The DC Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list was closed on April 12, 2013 after a thorough public relations campaign to make sure all potential applicants had an opportunity to apply for the Section 8 waiting list. There are now more than 72,000 persons on the waiting list. With just over 14,000 Section 8 vouchers available, the waiting list is more than 5 times the number of vouchers the District manages.
Did you know that you can apply for Section 8 anywhere in the country? If your local Section 8 waiting list is
closed, you can apply to programs elsewhere. See all open waiting lists across the country on
our Waiting Lists page.
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The DC Housing Authority administers
both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 103 projects which contain 8,220 affordable rental units. It also administers 14,143 Section 8 housing vouchers.
According to HUD, DC Housing Authority is determined to be a Large public housing authority, meaning it manages between 1,250 - 9,999 public housing units. Also according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the housing authority is designated as Extra Large, meaning it administers 10,000+ Section 8 vouchers.
Comparing the housing assistance distribution of DC Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (37%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (63%) to that of all housing authorities in District of Columbia, DC Housing Authority has a smaller proportion of public housing units than the average housing authority. The housing authority’s proportion of Section 8 vouchers under management is larger than the average housing authority in District of Columbia.
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.
Every public housing project is inspected every one to three years by HUD.
DC Housing Authority manages 56 rental properties which, as of the last set of publicly available data, have an average
inspection score of 66. The scores for properties managed by
DC Housing Authority range from a high of 99 to a low of 0.
The highest scoring property in the DC Housing Authority portfolio is
Capital Gateway G and the lowest scoring property is Capital Quarters.
To be a passing score a public
housing property must have a score of 60 or more. 71%
of properties managed by DC Housing Authority have a passing score.
Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (data.gov, 2014)
All public housing projects and privately owned rental properties with project-based Section 8 contracts are inspected every 1 to 3 years by HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC). The mission of REAC is to insure that HUD’s multifamily portfolio is well maintained, free of health and safety risks for tenants and to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in HUD’s multifamily programs.
The highest REAC score possible is 100 points. Points are awarded in five inspectable areas: site, building exteriors, common areas, systems and units. Points may be weighted differently for different property types. For example, an urban property with little to no grounds might have a score weighted more on the building exteriors and less on the site whereas a suburban property with acres of land will be weighted more on the site review.
The frequency of REAC inspections is determined by the last REAC score a property received. If a property receives a REAC score of 90 or higher, the next REAC inspection will be scheduled in 3 years. Scores of 80 to 89 require re-inspection in 2 years and scores of 60 to 79 require re-inspection in a year.
A score of less than 60 is considered failing. Scores of 31 to 59 require re-inspection in 60 days and scores of 30 or lower are referred to a HUD Enforcement Center for corrective action.
Score are often followed by a letter or asterisk. A score followed by the letter “a” signifies that no health and safety concerns were noted. A score followed by the letter “b” denote non life threatening health and safety issues were discovered in the inspection. Scores followed by the letter “c” had at least one life threatening health and safety issue. If the score is followed by an asterisk (*) this means that there was at least one non-functioning smoke detector discovered in the inspection.
The REAC score of a property is a good reflection of the overall quality of the property and the experience residents will have. Prospective renters should use the REAC score as an overall reading of how the property is maintained and the quality of management. Properties with lower scores should be avoided.
Housing Authority Annual and 5 Year Plans
Public housing agencies, also called public housing authorities, which receive funding from HUD,
are required to submit and receive approval from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development of
both an Annual Plan and a 5 Year Plan. These plans establish each housing authority’s policies,
strategies, programs and operations for meeting the housing needs of persons within their target area.
The housing authority plans include specific details about the cost of renovations to real
estate (also known as capital improvements), changes to Section 8 HCV policies, planned redevelopment of
public housing projects and other major administrative changes.
Following are the HUD-approved public housing agency plans for DC Housing Authority.