Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an "Annual Recertification"?

Every household must have an "Annual Recertification". About 180 days prior to your anniversary date, a process will begin that requires a re-inspection of your apartment. The PHA staff will begin the third-party verification process of your household income and deductions that you last reported to the PHA. About 70 days prior to your anniversary date, you will be sent a notice to attend an annual recertification interview. Along with the notice, you will be sent forms that need to be completed prior to your interview and submitted at your interview. Failure to attend an annual recertification interview or be present for an annual re-inspection of your apartment is grounds for termination of your housing assistance.


2. Do I have to report a change in income?

You MUST report a change in your income within 10 days of said change if:
a) Your gross income increases by more than $40 per month; and
b) There is a change in the source of your income (Example: you change jobs, or you stop receiving TANF and begin working)


3. How do I add someone to my lease agreement?

You MUST first request permission from your landlord to add a member to your household. You must submit a letter from the landlord agreeing to allow a member to move into your household. The person that you add to your household will need to provide a social security card, birth certificate, declaration of citizenship, and proof of income. If the person is 18 years of age or older, the PHA will need to perform a criminal background check. The person can only move in once the PHA has received the above information and has given you their approval to add this member.


4. What are Housing Quality Standards (HQS)?

HQS is a national standard established by HUD to ensure that units leased under the Section 8 Housing Program are safe, decent, and sanitary. The apartment must pass inspection before your rental subsidy can begin. The apartment is then inspected annually after you move in.


5. What does a Housing Quality Standard inspection consist of?

The HQS inspection consists of inspecting each room in the apartment, the basement and the outside of the building to ensure it meets the standards set by HUD. You can find the requirements for a HQS inspection located under the Owners/Landlords section of this web-site.


6. What if I want to move at the end of my lease?

If you want to move at the end of your lease, you must give the Housing Authority and your landlord a proper 30-day notice. You should contact your Program Representative at the Housing Authority to make arrangements to fill out the appropriate paperwork that is required when you want to move. You must be in good standing with the Housing Authority and with your landlord in order for you to move.


7. What is Portability?

Portability is an option whereby a Section 8 participant who receives housing assistance from one housing authority is allowed to move to the jurisdiction of another housing authority and still retain their voucher. A participant in good standing can transfer Section 8 subsidy to anywhere in the United States where there is an agency administering the Section 8 program. A participant who is currently residing in Pawtucket can request a portability transfer at any time, provided proper notice is given to his/her landlord and the Housing Authority.


8. What rent will I pay with my Section 8 housing assistance?

Most families receiving housing assistance pay 30% of their monthly adjusted income as their portion of the monthly rent. The Housing Authority pays the difference between this amount and the contract rent for the apartment. Families pay this amount if they choose housing where the total rent (rent plus utilities) is less