How Much Rent Will BHA Pay?
You have the right to ask for a rent that is reasonable and comparable to similar private market apartments in the same building and neighborhood. BHA may not approve a higher rent for an apartment if similar apartments in the building are charged lower rents or if similar apartments in the neighborhood are charged lower rents.
All families assisted by the Housing Choice Voucher Program must pay a minimum of 30% of the household's monthly adjusted income (with a few exceptions) toward rent. The amount BHA will pay toward rent is determined by subtracting 30% of the family's adjusted income from the appropriate BHA Payment Standard. The payment standard is used to determine what a fair amount of rent is for the apartment, based on bedroom size and other factors.
For example, if a family finds a three-bedroom apartment and the rent is $1,300, BHA will add an average utility amount and then determine that rent and utilities together equals $1,450 (gross rent).
BHA will pay the gross rent or the payment standard – whichever is lower – minus 30% of the family's income to the owner. In this example assume the payment standard is $1,439. If 30% of the family's monthly adjusted income equals $300, the BHA would pay the owner $1,139 each month ($1,439 minus $300) and the tenant would pay the owner the difference between $1,139 and $1,300 (or $161). The BHA would let the family retain the rest of 30% of its monthly adjusted income to pay for its own utility costs.
When a family with a Voucher is entering into a lease with you for the first time, the family cannot pay more than 40% of their income for rent. Some families with a Voucher can afford more expensive apartments than other Voucher holders.
The estimated utility cost used to calculate how much BHA will pay and how much the tenant will pay is based on BHA’s Utility Allowance. Factors like the type of heat and bedroom size are considered.