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COVID-19 Property Owner and Renter Resources Guide.

In these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever that you take advantage of safeguards built into the Section 8 program. Renters should not
have to worry about being evicted from their home, and property owners should not have to worry about losing their building, due to the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Survey Results

Gosection8.com surveyed 40,000 renters in order to gain some perspective on how this crisis is impacting people and to understand how we can better support our users.

Note: 67% of renters surveyed have experienced a loss in income due to COVID-19. Of those, over 62% are likely to seek out government rental assistance in the next 12 months.

Have you experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis?

How likely are you to seek government rental assistance within the next 12 months?

Note: 95% of renters surveyed are concerned with their ability to pay rent without government assistance due to the COVID-19 crisis, and over 65% believe that their income will continue to be impacted within the next 8 weeks.

How concerned are you with your ability to pay rent without Government Assistance due to COVID-19?

Do you believe your income will be impacted within the next eight weeks?

Owner Resources & Information

    • COVID-19 is hitting lower income families the hardest. Should your tenant experience a loss in income, your Public Housing Agency (PHA) may reduce the tenant's portion of the rent and increase the government paid share to help keep your rental income whole. To request an interim change the family must contact the PHA that they received their voucher from and ask for a “Change of Family Income Form”. Some PHAs also allow online submission of income changes. Be proactive and reach out to your Section 8 tenants to see if their income has been impacted do to COVID-19. If it has, assist them in obtaining a rent adjustment by contacting their case manager immediately.

    • Most real estate owners and landlords are eligible for forgivable loans from the SBA since the COVID-19 crisis has been declared an eligible disaster. Under the CARES Act, applicants can receive a $10,000 advance on their SBA EIDL loans from lenders which will be disbursed within three business days of applying. The $10,000 advance would be forgivable if you have suffered economic harm. Among other things, EIDL loans can be used for the repayment of debt obligations (your mortgage payments). For more information, please click here to visit SBA Disaster Loans.

    • Yes. Participants should continue to pay their rent portion to the property owner. They are not exempt. If they are unable to do so due to a loss in income, they should request a “change of family income” form from their PHA so that the PHA can increase their portion. See question #1 above.

    • Landlords who would like to make their units available to Section 8 program participants can easily do so by listing their property on the GoSection8.com website. Link to our FAQ

    • Yes, many Public Housing Agencies (PHA’s) are still processing new move-ins. However, due to staff reductions and remote working, some PHAs may delay non-emergency move requests at this time. We recommend submitting your signed lease and Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) to your renter’s PHA as soon as possible, even if they are unable to process it currently. When the delay in processing new moves ends, the leases that have been submitted and those with older start dates will likely be processed first.

Renter Resources & Information

    • If you are experiencing a loss of income you may request an interim recertification from your Public Housing Agency (PHA). If you are a current Section 8 Voucher participant your portion of your rental payment can be adjusted based on your current reduced income. You may also qualify for utility allowances if you are not receiving any income.

      To request an interim change, you must contact the PHA that you received your voucher from and ask for a “Change of Income Form” or ask how you can submit your income change information electronically. Some PHAs may also allow online submission of your income change through an online portal on their website or by utilizing email and secure online services like Dropbox.

      For PHA contact information you can search GoSection8.com and type in your city to find housing agencies near you. Please note, due to reduced staffing at many PHAs and remote working you should check the PHA website for COVID-19 operations updates and FAQ information before placing a phone call or attempting to visit the PHA office.

    • Due to staff reductions and remote working, some Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) may delay non-emergency move requests during the COVID-19 crisis. If you are a victim of domestic violence, and can no longer occupy your unit due to eviction, natural disaster or another emergency, please contact the PHA you received your voucher from for assistance.

      For PHA contact information you can search GoSection8.com and type in your city to find housing agencies near you. Please note, due to remote working you should check the PHA website for COVID-19 operations updates and FAQ information before attempting to visit the PHA’s office.

    • To search for a Public Housing Agency (PHA) accepting applications for the Section 8 Voucher Program or Public Housing go to the Housing Agencies & Waiting Lists section of GoSection8.com. Agencies that are accepting applications are listed with a waiting list status of “OPEN”. Not all PHAs are accepting applications at this time so it’s important to check back regularly. Some PHAs accept online applications. If you have a GoSection8 account, you may be able to submit your application online through GoSection8.com. This process only takes a few minutes. If you cannot apply directly on GoSection8.com we will include a link to the PHA website where you will find instructions on how to apply with them.

    • Most Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) are still conducting emergency inspections and non-emergency inspections on a case-by case basis. Inspectors are required to follow health safety guidelines from the federal, state and local governments. A PHA may consider an ‘emergency’ as a serious health or safety issue. Many PHAs have suspended pending re-inspections and have also allowed landlords to certify repair completion by sending pictures. For more information, contact your PHA or inspector.

    • Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) are able to issue voucher extensions to allow Section 8 Voucher recipients more time to secure a housing unit. Contact the PHA that issued you a voucher to request an extension.

Additional Resources

  • Internal Revenue Service

    Click here to get more information on economic impact payments.

  • Feeding America

    GoSection8.com has done volunteer work with this organization, and they can help you locate food banks locally. Please click here to find a food bank in your area.

  • U.S. Department of Labor

    To find out how you can file for unemployment during these uncertain times, click here.

  • CDC

    Click here to find healthcare facilities in your area, and learn important information regarding COVID-19.

  • Small Business Administration

    Click here to apply for the CARES Act SBA Loan

  • Are you experiencing emotional distress due to the COVID-19 Crisis?

    The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.