The District of Columbia Housing Authority is making the lives of its customers and partner landlords a little bit more convenient.
DCHA removed restrictions related to customers reporting income increases, eased rules on when rent increases can be requested, and added more flexibility to who is eligible for local subsidized housing. DCHA’s Board of Commissioners approved all three actions during their May meeting.
“All of these resolutions are to make the lives with our voucher customers easier and to improve our relationships with our landlords,” said DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman.
Before the recent changes, a voucher customer had to report to DCHA every single time their income increased. If they did not, they could often face a penalty. With the new rule, this requirement only comes when the customer needs to recertify, which is done every two years, said Housing Choice Voucher Program Director Ronald McCoy.
“This goes a very, very long way in being transparent about our intent to report income,” Todman said. “There is no disincentive for folks to get a better job.”
The second resolution gives DCHA more flexibility in awarding a landlord a rent increase. It allows landlords to be paid fairly, commensurate with the maximum DCHA rents, as a way to keep business partnerships with good landlords and to keep voucher families housed, McCoy said.
The third resolution affecting the local rent supplement program will enable families to be deemed eligible for local voucher subsidy even if they don’t qualify under the federal voucher subsidy guidelines. This allows DCHA to work closer with its sister agency, the Department of Human Services, in its effort to end homelessness in the District of Columbia.
“Now people who might have lost their identification when they were homeless, but are taking steps towards self-sufficiency through one of our community partner organizations, like So Others Might Eat, can find an affordable place to call home,” McCoy said.