REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: You must report all changes in income or family composition the day of or the soonest day after you know about the change. Do not wait until you receive your first paycheck to report an income change. Notify the Housing Council immediately when someone moves out of your house.

HOW TO REPORT CHANGES: Changes must be reported in writing or by actually speaking with Housing Council staff, in person or on the phone. Leaving a voice mail about a change does not fulfill this requirement. If you have a change and cannot contact the Housing Council in person during office hours, you can mail us a note explaining the change or drop it through the drop slot in the Housing Council front office door. You can also send us an email describing the change. If you live in the Illinois Valley you can drop paperwork off at the IV Family Coalition on River Street. Put it in an envelope marked “Housing Council” and give it to the front desk. We pick those items up every Wednesday between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

After the Housing Council receives notification of a change, we will mail you a form documenting the change has been reported. If it is determined you need to complete additional paperwork, it will be given to you along with a deadline to return it.

Decreases in income must be reported on Housing Council paperwork and the paperwork must be returned to our office no later than the 15th day of each month. Paperwork turned in after this deadline will not be processed for the next month. If you have a decrease, make sure you contact us so we can get the right paperwork to you.

ADDING PEOPLE TO YOUR HOUSEHOLD: The Housing Council does not allow roommates to be added to a household. If you want to add someone to your household, you will need to contact our office BEFORE they move in. You must have written permission from your landlord AND written permission from the Housing Council before anyone can be added to your assistance, with the exception of newborns.

VISITORS: Housing Council policy states you can have a visitor for no more than 15 days in row or 30 days total in a 12-month period. You are allowed to have guests for only 30 days. It does not have to be the same guest. You should also read your lease. If your landlord has a stricter guest policy, then you will need to go by that.

ANNUAL ACTIVITIES: Each year the Housing Council is required to re-certify your income and inspect your unit. Your annual paperwork will be mailed to you approximately 3 months before your re-certification date. If you need help filling out your paperwork, let us know so we can schedule an appointment with Housing Council staff to help you. A letter is sent along with the paperwork giving you the deadline date by which it must be returned. The letter will also give you the date of your home inspection if you’re going to have one. Inspections are done based on your address and the year. If your address ends in an even number, you will be inspected in an even numbered year. For example: 1322 NE Main Street will be inspected in 2016, but not in 2017, and then again in 2018 and so forth. If your address ends in an odd number, the opposite applies. Someone over the age of 18 must be present to let the inspector in on the scheduled date and ALL dogs must be restrained. You can find an Inspection Checklist here.

MOVING: During the first year of your lease, you are not eligible to give notice to move. There are some exceptions to this which are outlined in the Housing Council’s Administrative Plan. After the first year of the lease, you can give your landlord a 30-day notice. You will need to contact our office for information on moving. YOU MUST notify the Housing Council in writing before you move from your unit. Any notice less than 30 days is invalid, with the exception of someone who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. If this applies to you, contact your caseworker to discuss this.

The Housing Council will pay your current landlord through the end of the month you move out. You cannot be assisted in a new unit until at least the first of the next month and after your unit passes a Housing Quality Standards inspection. For example: If you give notice to be out on August 15, we will pay your current landlord through the end of August 31. Your vouchers will be issued effective September 1, which is the first day you can be assisted in a new unit. The Housing Council will not pay two landlords for your assistance at the same time. You are encouraged to give notice to be effective at the end of the month.

At any time, your landlord can give you a notice to vacate if you are violating the lease. If your landlord gives you a notice, you must bring it into the Housing Council so we can begin the move process. If you feel a notice is not valid, you should contact the Oregon Law Center, 541-476-1058.

After the first year of the lease, your landlord can give you a 60-day no-cause notice.

TRANSFERRING YOUR VOUCHER: If you are eligible to move, you may be eligible to transfer your assistance to another area. After you give your landlord a proper 30-day notice (or your landlord gives you a notice), you can request to transfer your assistance. The Housing Council will need the complete name and address of the housing authority where you wish your file to be sent. For a list of Public Housing Authorities by state, click here. If you owe the Housing Council money, you are not eligible to transfer your voucher until the debt is paid in full.

FOR TRANSFERS IN:
If you’d like to transfer your voucher to Josephine County, you will need to discuss the process with your current housing authority. If you are eligible to transfer, they will send your file to our agency. The Housing Council must receive your file from your current housing authority before we can begin the intake process.

When you arrive in Josephine County, you will need to make contact with our office. Directions and office hours are listed here.

