COVID-19 FAQs

This page will serve as a resource to our residents, property owners and community partners and will be updated as new and better information is available.

HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM (HCVP)

APPLICANTS & PARTICIPANTS

Due to the impact of COVID-19, many families that work in the service industry have had their hours cut in half or more. They are at home more and using utilities at greater rates. What immediate mechanism is there in place to get the tenant portions and/ or utility allowances adjusted? 

These are uncertain times. It is our hope that this situation soon will improve and utilities are not being severely impacted.  The mayor has instructed Watershed Management to not disconnect water service due to nonpayment for the next 60 days.  Other service providers are offering other leniencies such as payment arrangements during this difficult time.  We recommend that you contact your service provider for further information.

For participants who need their tenant portion adjusted, we will conduct an interim change in accordance with procedures. Impacted families will need to submit a separation notice or written documentation on company letterhead showing a job loss or reduction in hours to HCInterimsmailbox@atlantahousing.org. For billing increases due to higher utility usage, we may offer a hardship on a case-by-case basis. Proof of increased usage would be required, and we ask that impacted families contact AH once we re-open.

What do I do if my hours have been cut or if I lost a job as a result of COVID-19?

We require a separation notice or a letter on company letterhead showing the job loss or reduction in hours.  You may send the information to HCInterimsmailbox@atlantahousing.org.

How are you supporting the mayor’s moratorium on evictions?

AH has contacted landlords and participants whose contracts were set to terminate on March 31, 2020, and extended those contracts where both parties agreed to extend.  AH plans to do the same for contracts that are set to terminate on April 30, 2020.  This is in support of the statewide “shelter in place” that has been issued.

What are you doing with submitted RTAs and inspections?

Since our closure in mid-March, AH has been conducting emergency move-in Initial Inspections.  AH has also continued to allow tenants who choose to lease up in multi-family properties to move into those units via our multi-family self-certification process.

Effective Monday, April 20, AH inspectors will perform virtual inspections for Initial and Special inspections.  As a result of this change, all previously submitted RTAs that have not been inspected will be inspected virtually.  These inspections will be processed based on priority and the date the RTA was received.  The inspector will still contact the landlord to schedule the Initial inspection; however, the landlord will join the inspector virtually via video through the Zoom application. The Zoom application allows the inspector to conduct the inspection while complying with social distancing orders.  The landlord must also submit an AH Self-Certification Form with their RTA, certifying that the unit meets AH’s Enhanced Inspection Standards.  This form is available on the Resources page of the Landlord Portal.

How can I get a voucher extension?

We will extend vouchers during this time.  You may send requests to your assigned housing services administrator (caseworker).

What happens to my Informal Review/Informal Hearing appointment?

All Informal Review/Informal Hearing appointments will be rescheduled once the building re-opens.

I received a Proposed Termination Notice, but I cannot request a hearing because the building is closed.  What should I do?

The compliance team will honor all requests for hearings for proposed terminations issued from February through March, even if the time period has passed 10 business days.  You may submit requests to HCCompliancemailbox@atlantahousing.org.

My recertification packet is due before AH re-opens.   How can I submit documents to complete the recertification process?

Documents may still be submitted to AH by mail, email or fax during this time period:

We will provide extensions on the receipt of documents.  Participants who have missed appointments will be contacted and given the option to mail and/or email their recertification packet to their caseworker.

How will missed appointments due to the building being closed be handled?

All appointments will be rescheduled after the office re-opens.  You will receive a notification with a revised date and/or time.

I am interested in porting or transferring my voucher to the city of Atlanta.  What do I need to do?

AH has suspended all in-person appointments and incoming portability activities.  We will resume portability activities once the office re-opens.

I was selected from the waiting list and required to validate my residency preference.  How can I submit documents?

Documents may still be submitted to AH by mail, fax, or email during this time period:

We will provide extensions on the receipt of documents.  Initial eligibility appointments and voucher briefings are suspended until the office re-opens.

I am currently in the initial eligibility process.  How can I submit documents to determine if I am eligible to receive a voucher?

Documents may still be submitted to AH by mail, fax, or email during this time period:

We will provide extensions on the receipt of documents.  We will continue to process initial eligibility on files that were pending prior to March 16.  Voucher briefings will resume once the office re-opens.

I received an eligibility denial letter. What should I do?

The compliance team will honor all requests for informal reviews that were issued from February through March, even if the time period has passed 10 business days.

How do I submit additional information for my criminal background screening?

