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Frequently Asked Questions

When will the Waiting List open again?

A specific date has not been set at this time. When the Waiting List is opened, there will be notices in the local newspapers and notices to area service providers.

When will my application be processed?

It’s impossible to tell that for sure. Many factors determine how quickly we can get to your application such as how quickly the people ahead of you are being processed, the number of available vouchers and how many people are ahead of your application. Just make sure that WHA has your correct address so when it is your turn, you don’t miss your opportunity.

Why does it take so long to get a voucher when I’m on the Waiting List?

There are a lot of people that have applied to be on the Waiting List the last time it was opened. So there are probably a lot of people in front of your application. Also, the WHA has a limited/set amount of funding for rental payments. Once we’ve exhausted our available funding, we cannot issue vouchers until additional monies are available for rental payments.

Can I look for a place to live before I get my voucher?

While it’s always good to keep an eye out for places you’d like to live, you are not guaranteed a voucher until it is actually issued to you. It may take weeks or months before you could receive assistance. Most owners do not want to hold available units for long periods of time.

I thought I was applying for Section 8, what’s HCVP?

Over 10 years ago, the Department of Housing and Urban Development renamed the Section 8 program to the Housing Choice Voucher Program. It is referred to as HCVP or HCV Program. While many still use the old term, Section 8, it is actually HCVP now.

My income has changed. How can I get my rent lowered?

You are required to report any changes in your income – up or down – within 10 days in writing so that your Housing Counselor can process it.

I know some people get a utility check from WHA, why don’t I?

Utility Assistance Payments (UAP) are issued to clients whose income is low, have utilities that are their responsibility at the unit, and have money “left” on their voucher payment standard. If you are responsible for paying any portion of your rent, you are not eligible to get a UAP check. 


How much is my voucher worth?

Your voucher does not really have an exact amount tied to it. It gives you the number of bedrooms you qualify for which gives us the proper payment standard to use in the HUD rental calculations. The amount of rent you can afford is based on:  1) Your voucher size; 2) What utilities you are going to be responsible for; 3) Your income; 4) The amount of deductions you have; and 5) The amount of rent the owner is asking for the unit.

How is my rent calculated?

First of all, it’s complicated. But here it is. HUD regulations set the formula for calculating your portion of the rent. First we add what the owner is asking for rent and the utilities you are going to have to pay to come up with the “Gross Rent”. Then we compare that to the payment standard (voucher size) you qualify for and use the amount that is lower. We then calculate the “Total Tenant Payment” or TTP. The TTP is the greatest of 3 numbers: 30% of your monthly adjusted income, 10% of your monthly gross income or the minimum rent of $50. We subtract the TTP from the lower of the Gross Rent or the Payment Standard to determine what the total amount the Housing Authority will pay to the landlord in rent. This is called the Housing Assistance Payment or HAP. We then calculate what part is your share by subtracting the Total HAP from the Gross Rent. This is what you will be responsible for each month in rent and estimated utilities. The WHA will pay the owner the lower of the total rent or the Total HAP, you will pay the difference between the Rent and the HAP.
Your Total Family Share cannot be over 40% of your Monthly Adjusted income. If it is, we can’t allow you to move into that unit.

Why can’t I port/transfer my voucher to some other place?

Housing Authorities have the choice to bill or absorb someone who moves to their jurisdiction from another Housing Authority. If they absorb, you become their client and they pay all the rent  to your new landlord. We will port/transfer you to any Housing Authority that absorbs. If they bill, the housing authority you came from (WHA) pays the rent. Our funding is based on what average rents are in the Wilmington, NC area so when people move to another area, we don’t have enough money to pay the rents in more expense places, like New York City or San Diego. WHA is currently billing anyone porting into Wilmington.

Why can’t I go into Public Housing if I’m going through a hardship and can’t afford all my bills?

Public Housing and HCVP (Section 8) are two completely different programs. You cannot transfer from one to another. You can apply for Public Housing, but because you are already receiving housing assistance through the voucher program, you do not qualify for a preference. When it comes time to move into your Public Housing unit, you would have to ask to be terminated from the HCVP. If later you change your mind and want to come back to the voucher program, you would have to wait until the Waiting List is open to apply and start the process all over again.