Why Should You Rent Your Unit to an HCV Participant?
Consistent Income:HACP can offer more rental income when compared to market-rate tenants in most neighborhoods and guarantees rental income during a recession/pandemic.
Helping Families: Renting your unit to HACP offers a unique opportunity by not only benefitting you but also reducing homelessness and helping families in need reunify and become self-sufficient.
Assisting Veterans: You can be a part of the solution to ending homelessness of those who have served our country. HACP works alongside Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing to help connect landlords with veterans in need of housing.
Preferred Owners Program: Our Preferred Owners Program offers benefits like priority property listing and vacancy payments up to two months.
How to Become an HCV Landlord
Step 1. Market your unit to tenants on hacp.org and/or affordablehousing.com (https://hacp.org/login/)
To become a landlord in the HCV program, the first step is to market your property. Our HCV Program landlords can market their available rental properties directly to voucher holders by registering the properties in our free rental listing service. Log in and create an account on our website or call our office at 412-456-5090 and request your property be advertised. It is also helpful to list your unit through other rental listing services like affordablehousing.com.
How much can I charge for my unit? When entering your unit in these services, reference our standard voucher payment standards listed here to know how much to charge for your unit. More specific additional payment vouchers may apply. To reference these, visit frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page.
To list your unit on hacp/ afforablehousing.com:
Visit website to sign up and follow prompts on the description of your unit
Tenants will then reach out to you as they see listings
You will complete a background check on the tenant the same way as you would if you were screening a market-rate tenant.
*Note: To rent a unit through HACP, it will need inspected up to five days after RFTA is approved (seen below). To assist in having your unit ready for inspection, reference our pre-inspection checklist so your property is prepared. To access this checklist, click here.
Step 2. RFTA - Request for Tenancy Approval (Each voucher holder/tenant will have a RFTA)
Once a tenant reaches out, the next step is completing the RFTA paperwork:
The RFTA needs to be completed by the landlord and the participant
Submit the RFTA to firstname.lastname@example.org along with all of the required documents.
If the RFTA is not submitted completely you can not move forward.
The Inspection Process
Step 1: Evaluation of Requested Rent
Once the RFTA is submitted, it’s reviewed by the HACP RFTA processor. During the RFTA review, the HACP determines if the requested rent is reasonable by examining:
A list of unassisted rents on units with the same likeness within a .5 mile radius to determine rent reasonableness.
If your unit is unreasonable or unaffordable, you’ll be contacted and asked to accept a lower contract rent.
Step 2: Estimated Rent Establishment
After establishing the contract rent, an estimated rent letter is established.
This is an estimate of the voucher holder's portion of the rent and the HACP’s portion of the rent. The total contact rent will be the voucher’s and HACP’s added together.
Step 3: Ready for the Inspection
Once the RFTA is approved, it’s sent to the inspector in the subject’s property zip code.
The inspector has five days once he or she receives the RFTA to schedule and conduct the initial inspection on the property.
If the unit fails the initial inspection, the owner has 14 days to make the necessary repairs.
If the owner can not complete the repairs in time, the landlord will have to start the clock again by submitting a RFTA.
HACP will not pay on any unit until the unit passes the initial inspection and the lease start date has been determined.
Will My Unit Pass an Inspection?
HACP offers pre-inspections to landlords with interest in partnering with HACP. Prior to scheduling a pre-inspection for your unit, HACP asks the potential landlord to take some time to review the HQS Self Inspection Checklist.
Participating Landlords must have properties within the city of Pittsburgh that meet our mission of safe, affordable, and decent housing. The privately owned units must be offered through the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8). The Pre-Inspection is only valid 90 calendar days from the date of the passed inspection.
I have completed my inspection:Once the inspector has determined the unit is safe, sanitary, and decent. The RFTA is forwarded to the participant’s housing specialist.
The lease start date is the 1st or the 16th following the passed initial inspection.
