The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a program which is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) with the purpose of providing rental assistance for income-eligible families. The ultimate goal is to provide renters with safe, affordable housing.
C.D.P. is the authorized administrator for St. Lawrence County under New York State Housing and Community Renewal. Staff inspect the rental units and make sure landlords complete any necessary repairs to meet the program requirements prior to a family moving in. Periodic inspections and re-certification are a part of the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on an option for relevant F.A.Q.s
What is Tenant Based Housing?
Tenant Based housing assistance is where a Housing Choice Voucher is tied to a specific family within the program. A Tenant Based Housing choice voucher allows a family to move to a different apartment after a year of participation on the Housing Choice Voucher Program
***Restrictions on moving may apply, please contact one of our representatives with any questions***
What is Project Based Housing?
Project Based housing assistance is where a voucher is attached to specific apartment within the county. Unlike a Tenant Based Housing Choice Voucher a family will only be assisted for the time they reside within the specific Project Based unit.
How do I apply?
You can apply for assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program by simply filling out the application and submitting it to St Lawrence County CDP. You may apply for the Tenant-Based list or the Project-Based list
Where am I on the wait-list?
Positioning on the wait list has a few main factors and cannot be narrowed down to a specific number or position. The biggest factor in determining where you may lie on the wait-list is the time the Housing Choice Voucher Program received your application. The other factor is your income. The Housing Choice Voucher Program has an income targeting requirement where 75% of new admissions to the program must be given to families whose combined income is at 30% or below the median income for the county. This is to ensure that families who are in the greatest need of assistance are receiving it.
How do I report a change in address when I am on the wait-list?
It is very important to report a change in address to maintain your position on the wait-list. A change of address MUST be submitted to the program office in writing.
How will I know I have been selected from the wait-list?
You will receive a letter at the address you have provided to the Housing Choice Voucher Program informing you that you have been selected from the wait-list. The letter will state a requirement to attend an eligibility screening with a program representative, and will detail the required attendees and materials you will need to bring to the meeting. Failure to respond to the letter may result in you being determined ineligible.
How long do I have to find an apartment?
If you have been determined eligible for Housing Choice Voucher Program Assistance you will be administered a voucher. Once you have been given a voucher you will have a 60-day time frame where it will be your responsibility to find an apartment. The apartment must fall within a reasonable rent for the area and pass a Housing Quality Standard Inspection.
***Contact a housing representative for guidance on reasonable rent requirements for your household***
What is a Housing Quality Standard Inspection (HQS)?
The purpose of HQS is to establish minimum criteria necessary for health and safety for occupants of housing assisted under the HCV program. Each dwelling is inspected prior to a tenant moving into and must pass before a HAP contract is executed between the landlord and CDP. Dwellings are inspected annually there after to ensure the unit continues to meet HQS guidelines. Units may also be inspected at the request of HUD, at the request of a tenant/landlord, or for quality control purposes.
Do I need to report changes to my income?
While your income is reported to our office annually as part of your re-certification any change in your income MUST be reported to our office within 14 days of the change. Once reported program staff will work with the participant to obtain the documentation needed to verify the change. If a tenant fails to report income to program staff they may be subject to repayment of HAP made to the landlord on their behalf or program termination.
***please contact a program representative with questions about what is included in your income***
Do I need to report changes to my household composition?
Any change to your household MUST also be reported to program staff within 14 days of the change. Once notified our staff will guide you on the required documentation needed to verify the change.
For any other questions regarding your status with the Housing Choice Voucher Program, please contact our office at 315-386-1102
How will I receive my rent?
You will receive a portion of the total rent for your unit from your tenant which is based off of their household income, the remaining portion will be sent to you from HTFC. Upon starting a new lease with a tenant on our program you will enter into a HAP Contract between yourself and the Housing Choice Voucher Program which will outline the portion of your rent you are to receive from both parties. Any changes to the tenant and program portion will be communicated to you as they occur. Landlords can opt to receive a check or a direct deposit into an account.
How often do I need to submit paperwork?
Landlords submit paperwork to our office when a participant is admitted to the program and wishes to rent a unit from them. You will be required to resubmit all required paperwork on an annual basis. It is also important to report any changes in your personal address and changes to your banking information when it comes to your payments, once notified of a change a program representative will speak with you about required documentation. Failure to submit paperwork may result in payments being abated for a period of time.
What if I am selling/buying a property occupied by a HCVP participant?
It is the responsibility of the landlord/property owner to report a change in ownership to the HCVP. Once notified program staff will submit the appropriate paperwork to be completed by all parties.
How long will I have to correct a HQS Inspection failure?
Time-frame for completion of repairs is determined by the severity of the failure. For emergency items or life safety items a repair must be completed within 24 hours. Most other items will be given a 30 day time-frame in order to complete repairs on the unit. If repairs are not made in the time-frame allotted your payments may be subject to abatement until repairs have been completed. For any questions on HQS Inspections please contact our HQS Inspector.
***Please note if payments have been stopped due to an HQS failure you will not be reimbursed for the missed payments, it is also strictly against program rules to collect the portion of abated rent from your tenant***
Am I required to enter into a lease with my tenant?
Yes. All landlords must enter into a lease agreement with HCVP participants. It is also the landlords responsibility to enforce the terms of their own lease with their tenant.
This document must be completed and submitted to CDP for the wait list. You can submit your documents by mail at St. Lawrence County Community Development Program, 1 Commerce Lane, Canton, NY or drop it off at the office at that address.
Housing Director: Tiffany Pray, email@example.com
Tonya Bartlett, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brittany Woodard, email@example.com
Housing Inspector: Shawn Sweeney
Phone: (315) 386-1102
Fax: (315) 379-0380
The Home Ownership Program is another program for H.C.V.P. participants. The focus of this program is to assist eligible families to purchase their first home. It allows a family to use their rental assistance voucher to make their mortgage payment.
Families who meet the qualifications to participate in the program will attend home buyer educations classes provided by the North Country Housing Council. There are many aspects to the education including budgeting and assistance in securing a loan for the home. Through this program, C.D.P. will assist you with your payments for up to fifteen years.
Home Ownership Coordinator: Tiffany Pray
The Family Self-Sufficiency (F.S.S.) Program is for H.C.V.P. participants who want to achieve economic independence. This involves personalized case management and referring families to local services.
Staff work with participants to set goals that will be worked on in order become less dependent upon services. This often involves improving education and work skills to make an individual a better candidate in the job market.
Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator & Contact: