Where can I live?

The Housing Authority's jurisdiction covers Johnson County and parts of Iowa and Washington counties. Within these areas, clients may live in any unit that meets the following criteria:

  • The landlord chooses to participate in the HCV program
  • The unit passes an inspection
  • The unit complies with program bedroom size guidelines
  • The unit's rent is such that the client does not pay more than 40 percent of their monthly income towards rent.

Also, HCV assistance is "portable" - meaning the assistance may be transferred to another location. To transfer your HCV assistance to another city, you must have been a participant in the Housing Authority's program for one year, or you must have proof that your legal residence at the time you applied for HCV assistance was within the Housing Authority's jurisdiction.

What are the terms of my lease?

HUD requires the initial assisted lease to cover a term of 12 full months unless market conditions in Iowa City dictates otherwise. The Housing Authority may approve a longer or shorter lease term, but initial lease terms cannot be less than 30 days. After the initial lease term, the lease will revert to a month-to-month agreement per Chapter 562A Uniform Residential Landlord And Tenant Law. Iowa Tenant/Landlord law, unless both the tenant and landlord agree to a new lease term.

How much will I pay?

The tenant pays a portion of the rent based on their income and the voucher covers the balance. The tenant's share of rent is an affordable percentage of their income, which is generally between 30 to 40 percent of their monthly-adjusted gross income. Minimum rent is $50. 

What is monthly-adjusted gross income?

The term "monthly adjusted income" is used as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations at (2003) 24CFR5.603 and 5.611, where it states, "...monthly adjusted income (means) one twelfth of adjusted income;" and "...adjusted income means annual income less...deductions." 24CFR5.611 further defines deductions as being (1) $480 for each dependent; (2) $400 for an elderly or disabled family; (3) for elderly or disabled families, disability assistance expense and/or medical expense in excess of 3% of annual income; and (4) child care expenses. Each deduction listed in the definition is further defined elsewhere in the CFR as to applicability. The terms "monthly adjusted income, adjusted income, and annual income" all refer to income earned or received before taxes. Tenant rent is always calculated on pre-tax income and no other deductions or allowances apply.

Do I have to pay utilities?

All utility costs associated with the unit may be paid by either the landlord or tenant, or shared by both, depending on the terms agreed to as part of the lease. Due to a HUD prescribed Utility Allowance, the total amount of contract rent received by the owner may be influenced upward or downward.

What size unit will I qualify for?

Assignment of Bedroom Sizes (Subsidy Standards). The intent of HUD requirements is that the smallest appropriate bedroom size be assigned to participant families without overcrowding. The household unit size will be determined by the Housing Authority in accordance with the Administrative Plan and will determine the maximum rent subsidy for the household. However, the household may select a unit that is larger or smaller than the household unit size. If the household selects a smaller unit, the payment standard for the actual unit size will be used to calculate the subsidy. If the household selects a larger size unit, the payment standard for the issued voucher size will determine the maximum subsidy. For detailed information, see the Housing Authority guidelines for determining Subsidy Standards