If the landlord decides to allow a tenant prior to receiving, reviewing and signing the HACP standard lease agreement, the owner and the voucher holder must come to an agreement until the HACP lease is signed by both parties.
The housing specialist has up to 60 days to complete the lease agreement.
Once the lease is ready to be signed you’ll be contacted by our leasing agent for your signatures.
I have my completed lease agreement:Once documents have been signed, generally, the initial lease term will be for one year (12 months). After the initial contract term expires, the lease renews on a month-to-month basis.
How Much Rent Can I Charge?
The owner should charge an amount similar to what is being charged to non-voucher tenants for comparable units in the same area. Per federal regulations, the HACP must evaluate the proposed contract rent based on two (2) factors:
The reasonable rent for your unit (24 C.F.R. 982.507); and
The family’s income (24 C.F.R. 982.508)
The gross rent for your unit (i.e., the sum of your contract rent and the utility allowance that the HACP credits to the family) has to be reasonable – that is, no more than the gross rent for comparable unassisted units in the area of the unit proposed to be assisted. In addition, if the unit is in a multi-unit building, you can charge no more than what you charge for comparable unassisted units in the building. The HACP determines rent reasonableness by inspecting your unit and, then, comparing its rent to that of, at least, three (3) comparable unassisted units in your unit’s area through utilizing a web-based rent reasonableness analysis software.
In addition to being reasonable, the gross rent for your unit has to be affordable by the tenant. Anytime a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) is submitted, the HACP evaluates the total tenant portion (the monthly rent paid directly to you by the tenant) and the utility allowance. If the total tenant portion is above 40% of the family’s income, the total tenant payment is considered unaffordable. However, as a Moving to Work agency, the HACP has HUD’s permission to allow families (with income greater than zero) to choose to pay more than 40% of their income towards rent by signing a Rent Burden Letter.
The rent reasonableness analysis and affordability check will be conducted upon RFTA submission. The rent reasonableness analysis is also required when the owner requests an increase to the contract rent during the term of the HAP contract.
Please Note: The payment standard is not the maximum amount that the landlord can charge; it is the maximum amount of subsidy that the HACP will pay toward each tenant’s rent portion. For more information regarding payment standards, please see the Payment Standard section.
The payment standard is the recommended maximum rent that an HCV participant is allowed to pay for rent (by bedroom size). For a guide showing the steps to determine the new payment standards, please click here. The total amount is a combination of the tenant payment and the HCAP’s portion of the payment. The HACP currently has three (3) approved payment standards under our Moving to Work program as described in detail below.
Regular Tiered Payment Standard
Most HCV participants will receive this payment standard unless they qualify for an alternative payment standard described below. Through its Moving to Work authority, the HACP establishes its Regular Payment Standard based on the Allegheny County Fair Market Rent (ACFMR), which is calculated uniquely by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on an annual basis. Using recent American Community Survey (ACS) five (5)-year estimates, census tracts in the City of Pittsburgh were sorted into one of (6) payment standard tiers based on how far above, at, or below their all-bedroom Median Gross Rent fell from the Allegheny County’s all-bedroom Median Gross Rent. The attached payment standards are effective January 1, 2023. Click here to view.
Reasonable Accommodations Payment Standard
As approved in the current HACP Moving to Work Plan, there are two (2) criteria for a HCV participant to receive the Reasonable Accommodations Payment Standard:
The family must be approved for a change to the payment standard through the reasonable accommodation process and/or submit evidence that the unit is fully wheelchair accessible, or has a minimum of at least (4) accessible features that are needed by the prospective voucher holder, which would need to be verified by their Third Party Professional. To learn more about Reasonable Accommodations, click here.
The unit must be inspected to confirm the required accessible features as outlined in the reasonable accommodations’ approval letter are present.
If an HCV participant is approved for the Reasonable Accommodations Payment Standard, the HACP will boost any tiered payment standard amount by 10% of HUD’s hypothetical Allegheny County Fair Market Rent (ACFMR). The attached payment standards are effective January 1, 2023. Click here to view.
