Boston Housing Authority

Policies > Section 8 Admin Plan Ch 10: Renewal

Section 8 Admin Plan

Chapter 10:Renewal

10.1 Annual Recertification

The BHA must conduct a reexamination of the Family’s income and composition at least annually. 

10.1.1  Appointment for Recertification 

The Leasing Officer will contact the Head of Household in writing three to four months before the anniversary of their last annual Recertification by sending the Family an appointment letter. The appointment letter requests that the Head of Household bring the necessary verification of Annual Income and Family Composition (see Chapter 5: Determination of Eligibility). The appointment letter also lists the required documentation and information and states that a failure to comply with the obligation to supply information may result in the termination of the Family’s HCVP assistance.
(a)        Failure to Keep the Appointment.
If the Family fails to keep the initial Recertification appointment, the Leasing Officer will reschedule the appointment. The BHA considers it a failure to attend an appointment if the Participant is more than one-half (1/2) an hour late for a scheduled appointment.
If the Family fails to attend a second Recertification appointment, the Leasing Officer may terminate the Family’s assistance in accordance with Chapter 13. The BHA may recertify the Family and rescind the proposed termination if the Family provides the Leasing Officer with all the documentation required to recertify within twenty days (20) of the date of the proposed termination letter.
If the Participant contacts the Leasing Officer prior to the appointment to reschedule or has a reasonable excuse for missing the appointment, the BHA will excuse the missed appointment. The BHA will use its discretion to determine what excuses are reasonable. The Leasing Officer may ask the Family to supply documentation to verify their inability to attend the appointment.  See also sections 1.2.4-1.2.5.
(b)        Failure to provide complete information. If the Family attends the annual Recertification appointment but fails to provide the BHA with the documentation necessary to recertify the Family, the Leasing Officer will schedule an additional appointment and notify the Participant what documentation the BHA still requires to complete the Recertification. If the Participant does not supply the required information or does not attend the rescheduled appointment, the Leasing Officer may send the Family a notice of proposed termination of assistance that also contains a list of the documentation required to complete Recertification. The BHA may recertify the Family and rescind the proposed termination if the Family provides the Leasing Officer with all of the required documentation no later than twenty days (20) of the date of the proposed termination letter.  Submission of incomplete information within the twenty (20) days will be treated as a request for a hearing even if no official request was submitted.   

10.1.2  Determining Family's Appropriate Unit Size and Subsidy 

At the appointment, the Leasing Officer will verify the Family's anticipated income, verify Family Composition determine the appropriate Apartment size, and establish the Family's subsidy in accordance with Chapter 5 of this Administrative Plan. The Leasing Officer will also ask for verification of any changes in Family Composition.
(a)        Change of Voucher Size.
The appropriate Unit size will be determined and exceptions made as previously described. See section 5.1.2. If the Family requires a smaller or larger Apartment, the Leasing Officer will notify them in writing of the change in bedroom size, the conditions under which the BHA might allow an exception to the Subsidy Standards, and the right to an informal hearing to dispute the determination.
(b)        Unit too small. If the Apartment is too small for the Family according to BHA Subsidy Standards and the Family has not obtained an exception to the Subsidy Standards or requested a hearing, the Leasing Officer will issue the Family a Voucher and the Family must find an acceptable Apartment before the Voucher expires. The BHA will provide the Family with information on any available units.
(c)        Unit too large. If a Unit is too large for the Family according to BHA Subsidy Standards and the Family has not obtained an exception to the Subsidy Standards or requested a hearing, the Payment Standard will be reduced accordingly at the effective date of the Family’s annual Recertification. The Family may either remain in the Unit and pay the difference, or move to a smaller Unit. 

10.1.3  Additions to Family Composition 

(a)        Owner and BHA Approval. At the initial briefing session and at each Recertification, the BHA will advise the Family that additions cannot be made to the Family Composition without prior written approval from Owner and BHA approval, except in the instances of birth, adoption, or the court-awarded custody of a child.  However, a family must notify the BHA in writing within thirty (30) days when a new Family member begins living in the Unit due to a birth adoption or court-awarded custody of a Minor. The BHA will begin the eligibility determination of the additional Family member regardless of the Owner's approval or disapproval. 
(i)         Owner Denial.  If the Owner does not give written approval to add the Family member to the Lease, the Family may move if the Lease is no longer in its initial term.  If the Lease is in its initial term, the Family must request permission from the Owner to break the Lease. If the Family moves in order to add the additional member to their Family Composition, the BHA will begin to determine eligibility for the additional member when the Family submits a RTA.  If the Family vacates the Apartment in violation of the Lease, their Section 8 assistance may be terminated in accordance with Chapter 13 of this Administrative Plan.
(b)        No severe overcrowding. Regardless of landlord approval or eligibility for the program, the BHA will not allow additions to the Family Composition that result in severe overcrowding in the existing Apartment.  If the approved additional Family member(s) will cause severe overcrowding, the BHA will issue the Family a new Voucher so the Family can relocate to an appropriately sized Unit. 
(c)        Addition to Family Composition is subject to BHA and HUD eligibility. Any person(s) must be determined eligible for the BHA HCVP before the BHA will permit the addition of the person to the Family Composition. Additional person(s) must first be determined to be eligible by BHA and HUD standards before being added to the Family Composition. The new Family member must: complete all BHA and/or HUD required eligibility forms, provide authorization to conduct a CORI check (if the person is fourteen (14) years or older), provide evidence of citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen Status or sign a non-contending status form, and provide information required to verify income and program eligibility in accordance with program requirements.
Additions to the Family in instances of birth, adoption, or court awarded custody of a Minor, do not require advance approval to live in the Unit.  However, any addition to the Family may be denied eligibility for the HCVP.  If they are denied eligibility and a hearing is requested, the Minor may remain in the Unit until the review is final.
(d)        BHA Approval. If the BHA approves the addition of such person to the Family Composition and Lease, the BHA will re-calculate the Family’s Rent to Owner and the BHA’s Housing Assistance Payment paid on the Family’s behalf to the Owner including the provided information. The BHA reserves the right to deny addition of any person to a Family Composition and/or Lease for good cause.
(e)        Denial.  If a proposed addition to the Family is denied, a hearing may be requested to dispute the BHA decision. 

10.1.4  Removal of Members from Family Composition 

The Family must notify the BHA within thirty (30) days that a Family member no longer resides in the Unit and will no longer be a member of the Family Composition. 
(a)        A child, under the age of eighteen, who is temporarily away from the home because of placement in Foster care, will be considered a member of the Family Composition. 
(b)        A student who is away from the unit during the school year will be considered a member of the family composition, if the student has not established another place of residence by registering for school from an address other than the subsidized unit.
(c)        The BHA requires documentation to show that a Family member no longer resides with the Household in the subsidized Apartment. 

10.1.5    Change the Head of Household / Co-Head of Household 

A Family may request to change which Family member is designated the Head of Household. The Family may also decide to designate or change a Co-Head of Household.  The BHA will approve the change if the Family member is able to take on the responsibilities of being the Head of Household/Co-Head of Household, including, but not limited to, communicating with the BHA and the Owner.