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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Welcome to our FAQs page. Here you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If you do not find the answer that you are looking for, please feel free to contact us. The following list is updated periodically as we receive new inquiries.

 



How can I contact the Westmoreland County Housing Authority?
 

There are several ways to contact the Westmoreland County Housing Authority. Please take a moment to review our Contact page.

If you are looking for employment information, please click here page.

 

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Where can I find more information about Senior Living?
 

If you are looking for general information about senior living, you've come to the right place! This list of answers is periodically updated as we receive new inquiries. If you do not find the answers you are looking for, please let us know.


What is the age qualification to move into a senior hi-rise?

  • 62 years of age, physically challenged, disabled, or near elderly (a family whose head, spouse, or sole member is at least 50 years of age, but less than 62 years of age.


How much is the rent?

  • Monthly rent is based on thirty percent (30%) of the household’s adjusted gross income.


Do I have to pay for utilities?

  • In Senior hi-rise apartment complexes, you are responsible for phone service and cable.
  • In family communities, utility prices vary.


Am I permitted to have pets?

  • Yes, we have a pet policy on file. Please contact us for more information.


Do the apartments have appliances?

  • Yes, all apartments have stoves and refrigerators.

 

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What happens after I have been selected from the waiting list?

  
After family has been selected from the waiting list, several steps must be completed before a family can receive rental assistance.

Step 1: WCHA Determines Family’s Final Eligibility
Family is selected from waiting list and income and household composition is reviewed for final eligibility.

Step 2: Voucher Issued
When a family is determined to be eligible for the program and funding is available, the Westmoreland County Housing Authority (WCHA) issues them a Housing Choice Voucher. The family receives the Voucher and the tenant briefing.

Step 3: Family Decides Where To Live
A family must locate a housing unit that meets the program rules. That can be where they live right now or a totally different unit. The WCHA can help in some ways, but the primary responsibility for finding a suitable unit to rent is the family’s. A family has 60 days to locate a suitable unit. Depending on WCHA policy, the Housing Authority may extend the search period.

Step 4: Owner Approves Family
Even though a family is determined by WCHA to be eligible for the program, the owner must approve the family as a suitable renter. WCHA knows that the owner has approved the family when a Request for Tenancy Approval form is submitted.

Step 5: WCHA Approves Tenancy and Unit
After a family finds a suitable housing unit and the owner approves the family, the Housing Agency needs to determine if the unit qualifies for the Section 8 Program. This includes a Housing Quality Standards inspection.

Step 6: Contract and Lease Signed
If the lease and unit are satisfactory, WCHA will enter into a Contract with the owner, and the family will enter into a lease with the owner.

Step 7: Housing Assistance Payments Made
After the HAP Contract and lease are signed, WCHA makes the initial HAP payment and continues to make monthly payments to the owner as long as the family continues to meet eligibility criteria and the housing unit qualifies under the program.


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What if I want to move to another Section 8 housing unit?
 

If you decide to look for another place to live, the procedures are the same whether you are:

  • Leasing a unit when you are first approved to participate in the program, or
  • Moving from one unit to another with continued assistance after you are on the program.

To continue assistance at your new place:

Your WCHA representative will explain the WCHA policies and procedures for moving from your unit with continued assistance.

One of the great features of the tenant-based assistance programs is that your assistance “moves” with you. You can use your assistance to move not only across town but also to anywhere within the jurisdiction of the WCHA with a tenant-based assistance program.

You must give notice if:

You want to move from one assisted unit to another to continue to receive housing assistance, you must give the owner and the WCHA proper written notice according to the lease and the WCHA policy.


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Where can I look for another housing unit?
 

You may search for suitable housing anywhere within the jurisdiction of WCHA. The areas where you may seek housing will be explained to you by your housing representative.


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If my income changes, will my payments change as well?


When a change in your income occurs, contact your WCHA representative immediately for further instructions. A WCHA representative may set up a meeting with you so the changes can be verified. When your income changes, your payment and the WCHA’s payment to the owner may change as well. Both you and the owner will be given a written notice before any change goes into effect.



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Am I allowed to make side payments?
 

It is illegal for you to make additional payments to the owner to cover a rent amount that is higher than the WCHA rent limit, and it is illegal for the owner to charge such side payments. All separate agreements between the owner and family must be approved by WCHA.



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