Finding A Place
Section 8 rental assistance program gives a family the freedom
to decide where they want to live. You may choose to live
anywhere in Charleston-Kanawha Housing’s jurisdiction
or you may move elsewhere in West Virginia or even to another
state with assistance.
Housing’s jurisdiction is Kanawha, Clay and Putnam County.
CKH has also entered into agreements with surrounding housing
agencies that permit CKH to provide assistance to families
anywhere in Kanawha County.
portability a family may move with assistance outside of Charleston-Kanawha
Housing’s jurisdiction. The only requirement is the
family must have lived within CKH’s jurisdiction at
the time they applied for assistance. If the family did not,
they must lease a unit for one year before they can move through
portability. You may contact CKH about other housing agencies
in West Virginia and in other states.
What To Consider Before You Begin Your Search
Housing encourages all families to look for housing in areas
of low poverty concentration (less than 20% of the population
is below the poverty line). In CKH’s operating area,
housing in Dunbar, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cross Lanes,
Kanawha City, and Putnam County would qualify as low poverty
areas. Many of these communities are accessible with KRT service,
except Putnam County.
In selecting a rental property for your
family there are a number of issues to consider:
Are there employment opportunities located
Is the property located near public transportation routes
(KRT), medical and shopping centers?
How close will you be to the schools your children will
(See the Kanawha, Clay and Putnam web sites)
Is this a quality unit that will pass inspection? (See the
PDF brochure “A
Good Place to Live”, 354K)
Does the unit meet your family’s needs? (Size, amenities,
Will the landlord be responsive when repairs are needed?
Does the owner’s lease agreement clearly state the
terms for returning the security deposit,
or restrictions on visitors and pets?
These are just some of the questions you
should consider in searching for a place to live. Never give
a landlord any money to hold a unit or as a security deposit
until you’re certain of your intent to rent the property.
Remember, once you become a Section 8 program participant
you must remain in the unit you select for one year before
you can give notice of your intent to move.
Where To Search For Available Housing
begin your search for housing you may want to look over the
available property page on this web site where landlords who
accept Section 8 vouchers have posted their vacant rental
units. An available property bulletin board is also maintained
in the lobby at the Admin Office at 1525 Washington Street
You can also find available property through
the daily or weekly newspapers or trade publications that
are published in our area. When calling about a rental don’t
limit yourself to just those advertisements that say “HUD
Approved” or “vouchers accepted”. Look for
rentals in neighborhoods that you believe best meet your family’s
needs and whose rent is affordable to you. Also, landlords
are looking for good tenants, whether they have rental assistance
or not, so be sure to sell your good qualities as a renter
when you contact any landlord.
Approving Your Rental Selection
a you find a unit to rent, the landlord must complete the
Request For Tenancy Approval (RFTA) that is issued with your
voucher. The owner needs to complete this form which will
permit CKH to determine the location of the unit, what the
owner is requesting for rent, who is responsible for what
utilities, the type of utilities ( gas or electric), and who
owns what appliances. It is the family’s responsibility
to return the RFTA packet to CKH so an inspection can be scheduled.
Any forms not completed and signed could cause the inspection
process to be delayed.
Scheduling an Inspection
An inspector will schedule the date and
time of the initial inspection within 7 to 10 days of the
RFTA being submitted by the family. If there are repairs to
be made after the unit is inspected, both the owner and the
family will receive a sheet listing the needed repairs and
the number of days for their completion.
amount and payment of the security deposit is between the
owner and the family. Charleston-Kanawha Housing does not
provide assistance in paying or recovering security deposits.
Required Conditions for Leasing
a Rental Property
It is our recommendation to both the
family and the owner that the family not move into the unit
until the inspection has been completed, that it has been determined
that all three conditions above have been met, and that the
family is eligible to lease the unit.
The unit must pass inspection.
The unit must be determined to be Rent Reasonable.
If the cost of rent and utilities is over the Payment Standard,
the total family contribution cannot exceed 40% of the family’s
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination
in housing because of:
Race or color
You need to
be well informed of your rights when you begin looking for
housing, therefore CKH recommends you review the HUD booklet
“Fair Housing, Equal Opportunity for All”. If
you believe you may have been discriminated against contact
the Charleston Human Rights Commission.