You may submit your documentation once the building reopens.  We will accept supporting documents through the end of April for criminal background screenings.

How do I submit a request for a file review?

The request should be submitted via email to HCComplianceMailbox@atlantahousing.org. The file review will be scheduled once the building is re-opens.

PROPERTY MANAGERS AND LANDLORDS

Is Atlanta Housing going to pay the unpaid rent portions from the tenants who are delinquent?

No, we will not pay delinquent rent.  Property Owners should work directly with all tenants, not just AH tenants, on an individual basis to determine rent portions during this difficult time.  If a family has experienced a job loss or change in income, they should contact us after the building re-opens.

Is the City going to pay the rents for tenants who are experiencing a loss of income and can’t pay?

The mayor’s executive order was a call on governmental partners to place a moratorium on evictions, not private property owners; however, we ask that you work with your tenants, including AH tenants, on an individual basis to determine their portion of rent during this difficult time. Currently, there is no plan for the City or AH to pay a tenant’s portion of their rent.

What about units in abatement that have the repairs done and need to be re-inspected?

We ask that all re-inspection requests be submitted via the landlord portal once repairs to a unit have been completed.  If a re-inspection has already been requested prior to the abatement date, AH will remove the abatement in order to not impact the April 1 payment. We will revisit these units for re-inspection and verify the completion of repairs once the office re-opens and we are back to full capacity.

What is AH doing in regards to inspections and abatements?

Effective Monday, April 20, AH inspectors will perform virtual inspections for Initial and Special inspections. The inspector will still contact the landlord to schedule the Initial inspection; but instead of meeting the inspector at the property, the landlord will join the inspector virtually via video through the Zoom application. The Zoom application allows the inspector to conduct the inspection while complying with social distancing orders.  The landlord must also submit an AH Self-certification form with their RTA, certifying that the unit meets AH’s Enhanced Inspection Standards.  This form is available on the Resources page of the Landlord Portal.

Any units that have open, failed inspections with future abatement dates will not be abated during this period. Extensions will be granted upon return to normal business.

Many families work in the service industry, and their hours have already been cut in half or more. They are home more and will be using utilities at significantly greater rates. What IMMEDIATE mechanism is there in place NOW to get the tenant portions and/ or utility allowances adjusted? 

It is our hope that this situation is only temporary and utilities are not severely impacted.  The Mayor has instructed Watershed Management not to disconnect water service due to non-payment for the next 60 days.  Other service providers have offered payment arrangements, etc. during this difficult time.  We recommend that you contact your service provider for further information.

For residents who need their tenant portion adjusted, we will conduct an interim change in accordance with procedures. Impacted families need to submit a separation notice, or written documentation on company letterhead showing a job loss or reduction in hours to HCInterimsmailbox@altantahousing.org.

For increased utility usage, we may offer a hardship on a case-by-case basis. We will need proof of increased usage and ask that impacted families contact AH once we re-open.

Can tenants in the move process be granted additional extensions following one or more previous extensions so the landlord can be paid after the March 31 move-out date, before the check run?

Yes, in most cases AH can provide extensions to families who are in need.  If a family remains in the unit, after March 20 we will follow our normal process by extending the contract if agreed upon by both the participant and landlord.  The agreement needs to be in writing and can be sent to HCProgramMovesMailbox@atlantahousing.org.

How are you supporting the mayor’s moratorium on evictions?

AH has contacted landlords and participants whose contracts were set to terminate on March 31, 2020, and extended those contracts where both parties agreed to extend.  AH plans to do the same for contracts that are set to terminate on April 30, 2020.  This is in support of the statewide “shelter in place” that has been issued.

What are you doing with submitted RTAs?

Since our closure in mid-March, AH has been conducting emergency move-in Initial Inspections.  AH has also continued to allow tenants who choose to lease up in multi-family properties to move into those units via our multi-family self-certification process.

Effective Monday, April 20, AH inspectors will perform virtual inspections for Initial and Special inspections.  As a result of this change, all previously submitted RTAs that have not been inspected will be inspected virtually.  These inspections will be processed based on priority and the date the RTA was received.  The inspector will still contact the landlord to schedule the Initial inspection; however, the landlord will join the inspector virtually via video through the Zoom application. The Zoom application allows the inspector to conduct the inspection while complying with social distancing orders.  The landlord must also submit an AH Self-Certification Form with their RTA, certifying that the unit meets AH’s Enhanced Inspection Standards.  This form is available on the Resources page of the Landlord Portal.