Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Public Housing and Section 8 or HUD?
Public Housing is where the applicant lives in developments managed by Charleston-Kanawha Housing and the rent is 30% of income with ALL utilities included in the rent. (With the exception of cable and telephone).

Section 8 or HUD is where the applicant would go out into the private sector to find their own housing and would be responsible for any or all utilities at the request of the landlord. HUD assists with the payment of rent.

How does one apply for Public Housing?
Obtain an application by coming into our office at 1701 5th Ave (Family Enrichment Center) or through the mail. Find out more.

How long is the waiting list for Public Housing?
Currently the waiting list is about 2 to 4 months (Multiple Bedrooms), 2 to 8 months (1 Bedroom).

Can a person apply for Public Housing and Section 8 at the same time?
Yes; but no one can be on both programs at the same time. You can live in the public housing developments until you get the voucher for section 8; give a 30-day notice to public housing to move out; to use the section 8 voucher.

How do I apply for Section 8?
You must first complete a pre-application for assistance to have you name placed on Charleston-Kanawha Housing’s waiting list. A pre-application may be obtained by:

1. Downloading (PDF, 30K) one from this website;

2. By calling 304-348-6451, ext. 202 and one will be mailed to you; or

3. By completing one in person at either our Family Enrichment Center location at 1705 7th Avenue or our Littlepage office at 1809 Washington Street, West in Charleston. Your name will be placed on the list according to the date and time you applied. When your name reaches the top, and there is sufficient funding, you will be called in for an orientation in preparation for getting a voucher. The average time on the waiting list is ten months to a year.

What are the income limits?
Income limits are established annually by HUD annually. Initially, CH will accept applications from families with income of up to 80% of the area median income (low), but HUD requires 75% of the families receiving assistance to be below 30% of the area income (very,very low). Income is calculated before taxes, known as “gross income”. It is the total of all income received by all family members over a 12-month period.

May cousins, friends or others be added to the household after the voucher is issued?
Yes, but changes in the composition of your household that occur during the period between the issuance of a voucher and lease-up must be reported to CKH as they may affect the family’s eligibility and/or share of the rental payment. During the term of the lease, all additions to the family, except the birth of a baby, adoption, or court awarded custody, must first be approved by your landlord, in writing, and must be reported to CKH for approval. All adults being added to the program must pass CKH’s admissions criteria.

My voucher has expired. How do I get an extension?
Vouchers are issued for 120 days. CKH will only approve an extension as a reasonable accommodation for a person with disabilities. No other extensions will be granted and the family will have to reapply on the waiting list.

Is there a rule about renting from your mother, father or other relatives?
The owner (including a principal or other interested party) may not be the parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister or brother of any member of the assisted family. Renting from a family member may be approved as a reasonable accommodation for a family member who is a person with disabilities. If CKH grants such approval, the owner and family will be notified in writing.

Does CKH pay the security deposit?
No. The security deposit is paid by the tenant

When should I pay a security deposit?
Talk with the owner to determine when and if you must pay a security deposit. Get the return policy in writing, just in case you never sign a lease. Typically, security deposits are one month’s rent.

Who pays the utilities?
The owner and the tenant must decide who will be responsible for the payment of specific utilities. These responsibilities are outlined in the lease and contract.


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