Participant Information


You become a participant of the Section 8/housing choice voucher (HCV) program once Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority (CKHA) enters into a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with a landlord on your behalf. As a program participant you will have certain responsibilities in reporting information to CKHA in a timely matter. Failure to do so could lead to you owing money that you will be required to repay or result in you losing your assistance entirely.


CKHA is required to update participant information annually with regard to household income and family composition, in order to determine continued eligibility for assistance. Approximately 90 to 120 days prior to the assistance anniversary date, the family will be scheduled to attend a meeting very similar to the applicant orientation. At the recertification appointment CKHA staff will review the completed application with the family and request additional information as needed. CKHA staff will also conduct a briefing to inform families of their responsibilities and any changes in program rules.


There are three types of inspections:

1. CKHA is required to inspect a family’s rental property at least annually. The annual inspections must be conducted within twelve month of the last inspection. An inspector is to contact both the family and the landlord to schedule the inspection. Failure to allow the annual inspection will be cause for termination of assistance.

2. Special inspections can be requested by either the tenant or landlord, based on problems that have occurred with the unit that have not been taken care of by the responsible party within a reasonable time frame.

3. Quality Control inspections are done on a certain number of units, selected because of the recent of the annual or special inspection, the inspector that conducted the last inspection and the location of the unit. These inspections are done to ensure the work of the inspectors is the very best.

Once an inspection is conducted, both parties receive a summary of repairs to the unit and a time frame in which to complete those repairs. Upon completion of the repairs, the inspector/CKHA is to be contacted to schedule a re-inspection.

Failure to complete the repairs within the time frame specified will be cause for termination of assistance. If the failure is on the part of the landlord, the family is issued a voucher and a move packet to find another unit. If the failure is on the part of the family, assistance is terminated. If either party should complete the repairs by the date of the termination, assistance may continue on that unit if both parties are in agreement to continue the occupancy.

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) violations that result in the property failing inspection, for which the family is responsible are as follows:

1. Tenant paid utilities not being in service.
2. Tenant provided appliances not working.
3. Smoke detectors where the batteries have been removed.
4. Damage to the unit caused by a household member or guest beyond normal wear and tear.
Poor housekeeping may lead to damage to the unit.

Failure to correct these items in the time required will lead to the loss of housing assistance.

Changes between Recertification

Participants are required to report all changes in income and family composition within ten days of the change. Changes must be sent in writing to the family’s assigned specialist using the Change of Family Information form (PDF, 21K). Do not call to report a change. If you wish to add someone to your household other than through marriage, birth, adoption, or court awarded custody you must receive permission from your landlord in writing. This statement must also be sent to CKHA.

Moving with Assistance

Program participants may not move within the first year of an initial contract without a written release from the owner or if there is an un-repaired owner HQS violation. Anytime after the first year a written 30-day notice must be given to the landlord (with a copy to CKHA) stating when you intend to vacate the unit. Remember, since the lease agreement is between you and the owner, you should check the terms of the lease as to when you can move.

Example: If after the first year the lease is renewed on a month to month basis all you would need to do is give a thirty day notice from the first of a month. Therefore, if you wished to move by December 31 you must inform your landlord and CKHA by December 1st.

Upon receiving the thirty day notice of intent to move:

1. If the family HAS been recertified within the last 120 days, the family will be sent a Voucher Packet that is good for 120 days.

2. If the family HAS NOT been recertified within the last 120 days, the family will be required to attend a briefing and complete the recert process. At this time a Voucher Packet good for 120 days will be issued.

Please be aware that during a move process the family will be under the same requirements as an applicant with regard to the total family share not exceeding 40% of the family’s adjusted income. Also, the unit must also pass HQS inspection and be found to be rent reasonable before CKHA will approve the property for assistance.

After receiving the Request For Tenancy Approval (RFTA) back from the landlord, CKHA will schedule an inspection on the new rental unit. Once the unit has been approved a HAP contract will be prepared. Since a new contract is being entered the family will not be allowed to move again for another year unless the previously mentioned conditions are met.

Informal Hearing

CKHA will give a program participant written notification of a decision to terminate assistance. The notice will contain the Family Obligation Violations for the decision and will indicate if the participant may request an informal hearing. A person(s) designated by CKHA that was not directly involved in the decision to terminate assistance will conduct the hearing. During the hearing the family will be given the opportunity to present written or oral objections to CKHA’s decision. The decision of the hearing officer is final.

Voucher Portability

One of the features of the housing choice voucher (HCV) program is the mobility of the assistance. Section 8(r) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 provides that Section 8/HCV participants may transfer to housing authority anywhere in the United States, provided the housing authority administering the tenant-based program has jurisdiction over the area where the participant wants to transfer. The term “portability” refers to the process of leasing or purchasing a dwelling unit with housing voucher tenant-based assistance outside of the jurisdiction of the housing authority that initially issues the household its voucher (the Initial Public Housing Agency). Program regulations covering where a household may move and the responsibilities of the Initial Public Housing Agency and the Receiving Public Housing Agency (the Public Housing Agency with jurisdiction over the area to which the household moves) are found at 24 CFR sections 982.353 through 982.355.

Outgoing Vouchers

Current voucher holders who are residents of Kanawha, Clay, or Putnam counties, may “port” their Housing Choice Voucher outside of CKHA’s jurisdiction.   However, if your name comes up on the waiting list and you are issued a voucher and you reside outside of CKHA’s jurisdiction, you must utilize the voucher within the CKHA jurisdiction for at least 12 months before porting out.

Participants may not port out if they are in violation of family obligations or if they owe a balance to CKHA or their landlord.

For Admission to the voucher program, a family must be income eligible in the area where the family initially leases a unit with assistance under the program. If an applicant family exercises portability, the income limit of the receiving PHA is used.

DO NOT MOVE BEFORE COMPLETING ALL OF THE PORTABILITY PAPERWORK AND GETTING APPROVAL FROM YOUR CASEWORKER.   Failure to do so may result in loss of your voucher and cause you to be responsible for your full rent payment

Incoming Vouchers

Clients wishing to transfer their voucher to CKHA should notify their Housing Counselor in their hometown for guidance on doing so.

The Housing Authority where they currently live should send all Portability paperwork to:

Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority 
1525 Washington Street West
Charleston, WV 25387
Phone: 304-348-6451
Fax: 304-348-8155

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