Family Photo cropped EHV

Emergency Housing Voucher Program (EHV)

Emergency Housing Voucher Program (EHV)

Overview

The Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program is an outcome of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. A federal subsidy program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), EHV’s goal is to decrease homelessness and assist in obtaining decent, safe, and sanitary housing by subsidizing a portion of each family’s monthly rent, based on their income.

Participants of EHV live in housing of their choosing while paying approximately 30% of their monthly income on rent. The remaining rent amount (subsidy) is paid directly to the landlord by the Public Housing Authority. Homes and Community Renewal is one of three Public Housing Authorities in New York State.

Eligibility Requirements

Interested parties must apply to the program through their local Continuum-of-Care (CoC). Clients cannot apply on their own.

Eligibility is limited to individuals and families who are

  • Homeless
  • At risk of homelessness
  • Fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking
  • Recently homeless and for whom providing rental assistance will prevent the family’s homelessness or having high risk of housing instability

Applicants must fit into at least one of the priority categories below. Additional eligibility determinations will be made, such as the family’s total annual gross income and household size.

Priority 1

  • Households determined by the CoC as meeting the definition of chronically homeless.
  • Any literally homeless families with minor children 18 years of age or younger.
  • Households who are fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.
  • Households participating in a Rapid Re-housing (RRH) program who would qualify for such assistance as defined by the terms of the federal Emergency Solutions Grant (“ESG”) program.

Priority 2

  • Any household classified as literally homeless.

Priority 3

Households who do not qualify within the priorities listed above and who are eligible under HUD’s PIH Notice 2021-15, including at-risk households.

Landlord Benefits

The EHV program provides landlords with an opportunity to strengthen their communities by helping end homelessness for families and individuals, as well as providing safe, stable housing. Single family dwellings, apartment buildings, legal accessory apartments, townhouses, and condominiums are eligible. Paperwork is minimal and the owner retains normal management rights and responsibilities including tenant selection, rent collection, property maintenance and lease termination.

How the EHV program benefits landlords:

1.  Vacancies are filled with qualified applicants.

2. Payment of the subsidy portion of rent is guaranteed.

3. $2,000+ of incentives are provided, including a bonus paid at lease signing, paid security deposit, a repair fund and more.

4. Landlords can assist their community by providing shelter for the most vulnerable.

Owner Incentives Outlined

A robust incentive package is offered to owners to facilitate occupancy:

A landlord bonus of one month’s rent is paid to the owner at time of lease signing.

Security deposit is fully covered for the household.

Repairs can be reimbursed up to $1,000 to ensure the unit meets Housing Quality Standards.

Landlord guarantee: Should the landlord be forced to evict the tenant for non-payment of the tenant share of rent, HCR will reimburse the landlord for losses accrued prior to the date of eviction.

See our EHV Landlord Flyer here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question Answer
What is an Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV)?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a limited number of Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) to our PHA, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR). EHVs are tenant-based rental assistance under Section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) and will generally operate like tenant-based Section 8.

EHV assistance is limited to families and individuals who are:   

  • Homeless;  
  • At-risk of homelessness;  
  • Fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; or  
  • Recently homeless and for whom providing rental assistance will prevent the family’s homelessness or having high risk of housing instability.   

Potentially eligible families and individuals must first complete an initial screening with their local Continuum-of-Care (CoC) and be referred to NYSHCR. Clients cannot apply on their own.

Because the EHVs are limited, families and individuals who meet the eligibility criteria must also satisfy additional prioritization criteria.

What is a Continuum of Care?

The Continuum of Care (CoC) is a local planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for homeless individuals and families. The CoC Program is designed to:

  • promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness;
  • provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families and minimize the trauma and dislocation that homelessness causes for individuals, families, and communities;
  • promote access to and effect utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and
  • optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Section 9.b of HUD Notice PIH 2021-15 provides a more thorough description of CoCs and their role in the EHV program. Additional information on CoC’s can be found at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/comm_planning/coc

What is a Victims Service Provider?

HUD defines a victim service provider to mean a private nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to provide direct services to victims of domestic violence. This term includes permanent housing providers—including rapid re-housing, domestic violence programs (shelters and non-residential), domestic violence transitional housing programs, dual domestic violence and sexual assault programs, and related advocacy and supportive services programs.

What is a Coordinated Entry system?

Provisions in the CoC Program Interim Rule at 24 CFR § 578.7(a)(8) require that CoCs establish a Coordinated Entry (CE) System. The Coordinated Entry (CE) process is an approach to coordination and management of a crisis response system’s resources that allows users to make consistent decisions, based on available information, to efficiently and effectively connect people to housing and service interventions that will rapidly end their homelessness.

What are the roles and responsibilities of PHAs, CoCs, and Victim Service Providers (VSPs)?

CoCs and VSPs are responsible for the following:

  • Assessing eligible households for EHV and services (if needed).
  • Referring eligible households to the Public Housing Authority (PHA) for EHV.
  • CoCs may additionally assist referred households in completing and obtaining necessary documentation for the EHV application process.

PHAs are responsible for all the PHA administrative responsibilities for the EHV program in accordance with the EHV Operating Requirements Notice and the applicable HCV program regulations, including but not limited to:

  • Reviewing applications for EHV, certifying program eligibility, and conducting annual recertifications for continued eligibility
  • Determining that the unit meets Housing Quality Standards and approving units for leasing and contracts
  • Determining amounts and paying Housing Assistance Payments to landlords on behalf of participants
  • Explaining and providing information about program policies and procedures to current and prospective landlords and participants
  • Monitoring program performance and compliance of participants and owners

Are participants in Rapid Rehousing programs eligible for EHV?

Yes. CoCs have the discretion to refer households in Rapid Rehousing programs.

Are the vouchers available for individuals or just for families?