After the Housing Council receives your file, you will be given a packet of paperwork to complete. When that is returned to our office, you will be scheduled for a briefing where the Housing Council’s policies are reviewed. You will also be given your estimated rent shopping amount at this briefing. You can look for units in the classified ads in the Grants Pass Daily Courier. However, the Housing Council strongly cautions families not to move into units before they know their rent shopping amount. Do not assume that the amount of rent you were eligible for in your current housing authority is the same amount you are eligible for in Josephine County. Payment standards and bedroom sizes change from area to area.

The JHCDC has a binder of available units from landlords who are willing to work with the Section 8 program. If you would like to view this in our lobby, please ask the front desk.

FAQ

What should I be turning in monthly?

Paystubs from all jobs and all pages of bank statements should be turned into the Housing Council each month. If your name is on someone else’s bank account, it is still your account and you need to turn in those statements monthly. In addition, if your caseworker told you to report monthly on Self Employment forms, Declaration of Income forms or Zero/Minimal Income forms these need to be turned in each month by the 10th.

What needs to be included with monthly report forms each month?

Self Employment Forms: Proof of all income and expenses. This means receipts for income you earned and receipts for items you purchased or paid for that are business related. If you do not include receipts for expenses, no credit can be given. If you do not include receipts or other proof of income, your reports will be considered incomplete and will not be accepted.

Declaration of Income Forms and Zero/Minimal Income Forms: Proof of all income and expenses. If someone outside your household is helping by giving you money, paying bills or buying items for your household you must include their complete name and address. If you do not include receipts or if information is missing from the form, your reports will be considered incomplete and will not be accepted. If you are receiving a utility check, your check will not be released to you until you have turned in the appropriate forms each month along with all the necessary documentation.

Do not report changes in family members or income on the monthly report form. You need to report those changes separately.

If I turn in my pay stub for a new job, do I have to do anything else?

Yes. See How to report changes.

Do I need to report Jobs Plus or work experience jobs? How about jobs that last only a short period of time?

Yes to all three. You need to report all changes in income and family composition. Your worker will review this information and decide if you need to fill out a packet of paperwork after the change is reported.

My checks are being garnished. Do you take that into consideration?

No. Federal regulations require that we use the gross amount, before taxes or garnishments.

My income changes every month. Will you be making a change in my rent portion each month?

No. Income that varies is averaged, generally over 12 months.

Do school grants and loans count as income?

School loans are not considered income. School grants are counted as income in certain situations. If you have school grants, you will need to talk with your caseworker to decide if these will be counted toward family income.

What if I don’t agree with my rent portion?

Contact your caseworker and discuss this with them. They can let you know how they calculated your income. If you still disagree, you can ask for a Hearing by writing out a statement saying you are asking for a hearing because you disagree with your rent portion.

I just filled out paperwork, why do I have to do it again?

Each change must be documented with appropriate paperwork.

When can I move?

You signed a year lease with your landlord. There are some exceptions that allow the Housing Council to issue you a voucher to move in the first year of the lease. These are outlined in the Housing Council’s Administrative Plan. If you feel you need to move in the first year, contact our office for additional information. After the first year of the lease, you can give your landlord a 30-day notice. Make sure you have your landlord sign the notice and give a copy to the Housing Council.

If I’m moving, how much rent should I be looking for?

If you are thinking about moving and would like to request your estimated shopping amount, you will need to submit your request in writing. Your caseworker will calculate this based on the most current income in your file and send it out in the mail.

Income of families that have given notice to move is re-examined before the move. Your estimated shopping amount will be given to you at your scheduled move appointment. If your income or family composition changes, your shopping amount can change. When you are in the move process, it’s even more important that you report these changes IMMEDIATELY.

What if I’m having problems with my unit like leaking faucets or a broken toilet?

The first thing you need to do is contact your landlord and let them know. Once they know about the issue, you need to give them a reasonable amount of time to fix these problems. If they do not, contact our office and speak to an inspector. You can also contact the Oregon Law Center, 541-476-1058.

Can I let someone else get their mail at my address?

No. This is against Housing Council policy. You can share a post office box, but only those members listed in your household should be using the unit address as theirs.

How can I lose my assistance?

Each time you complete paperwork, you sign a Certification of Family Responsibilities which outlines what you must do to continue to receive assistance and how you can lose your assistance. Make sure you read and understand this information. Some common reasons for losing assistance are unreported household members, failing to report income and involvement in drug-related or criminal activity.

How can I report abuse of the program?

Contact our office with the information. The Housing Council will investigate to the best of our ability.