Skip to Main Content

How to Apply

Tenant's Obligations:
The family is responsible for:

  • Selecting a suitable housing unit for rent. The family has 60 days after receiving a HCV to find a unit. They can also request an extension in writing if they feel more time is necessary. A 'Unit Search' will be given to you to fill out, as a means of tracking your efforts. Extensions are given in 30 day increments.
  • Selecting a unit in which the landlord would agree to participate as part of the HCV program.
  • A list of some of the available units is provided in the form of a Landlord Listing by DHA.
  • Landlords screen families as tenants.

While searching for a unit, keep in mind the Housing Payment Standards and Utilities Allowance (depending of what type of housing) have a bearing on what you can afford for rent.

Once a desired unit is found, rent is agreed upon and after the tenant and landlord agree to enter a lease the family is required to submit a fully completed Leasing Packet (provided by DOTHAN HOUSING), that includes the Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA).

  • This preliminary/proposed lease agreement must include the names of all occupants, the proposed rent amount and the completed utility section.
  • This preliminary/proposed lease agreement must not include signatures or effective dates.
  • The lease between the tenant and owner is the same lease used for unassisted tenants and the terms and conditions must be consistent with State and local laws
  • The lease must specify utilities and appliances.
  • The lease must include the HUD required Tenancy Addendum (DOTHAN HOUSING will provide). Terms of the tenancy addendum prevail over any other provision of the lease.
  • When the Leasing Packet is received by DHA, an inspection will be requested if the unit if found to be affordable for the tenant
  • The unit must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. This inspection will be conducted approximately three (3) to fifteen (15) days after receiving the completed Leasing Packet.
  • A rent reasonableness study will be conducted to determine if the request is reasonable as compared to similar unassisted units, considering location, quality, size, type, age, amenities, housing services, maintenance and utilities to be provided.
  • When the unit passes the HQS inspection, a notice will be sent informing you that the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) has been approved and the contract is ready to be signed.
  • The notice will also provide the approved contract rent and rent portions to be paid.
  • Lease must be for at least one year. After the first year the landlord may request a rent increase on the existing unit.
  • HAP payments will begin when the HAP contract is signed and signed lease is received by DOTHAN HOUSING.
  • The tenant may be required to pay a security deposit to the landlord.

Once the family is in their unit, they are expected to:

  • Comply with the lease and the program requirements
  • Pay its share of rent on time
  • Maintain the unit in good condition
  • Report Changes in income to DHA of income/family composition office.