Atlanta Housing Authority
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Frequently Asked Questions

Housing Choice Voucher Program

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) provides eligible low‐income households (“Participants”) with opportunities to reside in apartments and single family homes owned by private sector landlords throughout the United States. AHA pays the difference between the contracted rent and the Participant’s portion of the contracted rent in the form of a housing assistance payment to the landlord on behalf of the Participant. The Participant’s portion of the contracted rent is based on 30 percent of the household’s monthly adjusted income or the monthly minimum rent requirement of $125, whichever is greater (unless the Participant is otherwise exempt from the minimum rent requirement of $125), after which AHA applies an appropriate utility allowance for tenant‐paid utilities to determine the amount that the Participant must pay to the landlord. Households made up of all elderly and/or disabled members are exempt from the minimum rent requirement.

How do I apply for AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, also commonly referred to as Section 8?

Generally, a family interested in participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program must apply through AHA when the Waiting List is open and applications are being accepted. AHA must give public notice of when the Waiting List will open and where applications will be taken. AHA advertises the notice in local newspapers, radio spots, at social service agencies, on this web page, and in other locations available to reach potential applicants.

Is the Waiting List open for AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program?

AHA's Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List opened at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 15, 2017, and will close at 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

If I was selected for the waiting list, when will I receive my voucher?

By now you should have received a letter in the mail notifying you that your status on the Waiting List is “ACTIVE”. If you have not received the letter, please call us at 404‐ 892‐4700. As housing choice vouchers become available, AHA will use a computerized, random selection process to draw applicants from the Waiting List on a periodic basis. All HVCP applicants have an equal chance of being drawn from the Waiting List for eligibility determination.

I was selected for the waiting list, but I don’t know if I am eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

If you are among the 10,000 registrants selected to be on the official Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List, you will receive an appointment to determine your eligibility when a voucher is available. Click here for details on program eligibility requirements.

I wasn’t selected for the Waiting List. I still need housing help. What should I do?

Please read about other housing opportunities that the Atlanta Housing Authority has available. Additionally, you may also visit for information on registering/finding a property. If you need immediate housing assistance, please call 2‐1‐1 to reach the United Way Help Line.

What happened to my old application? Will I be placed on the new waiting list and have first chance?

Each Waiting List is separate and has separate pre‐applications and applicants. If you are among the 10,000 registrants selected to be on the new Waiting List, AHA will use a computerized random selection process to draw applicants from the waiting list for eligibility determination. Applicants will have an equal chance of being drawn from the Waiting List.  If you have questions regarding this process, please call us at 404-892-4700.

If I am denied admission into Housing choice, what comes next?

If you have been denied admission into AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, within 10 business days of receiving a written notice of denial from AHA, Housing Choice applicants may request an informal review. The informal review will be your opportunity to explain to an independent hearing officer why you should not be denied. As an Applicant, you can bring an attorney or other representative; ask to review your file before the informal review; and have witnesses attend the informal review to speak on your behalf.

How long does an informal review process take?

AHA will notify the applicant of the informal review appointment date within 10 business days of receiving the request for an informal review. AHA will send a written decision to the applicant within 15 business days following the informal review.

How much are your vouchers worth?

The voucher varies based on the portion of rent that the participant is required to pay.  The participant’s portion of rent is based on 30% of their adjusted monthly income or $125 minimum rent (whichever is higher).  AHA calculates the rent amount to determine the tenant portion and the housing subsidy assistance.

If I currently have a 3‐bedroom voucher, what size voucher would I have with AHA?

AHA determines voucher size based on the Applicant’s/Participant’s household composition in accordance with AHA’s Statement of Corporate Policies. You may review a copy of the Statement of Corporate Policies by clicking this link.

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program’s work requirement?

As a condition of receiving the housing subsidy, households must meet the Work/Program Requirement where:
One non‐elderly (18 to 61 years old), non‐disabled adult household member must maintain continuous full‐time employment (at least 30 hours per week) AND
All other non‐elderly, non‐disabled household members must also maintain employment with a minimum of 30 hours per week or participate in a combination of school, job‐training and/or part‐time employment for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Is anyone Exempt from Atlanta Housing Authority’s Work Requirement?

Elderly persons age 62 and older are exempt from AHA’s Work Requirement.  Persons with Disabilities, as defined by HUD for program eligibility purposes, are also exempt from AHA’s Work Requirement. The definition of a “person with disabilities” in this context is consistent with HUD’s definition of a “person with disabilities” for program eligibility purposes.

