HCVPeople July 2021

Homeownership Month:

Throughout DCHA’s remote operations due to the COVID-19 health emergency the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Assistance Program team has worked tirelessly to assist families to become homeowners. Continuity of operations continued through virtual meetings; phone calls with families, program partners, lenders and settlement agents; on-line submission of required documents; and coordination with DCHA staff, all while helping to keep our families safe by ensuring COVID-19 safety protocols were being followed.

HCVP would like to recognize the following participants who became first-time homeowners:

Janayia Dubose:  June 29, 2020

Princess Prince:  September 11, 2020

Provided courtesy of Princess Prince.

Tydia Reaves, Purchase Date: March 31, 2020

“It was difficult at first, but there is nothing like owning your own home. You just have to put your best foot forward. There is nothing like owning a home in the District of Columbia, the Nation’s Capital—where all the decisions are made.”

Nicole Hubbard, Purchase Date: April 22, 2020

“Homeownership is reachable with DCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Assistance Program. I was scared at first to take that step, but it was the best decision I have made.”

Kennette Dike, Purchase Date: December 22, 2020

“This is for the people who live in Park Morton, if you want to make a change and better yourself then go for it. It is a good change. And you have to be a working person to get what I got. You got to be able to do it. It was a challenge, but I did it. Doing the paperwork, running back and forth to the mortgage place, getting papers, but I did it. I feel good about it. I’m proud of myself. You just got to put your mind to it and go for it. That is what I wanted. I didn’t stop until I got it.”

Aisha Richburg, Purchase Date: February 5, 2021

“DCHA’s Homeownership Program helped my dream of being a homeowner come true. They helped guide me through this tough real estate market in the wake of a global pandemic. Thank you again for all your assistance!” 

Provided courtesy of Aisha Richburg.

Amanda Koger, Purchase Date: March 15, 2021

“I would describe homeownership as one of the biggest responsibilities I took on. Not just a responsibility in terms of authority over a major thing such as a home, but also a sense of duty as someone who has just bought into a community. That brings with it an obligation to consistently contribute to my community, because I now own something. That’s a huge deal for me, and one I don’t take lightly.”

Joelisa Jackson, Settlement Pending (June/July 2021)

“Leaping into the home buying process for the first time can be intimidating but never give up. It won’t be easy but will be worth it. My dream of homeownership has come true.”

Rylinda Rhodes, Settlement Pending (June/July 2021)

“My family can compete and purchase a home in the District of Columbia because DCHA, specifically the Family Self-Sufficiency Program and the HCVP Homeownership Assistance Program provided me the roadmap to success.”

To find out if you are eligible for the HCVP’s HOAP, please call DCHA’s customer call center at 202-535-1000.

Interim Recertifications:

Voucher holders experiencing a decrease in income are encouraged to contact their Housing Program Specialist (HPS) so that 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. In addition, the housing assistance payment (HAP) made on behalf of the voucher holder to the landlord by DCHA may be increased. By taking this step, households will pay the portion of their rent that best reflects the current total household income. 

STAY DC

STAY DC is a financial assistance program for D.C. renters and housing providers who are looking for support to cover housing and utility expenses and offset the loss of income. Apply today to receive money you can use to help you pay for your rent, gas, water, and electricity.

For more information please call:  833-4-STAYDC (833) 478-2932 or visit the Stay DC website at: stay.dc.gov  

Emergency Housing Vouchers

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law. This act provides over $1.9 trillion in relief across the country to address the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. Section 3202 of the ARP appropriates $5 billion for Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs).

EHVs are described as one of several resources that communities can use to house individuals and families who are (1) homeless; (2) recently homeless; (3) victims of domestic violence or human trafficking; or (4) at risk of becoming homeless. To ensure that the EHVs assist families who are most in need, public housing authorities are required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness (TCP) to determine the best use and targeting for the vouchers along with other resources available in the community.

Starting in the month of July, referrals for EHVs will be provided by TCP to DCHA. 

Important Updates

Biennial Virtual Inspections:

Biennial housing quality standards (HQS) inspections are being scheduled. Please be on the look-out for mail pertaining to your HQS inspection.

Utility Reimbursement Payments (URP):

As of July 1, 2021, eligible voucher holders receiving URPs will now receive those payments on the recently issued Visa debit card instead of receiving a paper check in the mail. If you have any questions about your utility reimbursement payments, please contact (202) 535-1000.

Voucher Holders’ Corner

Welcome my peers to the Voucher Holders’ Corner, a place where voucher holders can share ideas for improvement of the program and stories of your positive experiences. Unlike public housing residents, tenant-based voucher holders are privileged to be able to live in any area of the city which meets rent reasonableness. Cherish your status and get involved to maintain it.

The District of Columbia Housing Authority Board of Commissioners (BOC) is an 11-member governing body made up of District community and business leaders, including three members representing public housing residents and one member representing voucher holders/participants.  A current matter of concern is filling the Housing Choice Voucher seat that has been vacant for approximately a year. This seat is appointed by the mayor. So, let your voice be heard! Contact the Mayor’s Office of Talents and Abilities (MOTA) to urge them to fill this seat ASAP!

I urge you to safeguard your status by getting involved and letting your voice be heard. Be a part of the solution and remember housing is a human right!

By Debra Frazier, Voucher Holder

(NOTE: Aside from the months of January and August, the DCHA’s BOC meetings are held at 1:00pm every second Wednesday of the month and are open for public comment)

Also, if voucher holders you know have not received the HCVPeople quarterly newsletter, please have them notify DCHA’s customer call center at (202) 535-1000.

Last Modified: 07/14/2021 2:31 pm