DEFINITION AND VERIFICATION OF PREFERENCES
The Housing Authority of the City of Marion will select families based on the following preferences within each bedroom size category for low-income public housing and generally for Section 8 Vouchers:
- Involuntary Displacement (20 points)
Applicants who have vacated housing as a result of:
Verification of Involuntary Displacement will be made by the following documentation:
- A disaster (fire, flood, etc.)
- Federal, State or local government action related to code enforcement, public improvement or development.
- Action taken by a housing owner which is beyond an applicant's control, occurs despite the applicant's having met all previous condition of occupancy, and is other than a rent increase. If the owner is an immediate family relative (grandparent, parent, sibling) and there has been no previous rental agreement and the applicant has been part of the owner's family immediately prior to application, the applicant will not be considered involuntarily displaced.
- Victims of domestic violence who:
- Have vacated due to actual or threatened physical violence directed against the applicant or the applicant's family by a spouse or other household member, or
- Live in housing with an individual who engages in such violence.
Such "actual" or "threatened" violence must have occurred recently or be of a continuing nature. An applicant who lives in a violent neighborhood or is fearful of other violence outside the household is not considered involuntarily displaced.
- Applicant, or member of applicant family, has been advised by a law enforcement agency to relocate to minimize risk of violence against family members as a result of providing information on criminal activities to a law enforcement agency. Proper safeguards will be provided by the PHA to conceal the identity of families requiring protection against such reprisal.
- Applicant, or member of applicant family, has been the victim of one or more hate crimes. "Hate crime" means actual or threatened violence or intimidation that is directed against a person or his or her property and that is based on the person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status. The hate crime must be of a recent and continuing nature.
- Applicant, or a member of applicant family, has a mobility or other impairment that makes the person unable to use critical elements of the unit in which the family resides, and the owner is not legally obligated to make changes to the unit that would make critical elements accessible to the disabled person as a reasonable accommodation.
- Disposition of a multifamily project by HUD under Section 203 of the Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1978.
Applicants who have actually been displaced must not be living in "standard, permanent replacement housing," which is defined as housing that is decent, safe, and sanitary that is adequate for the family size (according to code/Housing Quality Standards), and that the family is occupying pursuant to a lease or occupancy agreement.
Such housing does not include transient facilities, hotels, motels, temporary shelters, and (in the case of victims of domestic violence) does not include housing in which the applicant lives with the individual who engages in such violence.
- Certification from a unit of government concerning displacement due to disaster;
- Certification from a unit of government concerning displacement due to code enforcement, public improvement or development;
- Certification from an owner concerning displacement due to owner action; or
- Certification from local police, social service agency, court, clergy, physician, public or private shelter, or counseling facility concerning displacement due to domestic violence, fear of reprisal, or hate crime.
- Certification from present landlord or social service agency concerning displacement as a result of mobility or other impairment.
- Documentation of disposition of multifamily rental housing project by HUD.
- Substandard Housing (18 Points)
A family is considered to be living in substandard housing if the residence of the family:
- Is dilapidated (does not provide safe, adequate shelter; has one or more critical defects or a combination of defects requiring considerable repair; endangers the health, safety, and well-being of a family;
- Does not have operable indoor plumbing;
- Does not have usable flush toilet in the unit for the exclusive use of the family;
- Does not have a usable bathtub or shower in the unit for the exclusive family use;
- Does not have adequate, safe electrical service;
- Does not have an adequate, safe source of heat;
- Should, but does not, have a kitchen;
- Has been declared unfit for habitation by a government agency.
Single Room Occupancy (SRO) is not substandard solely because it does not contain sanitary and/or food preparation facilities.
A family who resides as part of another family unit shall not be considered a separate family from the family unit for substandard housing definition preference purposes.
"Homeless Families" are considered to be living in substandard housing. A "Homeless Family" is defined as one who:
- Lacks a permanent, regular, adequate nighttime residence, and also
- Has a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised public or private shelter providing temporary accommodations, or an institution providing temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or a public or private place not ordinarily used as a sleeping accommodation for human beings.
A Homeless Family does not include anyone imprisoned or detained pursuant to Federal, State, or local law or an Act of Congress.
Verification of Substandard Housing: Includes certification from a unit of government or from the applicant's current landlord that the unit's condition meets the definition of substandard. For "Homeless Families" verification is certification of this status from a public or private facility providing shelter to the family, or from local police or a social service agency.
- Rent Burden (16 Points)
In order to qualify for this preference, a family must be paying more than 50% of family income for rent. An applicant does not qualify for a rent burden preference if either of the following is applicable:
- The applicant has been paying more that 50% of income for rent for less than 90 days.
- The applicant is paying more than 50% of family income to rent a unit because the applicant's housing assistance for occupancy of the unit under any of the following programs has been terminated as a result of the applicant's refusal to comply with applicable program policies and procedures on the occupancy of underoccupied and overcrowded units:
- Section 8 programs or Public or Indian Housing Programs under the United States Housing Act of 1965; or
- The rent supplement program under section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965; or
- Rental assistance payments under section 236(f)(2) of the National Housing Act.
For purposes of the Preference Rule, "family income" is monthly income as defined in 24 CFR 5.609.
"Rent" is defined as the actual amount due under a lease or occupancy agreement calculated on a monthly basis plus the utility allowance for family-purchased utilities and services that is used in the PHA tenant-based program, or if the family chooses, the average monthly payment that the family actually made for these utilities and services for the most recent six-month period.
If an applicant owns a mobile home, but rents the space upon which it is located, then "rent" will include the monthly payments made to amortize the purchase price of the home.
Members of a cooperative are "renters" for the purposes of qualifying for the preference. In this case "rent" would mean the charges under the occupancy agreement.
Verification of Income, Rent, Utilities Payment: Income will be verified in accordance with existing procedures used to verify income to determine eligibility.
Amounts due under a lease or occupancy agreement will be verified by requiring the family to furnish copies of an executed rental agreement, canceled checks or rent receipts for the immediate past 90 days, a copy of current purchase agreement, or by contacting the lienholder or landlord direct.
Utility payments will be verified by presenting copies of canceled checks or receipts for the most recent six-month period.
- Working applicants (6 points)
A family is considered to be eligible for this preference if either head or spouse is gainfully employed and working at least 20 hours per week at no less than minimum wage and has been continuously employed as such for at least the immediate past sixty (60) days.
Verification of Working Preference
Employment will be verified by a signed statement from employer indicating dates of employment, number of hours working, hourly wages, and anticipation of continuous employment. (This preference is also extended to all elderly families and all families whose head or spouse is receiving income based on their inability to work.)
- All other applicants
The date and time of application will be noted and utilized to determine the sequence within the above prescribed preferences.
Not withstanding the above, families who are elderly, disabled, or displaced will be offered housing before other single persons.