May 2020 Quarterly Newsletter

Carolyn Kornegay Punter
Senior Vice President, Housing Choice Voucher Program and
Eligibility and Continued Occupancy Division

Franselene St. Jean
Vice-Chair of the District of Columbia Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and HCVP Commissioner, askthehcvpcommish@dchousing.org

 

VetsRide Program to Assist D.C. Veterans Impacted by COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The VetRide Program has expanded to include D.C. Veterans who are now unemployed due to the state of emergency. For more information, please click here: https://bit.ly/35neSQb.

HCVP GOES VIRTUAL

Virtual Briefings and Voucher Issuance:

In response to COVID-19, the Housing Choice Voucher Program crafted a virtual briefing and voucher process. HCVP was placed in a position to be innovative so that we can continue to serve our families in need of lease-ups.  This new process allows HCVP to conduct briefings and issue vouchers to applicants, voucher holders, and participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vouchers can be issued and delivered electronically or picked-up after the stay at home order has been lifted in Washington, D.C.

Since March 16, 2020, HCVP’s Relocation, Orientation, Training, and Counseling (ROTC) team has conducted more than 10 voucher-briefing sessions and issued over 60 vouchers during the state of emergency. Conducting virtual briefings allows HCVP to maintain continuity of operations in housing our vulnerable clients who were deemed eligible for voucher subsidies prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This process also allows HCVP to conduct transfer voucher briefings for those families in need of moving, based on emergency situations.

For information regarding virtual voucher briefings, please call DCHA’s main number at 202-535-1000 or email us at etbriefing@dchousing.org.

Virtual Initial HQS Inspections:

To ensure that applicants, voucher holders, and participants attending virtual voucher briefings are able to go through the lease-up process, HCVP crafted a virtual initial inspection standard operations procedure. Prior to the initial inspection, staff alerts the housing provider about the virtual inspections process, to ensure that the housing provider is well prepared. At the scheduled date and time, the HCVP inspector contacts the housing provider through a platform such as FaceTime, WebEx, or Google Duo.  The HCVP inspector then gives directions to the housing provider from the exterior of the building through the common areas and into the interior of the unit in order to virtually tour the unit. The housing provider is required to perform tasks such as flushing toilets, turning on light switches, turning on the stove, opening and closing doors and windows, and panning each room so that the inspector can get a view of the walls, flooring, and ceiling. At the conclusion of the virtual initial inspection, the housing provider and HCVP inspector certify that the virtual inspection was completed. To date, the HCVP Inspections division has conducted more than 800 inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic, of which over 300 have been by virtual means.

COVID-19 Interim Recertifications – Keeping You Informed:

DCHA understands that many families are experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist you in this time of uncertainty, HCVP will expedite the processing of income changes through the interim-recertification process. Income changes can be reported by phone and/or email. HCVP’s goal is to have interim recertifications processed within 10 business days of receipt of all required documents. HCVP will provide notification of rent changes by phone and/or email. If you need to start the interim-recertification process, please email us at hcvpcovid19interim@dchousing.org or call (202) 535-1000.

 

Last Modified: 05/01/2020 7:40 pm