit where the owner agrees to participate in the program. A housing “subsidy” is paid directly to the landlord by the AHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.
Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined based on income, family size, criminal background check and past rental history in subsidized housing, and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. During the application process, AHA will collect information on family income, assets, and family composition; verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank; and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance payment. If the AHA determines that your family is eligible, your name will be placed on a waiting list unless you can be assisted immediately.
Households interested in applying can download and complete the application or pick up an application at our rental office at 535 Third Avenue, Antigo WI 54409 (Please see our home page for office hours)
The housing choice voucher program places the choice of housing in the hands of the individual family. The housing unit selected by the family must meet an acceptable level of health and safety. When the voucher holder finds a unit that it wishes to occupy and reaches an agreement with the landlord over the lease terms, we will inspect the dwelling for Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and certify the rent requested is reasonable. Once we approve an eligible family's housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and, at the same time the landlord and AHA sign a housing assistance payments contract that runs for the same term as the lease.
When a family selects a housing unit and AHA approves the unit and lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at least one year. After the first year, the landlord may initiate a new lease or allow the family to remain in the unit on a month-to-month lease. The family is expected to comply with the lease and the requirements established by the housing choice voucher program. The family must also pay its share of rent on time, maintain the unit in good condition and notify AHA of any changes in income or family composition. The family must also cooperate with the AHA in completing the annual or interim recertification process.
The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program's Housing Quality Standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments.
The Antigo Housing Authority administers the voucher program locally, providing housing assistance that enables a family to seek out suitable housing. AHA will enter into a contract with the landlord to provide housing assistance payments on behalf of the family. If the landlord fails to meet their obligations under the lease, the AHA has the right to terminate assistance payments. The AHA must reexamine the family's income and composition at least annually and inspect each unit annually to ensure that it meets minimum Housing Quality Standards.
A family's housing needs may shift over time with changes in family size, job locations, and for other reasons. The housing choice voucher program is designed to allow families to move without the loss of housing assistance. Moves are permissible as long as the family notifies the Housing Authority ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the lease provisions, and finds acceptable alternate housing.