I applied to be on a waiting list with another housing authority and for AHA’s Waiting List? Are you affiliated with each other?

Each housing authority has its own Waiting List. You will need to check with each housing authority to determine your status on the Waiting List.

Will I have to live in Atlanta once I get the voucher, or can I move to another city, county, or state?

Yes, you will have to live in the city of Atlanta for the first year in which you have your voucher from the Atlanta Housing Authority. You may discuss moving or transferring your voucher to another jurisdiction at the time of your recertification for the program.

I currently have a voucher from another city. Can I transfer it to Atlanta Housing Authority?

An eligible household that has been issued a Housing Choice Voucher may use that voucher to lease a unit anywhere in the United States where there is a housing authority operating a Housing Choice voucher program. This feature of the program is referred to as portability. To be considered eligible to port into AHA’s jurisdiction, Port Applicants must:

  • Meet all AHA eligibility requirements
  • Receive approval from the Initial Public Housing Authority (IPHA)
  • Ensure that a complete inbound Port Package is received from the IPHA
  • If any of the above requirements are not met, AHA will return the port package to the IPHA and no further processing will occur.

How long does the porting process take?

The port‐in intake process takes up to ten days once a completed port package is received by AHA. The participant then has up to 120 days to search for a suitable housing unit.

How do I know if my unit is in AHA’s jurisdiction?

If the majority of the property taxes for the unit are paid to the City of Atlanta, it is likely that the unit is within AHA’s jurisdiction. Click here for a zip code map.

I am homeless/a veteran/disabled/elderly/other special circumstance. Do I receive preferential consideration for getting a voucher?
AHA does not have any preferences for the Housing Choice Voucher program. All applicants added to the Waiting List have an equal chance of receiving a voucher.

If I lived in the housing projects, had an eviction on my record and left a balance, will I have to pay the old bill if I am chosen for a voucher?

If you have been selected to be on the Waiting List and are drawn from the Waiting List for eligibility determination, AHA will review your situation and make an appropriate determination at that time.

Do you conduct criminal background checks?

AHA completes background checks on all Applicants and Participants ages 16 years and older in determining their eligibility for Housing Choice Voucher Program participation. For details on criminal background screening criteria for Housing Choice Voucher Program participation, click here to review a copy of AHA’s Statement of Corporate Policies.

How do I report changes to my household?

Any changes to the household should be reported by submitting to AHA a completed Interim Recertification Change Request form. The completed form must also include copies of documents that verify the change. For example, when submitting an Interim Recertification Change Request form to report an income increase, copies of paycheck stubs and other relevant documents must be included. Household changes should be reported within 10 calendar days of their occurrence. To obtain a form to report a change to your household, visit:

Atlanta Housing Authority
230 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303‐2421


Call 404‐892‐4700
Fax to 404‐685‐4896

Can I add other household members to my voucher?

If you receive a HCVP voucher, you may add other household members during your eligibility appointment. All household members must meet AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program eligibility criteria. For special circumstances, please call 404-892-4700.

My neighbor is on Section 8 and is causing a disturbance in the community. What can I do?
If you want to make a complaint, report fraud or report some other program violation matter relating to someone who you believe is on AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, there are three ways to make a report:

Call: 1‐888‐AHA‐4YOU (1-888-242-4968)
Housing Choice Voucher
Program Attn: Compliance
Atlanta Housing Authority
230 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30303‐2421

We encourage you to report fraud, waste, abuse and serious mismanagement related to AHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program. All complaints are handled confidentially.

Project-based rental Assistance Program

What is PBRA?

The Project Based Rental Assistance Program is an innovative strategy that allows AHA to form partnerships with private real estate developers and owners to develop or provide affordable housing units to eligible participants.

It sounds the same as the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP). What’s the difference?

For PBRA, AHA assigns rental subsidy to housing units within multi‐unit developments.  Unlike HCVP, if a participant vacates a PBRA unit the subsidy will remain with the unit for the next participant to utilize.

How long does the subsidy remain with the unit to which it has been assigned?

Typical PBRA contract length is a minimum of 2 years but could be 10 years, dependent upon Board approval and the type of community.

If I am a real estate developer or owner, how do I apply to participate in the PBRA program?

Click the link below for all open RFPs for PBRA.

Eligible Property Types for standard PBRA RFPs include:

  • Existing
  • New Construction
  • Substantial Rehab (per unit rehab costs equal or exceed $25k)
  • 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Tax Exempt Bond Deals
  • 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Deals
  • Family, Senior, Housing for Older Persons, or Supportive Housing