Rehabilitation Payment Standard
As approved in the current HACP Moving to Work Plan, the Rehabilitation Payment Standard is to provide incentives to HCV property owners to rehabilitate substandard units that otherwise would not be able to be on the HCV program. This payment option is neither infinite nor for one (1) time, however, rather remains available to a property owner should the approved unit change voucher holders. This payment standard has both HCV participant eligibility requirements and unit eligibility requirements as described in the attached chart.
If an HCV participant & the unit in question is approved for the Rehabilitation Payment Standard, the HACP will boost any tiered payment standard amount by 10% of HUD’s hypothetical Allegheny County Fair Market Rent (ACFMR). The attached payment standards are effective January 1, 2023. Click here to view.
Landlord Partner Portal
A valuable resource available to all landlords is the Partner Portal. The Partner portal is a portal for landlords and managing agents which allows you to access information on your units being rented. Partners portal offers a variety of resources such as access to a profile, check history, direct deposits, unit information, inspection history & upcoming reminders, hold & abatement information, tenant family information with assigned case worker name, history of requests and an option for new requests like rent increase. We encourage you to use this resource to gain access to detailed information on your units and submit requests.
For instruction on how to use this resource and its features, click here.
Landlords may request a rent increase once per year. Rent increase requests must be received by the HACP no later than 120 days prior to the tenant’s anniversary date. The rent increase request must be signed by the tenant.
Any rent increase requests received later than the submission deadline or that are missing the tenant’s signature, will be denied.
To help make sure your requests are submitted on time, please refer to the Rent Increase Request Submission Deadlines Here (Rent Increase Deadlines). The Rent Increase Request form can be downloaded here. Rent increase can also be requested using the Partner Portal under “new requests”.
Preferred Owners Program
The Preferred Owners Program is a program designed to:
Promote and improve the quality of Housing Choice Voucher properties.
Increase the number of properties in quality neighborhoods.
Provide YOU (Preferred Owners) with various membership benefits.
What Does It Do For You?
Priority inspection scheduling
Extended expiration date of initial inspections (From 15 to 60 days)
When a voucher holder moves out of a unit, if you as the landlord release the unit to another voucher holder, you may apply for a vacancy payment equal to no more thantwo months’ of the previous tenant’s HAP payment.
Priority Property Listings:
Preferred Owners properties will b e placed at the top of HACP’s property listing webpage.
How Do You Apply?
Complete the application formwith your name, contact information and unit addresses & send it to HCVLandlordSupport@hacp.org
Pass annual inspection on the first inspection for the past four (4) consecutive years.
Complete a minimum of one training per year in order to maintain membership.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the RFTA Addendum?
If a landlord would like to transfer billing responsibilities, like Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authorities, they must fill out and submit a request for RFTA Addendum.
*Following the rent increase deadlines 120 days prior to the anniversary date.
What is my tenant/ voucher holder responsible for?
Refer to the Tenancy addendum
Notify HACP of any changes in income or family composition.
Submit required documents for their inspections.
How Do I Submit a Change of Ownership Request?
If you are looking to change the name of ownership of a property involved with the Housing Authority for the City of Pittsburgh, click here.
Are There Additional Types of Vouchers?
Below are some of the additional vouchers that the HACP offers, also known as Special Purpose Vouchers. Special Purpose Vouchers differ from tenant-based vouchers by containing specific operational requirements determined by Congress in line-item appropriations.
Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV): The Emergency Housing Voucher program is available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Through EHV, HUD is providing 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) in order to assist individuals and families who:
At risk of homelessness,
Fleeing, or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, or
Were recently homeless or have a high risk of housing instability
The HACP receives prescreened referrals from its Continuum of Care (COC) and other partnering agencies, namely the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. If interested in learning more, please contact the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.
