What if I cannot find a suitable unit within the 60-day time limit?

You may request an extension from your Tenant Selector at the SHA Section 8 office.  You may have up to an additional 60 days to look for a unit.  You must submit documentation of your search for units, and it is up to Syracuse Housing Authority whether they will extend or not.

What if I cannot afford to pay my security deposit?

In some cases, landlords will permit tenants to pay security deposits over several months.  Check with your landlord to see if he or she is willing to work out a payment schedule.

Must I get a unit with the same number of bedrooms as written on my Housing Choice Voucher?

No.  You may rent a larger or smaller unit.  As long as you can afford it and the rent is reasonable compared to other units in the Section 8 HCV program, you may rent a larger unit.  As long as the unit meets the program’s housing quality standards and the occupancy standards for your family, you may rent a smaller unit.

My mother is in a nursing home.  Can she use a Housing Voucher to help pay for her room?

No.  Rooms in nursing homes are prohibited from the program.  You may not use a voucher for single rooms in medical, psychiatric, or rehab centers.

My mother lives in congregate housing.  Can she use a Housing Voucher to help pay for her unit?

Congregate Housing and Independent Group Residences may be alright.  Check with SHA to determine if your situation is permissible.

What if I disagree with the Housing Authority about my eligibility or my subsidy level?

If you disagree with a decision of SHA, ask for a file review at our HCV office.  Perhaps there was a mistake or perhaps you misunderstood.  If you are still dissatisfied, you may request a hearing at the agency.

What happens if the landlord wants to raise the rent?

After the first year of the lease the landlord may choose to increase the rent.  The landlord must give 60 days notice to the tenant and SHA for any rent increases. Under the Section 8 HCV Program, there is no limit to the amount a landlord can raise the rent, but the rent must still be reasonable for the unit as compared to similar units.

Usually, SHA will not be able to increase the subsidy when the rent increases.  You must decide if you are willing and able to pay the difference.  If you cannot or will not pay the new amount, you can give 30 days written notice to move.  You must contact SHA and follow the procedures for moving.

What happens if my family size changes?

You should report any changes in your family size to SHA.  A change in your family size may change the amount of the subsidy that is being paid.  The agency will also want to be sure that your unit is large enough for your family.  If it is not large enough, then you may have to move.

What if there are maintenance problems with the unit after I move in and the landlord will not fix them?

Call SHA and ask for a complaint inspection.  SHA will notify the landlord if he or she is not maintaining the unit properly.  If you or your guests cause any problems in the unit, you are responsible to correct these.  Failure to do so could result in the loss of your rent subsidy.