EHVs are available to both individuals and families meeting the eligibility criteria.

What if an individual or family is over income?

As in the regular voucher program, the PHA must determine whether a family is income eligible prior to the provision of EHV assistance. If the family is over income based on the most recently published income limits for the family size, the family is ineligible for HCV assistance.

Are there any restrictions on families who may owe debts to a PHA?

No, as outlined in HUD Notice 2021-15, Section 9g., unlike regular HCV admissions, PHAs may not deny an EHV applicant admission regardless of whether: 

  • Any member of the family has been evicted from federally assisted housing in the last five years or a PHA has ever terminated assistance under the program for any member of the family. · The family currently owes rent or other amounts to the PHA or to another PHA in connection with Section 8 or public housing assistance under the 1937 Act.
  • The family has not reimbursed any PHA for amounts paid to an owner under a HAP contract for rent, damages to the unit, or other amounts owed by the family under the lease.
  • The family breached an agreement with the PHA to pay amounts owed to a PHA or amounts paid to an owner by a PHA. EHV funding may not be used for the repayment of debts or any amounts owed to HUD by HUD program participants including, but not limited to, those resulting from Office of Inspector General (OIG), Quality Assurance Division (QAD) or other monitoring review findings.

My local CoC has referred me to your EHV program. What’s next?

Referrals will be drawn in order, by priority. Applicants will be sent eligibility packets via email. Required forms included in the Eligibility packet will need to be completed and submitted back together with verification of all household members’ information, including birth certificates, social security cards, Alien Registration Card (if any), current government issued photo ID, all income information (e.g., public assistance benefit letter, SSI statement, child support, current checking account statement, current paystubs), proof of fulltime student status (if applicable), and asset information. Your CoC can help with gathering and uploading the required documents to the online portal provided with your eligibility packet notice.

What happens after my eligibility packet is submitted?

Your eligibility application packet will be reviewed for completeness and program eligibility.

Program eligibility includes:

  • income eligibility;
  • eligible immigration status (at least one family member must have an eligible immigration status);
  • standards for admission (HUD does not permit anyone with a lifetime sex offender registration requirement or a person convicted of drug-related criminal activity for the manufacture or production of methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing to receive EHV assistance); and
  • the submission of required documentation. If additional information or documentation is needed, then a Case Manager will contact you. If you are determined eligible for the EHV program, you will need to attend an eligibility interview and voucher briefing. After the briefing, you will be issued a voucher and leasing/landlord package via email or mail.

What if my application for EHV assistance is denied?

If your application is denied, you will receive written notice of the denial and have the opportunity to request an informal review (not a hearing).

I have received an Emergency Housing Voucher. What do I do now?

Once you receive an EHV, you must find an apartment to rent and submit a completed leasing package to your assigned Case Manager before the expiration of your voucher. Your CoC can help connect you with EHV housing search assistance. Please work closely with them as they may have access to resources dedicated to the housing search. Please make best efforts to attend all appointments and apartment viewings.

How does EHV help me pay rent?

If you lease up in a unit with an EHV, your household will typically pay 30% of your household income toward rent, and NYSHCR will pay the difference. As the voucher holder, you will pay your portion of the rent directly to the owner. NYSHCR will pay their portion of the rent directly to the owner as well.

Does my EHV expire?

The term of the voucher is listed on the first page of the voucher. If you do not submit a completed leasing packet before the voucher expiration date, the voucher will expire, and you will not receive rental assistance. For NYSHCR EHVs, your initial voucher term will be 120 days. HCR will allow up to two 30-day extensions, to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. You must request your extension, if needed, before your voucher expiration date by contacting your assigned Case Manager, given on your eligibility notice. Additional extensions, beyond 180 days, will only be considered for Reasonable Accommodation requests.

Will I be eligible for assistance with a security deposit or moving expenses?

If needed, all EHV voucher holders, will be eligible to receive a security deposit and moving expense assistance.

I found an apartment, what are the next steps?

You and the owner of the apartment must complete the leasing package and submit it to your assigned Case Manager administering your voucher. We will review the leasing packet for completeness and must determine that the rent charged is reasonable and that the owner is eligible to rent the unit. We will also determine whether the apartment meets federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS). Either a physical inspection of the unit will be done, or we will accept a self-certification from the owner to certify that the proposed unit has no life-threatening HQS conditions. If the rent is reasonable and the unit is otherwise eligible to receive EHV assistance, then we will approve the rental.

What is a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract?

This is the agreement between the PHA (NYSHCR) and the owner of the apartment, in order for us to make monthly subsidy payments on your behalf to the owner. We will provide the HAP contract to the owner in the final stage of the rental process. The owner must sign and return the HAP contract to us with a fully executed lease.

When can I move into my new unit?

EHV applicants may move into their new apartment as of the start date of the HAP contract, which is listed on the initial Approval/Move-in letter.

Can I move and still be assisted with my EHV voucher?

Yes. You may be eligible to move if you have complied with EHV program requirements. If you require an emergency transfer, please contact your assigned Case Manager to find out more about the emergency transfer process.

Can I move out of NYC with my EHV voucher?

Yes. Moving outside the New York City area is called portability. EHV voucher holders have the opportunity to live anywhere in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands as long as there is a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program administered in that area. You will need to submit a request and provide the name and contact information of the PHA you would like to transfer your voucher (port) to; if you need assistance in locating this information your administering agency can assist. Please contact your assigned PHA Case Manager to find out additional information on how to port-out with your EHV. Note: The housing search assistance services offered by the receiving housing authority may be different than the housing search assistance services offered by NYSHCR to EHV holders.

 

Contact Us

Email us:

[email protected]

Call us:

(833) 942-3903

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

Housing and Services Resource Center: https://acl.gov/HousingAndServices