How much rent will I pay? Rent is based on your GROSS income. We count all of the income you receive to assist you with living, including wages, Social Security, SSI, welfare, unemployment, interest you earn or may earn on assets, dividends, recurring gifts, etc.
The agency annualizes your income. We take your monthly or weekly gross amount and calculate what you may earn in a year. We then deduct:
- $480 for each dependent
- $400 for each family where the head of household/spouse is elderly/disabled
- Medical expenses above the amount of insurance and 3% of your income for elderly or households where the head or spouse is a person with a disability.
- Child Care expenses that you pay out of pocket for qualified child care.
You must report all income and any changes.
Housing Choice Voucher Program and Voucher look alike programs: A family with a Voucher pays between 30% to 40% (HOPWA & Shelter + are limited to 30% of income) of their adjusted income (not less than $50) minus any utility allowance for the unit to the landlord. OHA will notify the family in writing on how much to pay. OHA pays the difference directly to the landlord between the approved rent and the tenant’s portion.
HCV tenants should never pay more than what the agency has advised them to pay. Landlords are not allowed to accept rent in excess of what the agency has agreed to in the contract.
Public Housing: Public Housing residents either pay the greater of 30% of their adjusted income (gross income – minus deductions), 10% of their gross income, $50 minimum rent or flat rent.
Flat rent is based on market rent for the unit. Tenant’s are allowed to choose between paying based on their income or flat rent. Once they have chosen flat rent, if their income decreases they may request in writing to go to income based rent. Tenants who have changed to income based after choosing flat rent may not return to flat rent until the next lease term.
Minimum Rent and Hardships: OHA requires all participants pay a minimum of $50.00 rent. If you have had a sudden loss of income not due to your actions, a death in the family or are subject to eviction because you are unable to pay the minimum rent, you may request a hardship waiver to the minimum rent. Your request must be in writing. Upon receipt you will be required to meet with your Housing Specialist who will review your case. If the hardship is temporary, you will be required to repay the minimum rent.