The Pima County Housing Authority administers
a Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority administers 877 Section 8 housing vouchers.
According to HUD, Pima County Housing Authority is designated as Medium High, meaning it administers 500 - 1,249 Section 8 vouchers.
Pima County Housing Authority is among the 40% of Arizona housing authorities that only offer Section 8 voucher assistance. If there are any public housing units available in the target area, those units are administered by another housing authority.
Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (hud.gov, 2014)
Public housing authorities provide several affordable housing assistance programs to renters and sometimes homeowners. Most of these programs are funded by the Federal government through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The two primary housing programs administered by housing authorities are the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Low Rent Housing Program, also known as Public Housing.
Section 8 vouchers provide a rental subsidy to renters that absorbs housing costs that exceed 30% of their income. Renters can use the voucher to rent private housing in apartment communities or privately owned homes. The rent is capped based on a Payment Standard that is determined by the housing authority based on market rents in the target area. Section 8 assistance is very limited across the country and typically waiting lists for the assistance can stretch out for a decade.
Public housing is rental housing owned and managed by housing authorities. Renters pay only 30% of their adjusted income. Typically, public housing consists of apartment developments but sometimes can be scattered single family homes in some suburban or rural housing authorities. Public housing was the first form of affordable housing provided to low income Americans. It is one of the oldest housing assistance programs in the country.
Each year HUD reviews and scores the housing authority’s Section 8 program management
based on 14 different criteria. This score is a reflection of how well the housing
authority manages the Section 8 waiting list, the physical quality of housing
assisted with Section 8 and the financial management of the program.
From 2001 to 2009, Pima County Housing Authority
scored an average of 92 points as of the last set of publicly available data. The housing authority had a high score of
100 in 2001
and a low score of 79 in 2004.
The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in Arizona is 75.36.
Pima County Housing Authority has an average score that is
more than the average Arizona housing authority. Higher SEMAP scores indicate more effective financial management, a smoother waiting list process and higher quality physical conditions at assisted properties.
Source President's Open Government Directive (hud.gov/offices/pih/, 2012)
HUD reviews and scores each public housing agency’s administration of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program through the Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP). The intent of the review and scoring system is to insure that public funds are administered in the most efficient manner while achieving the goal of adequately housing lower income persons.
The total number of points a PHA can receive under the SEMAP scoring model is 135 points. Any housing authority receiving a score more than 121 points is considered a High Performer. PHA’s receiving 81 to 120 points are rated as Standard Performers. Any housing authority that receives a score of 80 or less is considered Troubled and must go through a troubled agency review and cure process.
The assessment system reviews the PHA’s management performance on 14 different criteria. These criteria are:
1. Waiting List Management (15 points) - maximum points are awarded to housing authorities that have a written waiting list policy and do quality control sampling that demonstrates that at least 98% of all voucher recipients were chosen from the waiting list.
2. Rent Reasonableness (20 points) - points are awarded to PHA’s who have a written process for determining that rent paid to landlords under the Section 8 program are reasonable as compared to other comparable housing in the market area. Maximum points are awarded where a file review demonstrates the housing authority followed its written rent reasonableness policy.
3. Determining Adjusted Income (20 points) - points are awarded when a file review demonstrates that tenants receiving assistance had their income properly verified through a third party, accurately accounted for allowances and expenses and used the correct utility allowance in determining the tenant’s gross rent payment.
4. Utility Allowance Schedule (5 points) - maximum points are awarded where the PHA has a utility rate schedule that has been updated within the last 12 months if utility costs have fluctuated by 10% or more.
5. Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Quality Control Inspections (5 points) - points are awarded where a housing authority supervisor re-inspected a sampling of units inspected throughout the year.
6. HQS Enforcement (10 points) - points are awarded where all case file sampling demonstrated that any life threatening HQS issues were corrected within 24 hours, all other deficiencies were corrected within 30 days and in cases where these corrections were not made, rent subsidy payments were stopped prior to the first of the following month.
7. Expanding Housing Opportunities (5 points) - available only to housing authorities in metropolitan areas, points are awarded to PHA’s who have written policies for and strongly encourage participation of owners outside of areas of concentration of poverty and minority concentration. PHA’s must also explain voucher portability to renters and provide a list of neighboring housing authorities where the vouchers may be ported to.
8. Payment Standards (5 points) - points are awarded to PHA’s where a Payment Standard has been developed for each unit size in each FMR area in the housing authority's target area and those Payment Standards are not more than 110% of the FMR nor less than 90% of the FMR for that area.
9. Annual Reexaminations (10 points) - points are awarded to housing authorities who complete a reexamination of each voucher holder every 12 months.
10. Correct Tenant Rent Calculations (5 points) - points are awarded where the PHA correctly calculates the tenant’s rent payment.
11. Pre-Contract HQS (5 points) - points are awarded where each new rental unit was inspected and passed a HQS inspection.
12. Annual HQS Inspections - the housing authority inspects each unit receiving funds under the program at least once per year.
13. Lease Up (20 points) - points are awarded to housing authorities that execute assistance contracts for the number of units that has been under budget for at least a year.
14. Family Self Sufficiency Enrollment (10 points) - applicable only to housing authorities required to implement the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program, points are awarded based on the success of FSS enrollment.
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