The Walworth County Housing Authority (WCHA) administers the Housing Choice Voucher program for eligible persons in Walworth County. WCHA receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is the federal government's major housing program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.
A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. The family is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects. A housing voucher holder is advised of the unit size for which it is eligible based on family size and composition.
The housing unit selected by the family must meet an acceptable level of health and safety before the WCHA can approve the unit. When the voucher holder finds a unit that it wishes to occupy and reaches an agreement with the landlord over the lease terms, the WCHA must inspect the dwelling and determine that the rent requested is reasonable.
The WCHA determines a payment standard that is the amount generally needed to rent a moderately-priced dwelling unit in the local housing market and that is used to calculate the amount of housing assistance a family will receive. However the payment standard does not limit and does not affect the amount of rent a landlord may charge or the family may pay. A family which receives a housing voucher can select a unit with a rent that is below or above the payment standard. The voucher holder must pay 30% of its monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities, and if the unit rent is greater than the payment standard the family is required to pay the additional amount. By law, whenever a family moves to a new unit where the rent exceeds the payment standard, the family may not pay more than 40 percent of its adjusted monthly income for rent.
Once the WCHA approves an eligible family's housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and, at the same time, the landlord and the PHA sign a housing assistance payments contract that runs for the same term as the lease. This means that everyone -- tenant, landlord and WCHA -- has obligations and responsibilities under the voucher program. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the WCHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.
While the main goal of the program is to provide financial rent assistance to participants, the Walworth County Housing Authority works hard at creating solid working relationships with landlords and property management teams in our communities. We recognize without landlord participation this program would not be successful.
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HOUSING WAIT LIST
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Walworth County Housing Authority
Affordable Community Housing, Inc.
20 N Church Street, Suite 1
Elkhorn, WI 53121
HOURS OF OPERATION