HCV Frequently Asked Questions

As vouchers become available, HCHA mails letters of interest to registered names from a waiting list and screens them for program eligibility. Families who meet the income guidelines and pass a criminal background check are issued vouchers. These vouchers allow them to have a portion of their rent paid by HCHA and HUD (Dept. of Housing and Urban Development).
HCHA will assign the voucher size applicable to the family as shown below. However, HCHA will consider granting an exception as a reasonable accommodation to a person with a disability or if an elderly or disabled person requires a live-in attendant.

Voucher Size Persons in Household
(Minimum – Maximum)
0 Bedroom 1-1
1 Bedroom 1-2
2 Bedrooms 3-4
3 Bedrooms 5-6
4 Bedrooms 7-8
5 Bedrooms 9-10
6 Bedrooms 11-12
A family may rent a unit of any size, including one that is larger than the voucher size, as long as the rental cost falls within the maximum rent to owner amount indicated on the tenant’s estimator. These estimators are created by the housing authority and issued to the tenant when he or she begins looking for a unit.
There is no cost. The HCV Program is a government service provided free of charge. It is illegal for anyone to charge Applicants, Voucher Holders or Participants for ANY services provided by the HCV Program, including obtaining a voucher, applying to the program or being placed on the waiting list. If someone attempts to sell you a voucher, application or place on the waiting list, notify HCHA immediately by emailing fraud@hchatexas.org.
At this time, the waiting list is closed. In 2008, the Harris County Housing Authority opened the lottery for the Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list. Individuals that completed the required questions and submitted an application form during the registration period were added to the waiting list. Those who received a spot on the waiting list can check their status by going to www.waitlistcheck.com.

If you did not register for the waiting list in 2008, your name was not added and you are not eligible for the waiting list or the HCV Program.

Currently, HCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list is closed and HCHA has not determined when it will re-open. Public notice will be given if and when the waiting list re-opens.
When a family’s application number reaches the top of the list, they are notified by mail. This makes it extremely important for families on the waiting list to alert HCHA in writing of any change in contact information. To check your status on the waiting list, visit www.waitlistcheck.com.
Property Owners who have a property for rent should advertise and market it. Voucher Holders will contact you directly if they are interested in your property. If a family or individual with a voucher passes your screening process, you will submit a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) packet provided by the Voucher Holder and submit it to HCHA. Then, HCV Program staff will call you to schedule an inspection.

HCHA also offers Property Owners a free online property listing service.

Yes. HCHA conducts criminal background checks on all families and individuals 18 years of age and older. Members of an applicant household must pass a criminal background check and meet income guidelines before they are issued vouchers.

Property Owners should implement and carry out their own screening process for all prospective tenants regardless of whether or not they are Voucher Holders.

All units must pass HQS inspections to make sure they meet a minimum set of health and safety requirements established by the federal government. The inspection process is based on the premise that government funds should not subsidize substandard housing and that all families regardless of their income have a right to live in housing that is safe, decent and sanitary.
You may leave a message for the Inspection Department by calling our main line 713.578.2100. You may also e-mail the Inspection Department directly at inspections@hchatexas.org.
Should you become aware of any fraudulent activity by a HCHA employee, HCVP Applicant, HCVP Voucher Holder, HCVP Participant or participating Property Owner/Manager, please report it at fraud@hchatexas.org. All reports are kept confidential.
Effective April 1, 2015, the HCHA administrative fee is $42.52.