Family Unification Program (FUP): FUP is a program under which vouchers are provided to two different populations:
Families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in either:
The imminent placement of the family’s child or children in out-of-home care
The delay in the discharge of the child or children to the family from out-of-home care
Youths ages 18 to 24 years old who:
Left foster care at age 16 or older or will leave foster care within 90 days, in accordance with a transition plan described in section 475(5)(H) of the Social Security Act; and
Are homeless; or
Are at risk of homelessness
By statute, FUP vouchers issued to youths may only be used to provide housing assistance for a maximum of 36 months. There is no limitation on FUP family vouchers. FUP vouchers enable these families and youths to lease decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private housing market.
The HACP receives prescreened referrals from its partnering agencies, namely the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. If interested in learning more, please contact the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.
HCV Community Choice Demonstration (CCD): The HCV Community Choice Demonstration is for new vouchers for families with children and the remainder is available for mobility-related services. The primary purposes of the demonstration are:
To provide voucher assistance and mobility services to families with children to encourage such families to move to lower poverty areas;
To expand their access to opportunity areas; and
To evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies pursued under the demonstration
The HACP identifies and reaches out to eligible HCV participant families according to lease anniversary date and eligible HCV applicant families on its existing waiting list to learn about the CCD. If interested in learning more about the CCD in general, please click here.
Mainstream Voucher Program: Mainstream vouchers are designed to provide assistance housing to families that include a non-elderly person with disabilities who is at least age 18 and not yet 62 years of age at the time the HAP contract is signed. The eligible family member does not need to be the head, spouse, or co-head.
The HACP receives prescreened referrals from its partnering agencies, namely the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. If interested in learning more, please contact the Allegheny Link.
Veteran’s Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH): The HUD-VASH program combines HUD Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs at tits medical centers and in the community.
The HACP receives prescreened referrals from its partnering agencies, namely the VA Pittsburgh Health Care Office. If interested in learning more, please contact the VA Pittsburgh Health Care Office.
Tenant Protection Voucher (TPV): Tenant Protection Vouchers are vouchers provided to protect HUD-assisted families from hardship as the result of a conversion action that occurs in HUD’s Public Housing properties, the Multifamily Housing portfolios, and Moderate Rehabilitation properties.
HUD awards the HACP tenant protection vouchers directly and the HACP Occupancy Department assists in the relocation process.
HACP’s Housing Choice Voucher Program Administrative Plan (the Admin Plan) offers policies for carrying out programs in a manner consistent with HUD requirements and local goals and objectives. The Admin Plan sets forth local policies for operation of the housing programs in accordance with federal laws and regulations. All issues related to the HCV program not addressed in this document are governed by such federal regulations, HUD handbooks and guidebooks, notices, and other applicable law.
HACP's Housing Choice Voucher Department will be closed to clients the following days:
Observed Holidays (Department Closed)
December 31, 2022 (New Year's Day Observed)
January 16, 2023 (MLK Day)
February 20, 2023 (Presidents' Day)
April 7, 2023 (Good Friday)
May 29, 2023 (Memorial Day)
June 19, 2023 (Juneteenth Day Observed)
July 4, 2023 (Independence Day)
September 4, 2023 (Labor Day)
November 10, 2023 (Veterans' Day)
November 23, 2023 (Thanksgiving Day)
November 24, 2023 (Day after Thanksgiving)
December 23, 2023 (Floating Holiday)
December 26, 2023 (Christmas Observed)
Public Notice of Proposed FY 2024 Housing Choice Voucher Program Payment Standards
September 26, 2023
Pursuant to the regulations 24 CFR 982.503, the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Department has completed its annual review and update of the HCV Payment Standard Charts. The proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 HCV Payment …
Public Notice of Proposed FY 2024 Housing Choice Voucher Program Utility Allowances
September 25, 2023
Pursuant to regulation 24 CFR 982.517, the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Department has completed its annual review and update of the HCV Utility Allowance Schedules. The proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 HCV …
The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh is holding its September 2023 Board of Commissioners Meeting Thursday, September 28, at 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. The meeting agenda and resolutions can be read here. Public comments can …