HCVPeople February 2021

Recertification Waiver Applied During the National Health Pandemic

The D.C. Housing Authority continues to operate in a partial telework capacity due to the national health emergency. As a result, DCHA adopted HUD waivers that allowed the agency to be more flexible and accommodating to voucher customers when collecting documents pertaining to interim changes and biennial recertifications. DCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) continues to process all completed recertifications and required documents that are submitted by voucher holders.

We continue to monitor income changes utilizing HUD’s Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) system where it applies in addition to accepting self-certification as the highest form of income verification. If there is a decrease in household income, voucher customers are encouraged to report the changes even if they cannot provide the supporting documentation. The recertification
waiver is set to expire on June 30, 2021.

Interim Recertifications

Voucher customers experiencing a decrease in income are encouraged to contact their Housing Program Specialist (HPS) so an interim recertification can be conducted. The outcome of the interim recertification may decrease the amount of rent the voucher holder will be required to pay their landlord and may increase the housing assistance payment (HAP) made on behalf of the voucher holder to the landlord by DCHA. This step will allow households to pay the portion of rent that is reflective of the current total household income.

Virtual Inspections

In April 2020, HCVP transitioned to conducting Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections virtually. This virtual inspections process helps inspectors, voucher customers, and landlords adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The virtual inspection process requires the landlord to designate a “proxy inspector” who is responsible for the actual walk-through of the unit(s) utilizing a handheld smart device. To assist with the inspection, the proxy inspector uses a thermal temperature gauge to check the heat and water temperature, an outlet receptacle tester, and a ladder to check smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. On the date and time of the virtual inspection, the proxy inspector is contacted by a HCVP inspector through a virtual platform. The proxy inspector is guided by the HCVP inspector and is given specific instructions on how to move around both the outside and inside of the unit while carefully showing the HCVP inspector all of the required aspects of a HQS inspection. The HCVP inspector documents the inspection, takes pictures of any HQS violations, and writes their final report passing or failing the unit. To date, the DCHA HCVP Inspections Team has completed over 5,000 virtual inspections with this very safe, efficient, and effective process.

It is important to note, any complaint inspections that involve mold are inspected by inspectors in the Office of Audit and Compliance (OAC). Their mold inspections are separate from HCVP; however the outcome of OAC’s mold inspections is shared with HCVP.

Voucher Customer Corner

We are pleased to introduce a new addition to HCVPeople. In the upcoming HCVPeople newsletters there will be a section entitled Voucher Customer Corner, and the write-up will be from a voucher customer. Please be on the look-out for more information.

Scholarship Opportunity

The 2021 HAI Group Resident Scholarship Program is open for submissions! This year, 20 people will be awarded scholarships valued at $6,000 each! Entry forms must be submitted by Friday, April 30, 2021.

Completed entries will be placed into a drawing to be held on or about Monday, May 3, 2021.

HAI Group’s Resident Scholarship Program has been providing scholarships to public housing and housing choice voucher residents since 2003. To date, HAI Group has awarded more than $1,400,000 to over 450 residents!

This year, they’ll be awarding scholarships worth $6,000 each to 20 residents to continue their education. Students may enter—and be awarded scholarships for up to four consecutive years.

ELIGIBILITY:
Applicants must meet the following criteria:

Enrollment:
Is or will be enrolled in the fall for the 2021-2022 academic year in an accredited and/or licensed technical school or accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States.

Residency:
Resides in a housing authority or in a property with a housing choice voucher
(HCV) administered by a housing authority that is a member of Housing Authority Risk Retention Group (HARRG) or Housing Authority Property Insurance, A Mutual Company (HAPI) or resides in an affordable housing property insured by Housing Enterprise Insurance Company (HEIC).
OR
Individuals fulfilling the requirements in the official rules, during the scholarship entry period who are declared a scholarship recipient and who are in receipt of a scholarship will subsequently be exempt from the residency requirement listed above during the four-consecutive-year term of the academic scholarship period awarded, subject to all other rules and conditions.

Citizenship:
Must be a United States citizen or permanent resident (with a green card).

Other:
Must follow all other rules outlined in the official rules (www.housingcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2021-Official-Rules.pdf).

Resident Scholarship Program
Pursue Your Dreams
ACT NOW!
Entries must be submitted online by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, April 30, 2021. Questions? Visit www.housingcenter.com/scholarships  or contact us at
scholarship@housingcenter.com.
Important Invitation to Opt-In Go to www.housingcenter.com/scholarships-opt-in to continue receiving correspondence and updates on the Resident Scholarship Program.

Last Modified: 03/04/2021 8:03 pm