Housing Choice
Voucher Program

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is the federal government’s major program for assisting low-income families, which may include elderly individuals or people with disabilities, with affordable housing in the private market.

Participants are responsible for finding housing in the rental market that meets their needs and then receive rental assistance from County Housing through a voucher. 

Housing Choice Voucher residents must submit recertification each year to their caseworker.

Other Important Information

Need help?

Your HCV caseworker is the main point of contact between an applicant or voucher holder and County Housing. They, or other staff in the HCV department, will be able to answer most questions related to housing assistance.

How do I contact my caseworker?

The easiest way to contact a caseworker is through email. They each assist around 400 families each year in finding housing. Please allow 24-48 hours for them to respond to any email or voicemail, as they receive a large number of contacts throughout their day. To leave a voicemail and receive a callback, please call the main number and ask to speak to your caseworker.

How do I look up my caseworker?
You can look up your assigned caseworker by logging into the RentCafe portal. Once logged in, click on the “Contact Us” tile. From there, you will find your caseworker’s name and contact information. Information on using RentCafe can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

A voucher is a written contract between a public housing authority and a family describing program requirements and confirming a family’s eligibility for rental assistance. The voucher expires after 120 days if a family does not select a unit. The voucher lists the bedroom size the authority has determined to suit their family composition. It can be adjusted in size if the family’s household composition changes.

Participants are responsible for finding housing that meets the voucher requirement and their needs on their own. Below are a few sites that could assist in finding housing. Once a resident finds housing they must get the proper approvals from County Housing before signing a lease agreement with a tentative landlord.

Note: if you find a home on a site other than AffordableHousing.com, you should reach out to the property owner and verify that they will accept a Housing Choice Voucher.

Step 1

The family selects a unit and completes the required landlord packet with the landlord. This packet includes a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA).

Step 2

County Housing reviews the packet and determines if the requested rent from the landlord is reasonable and affordable for the family.

Step 3

County Housing inspects the rental unit using HUD’s established inspection standards. These standards set minimum criteria for the health and safety of program participants. 

Step 4

The family and landlord sign a lease, and County Housing and the landlord sign a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract. 

Step 5

The family moves in and pays their portion of the rent, and County Housing pays the subsidy to the landlord.

You can check the date of your annual recertification by logging in to the RentCafe portal. Once logged in, click on the “Contact Us” tile. From there, you can view your recertification date.

Please call your caseworker to request paper copies of the required forms. They will work with you to make sure you get the information you need. If you are unsure who your assigned caseworker is, please give us a call at (314) 428-3200.

Your voucher value depends on your income, location, program rules, and utility responsibilities set by County Housing. Generally, lower-income households receive higher subsidies to make rent affordable. The HCV program sets payment standards for different areas and your voucher’s value is based on this standard. You contribute a portion of your income (usually 30%), and County Housing covers the rest, up to the payment standard. You will want to report any changes in your income to County Housing promptly if they occur. For specific details about your voucher’s value, you can email your caseworker.

Because a housing voucher allows you to rent with any private landlord, disputes between tenants and landlords will generally be resolved without the involvement of County Housing. If you suspect a breach of program rules that County Housing should be aware of, please contact your caseworker.

Log in to RentCafe and click on the “Report a Change” tile. From there, follow the instructions to update your information. County Housing will require verification of the change. If you are having trouble accessing your RentCafe account, please email or leave a voicemail for your caseworker.

The first thing to do if there is an issue with your home is to reach out to your landlord to resolve it. If you would like to request an inspection be completed after speaking with your landlord, please fill out this request form.