Galveston Housing Authority

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Project Based Vouchers

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PBV Information

Project-based vouchers (PBVs) are a component of a public housing agency's (PHA's) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. A PHA can use up to 20 percent of its authorized voucher units to project-base units . The PBV program was enacted in 1998, as part of the statutory merger of the certificate and voucher tenant-based assistance programs under the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998. The PBV program differs from the HCV program in that the voucher stays with the unit rather than the tenant as in the traditional HCV program.

Project-based assistance means that the voucher is committed or 'tied' to one or more units in a specific building for a specific period. Public housing agencies maintain a waiting list for all project-based units. The PHA then refers eligible applicants to reside in those PBV units. Both new and existing rental projects are eligible to receive project-based rental assistance, with the following conditions:

  • No more than 25 percent of the units in a building may receive project-based vouchers unless the assisted units are in single family dwellings, are for elderly and disabled families, or are for families receiving supportive services.
  • The PHA may contract with the property owner to provide project-based assistance for an initial term of up to fifteen years.
  • Households residing in units with PBVs have the right to move after one year and receive the next available HCV tenant-based voucher, or its equivalent, from the PHA. The PHA will then refer a new applicant to the project-based assisted unit from the waiting list.

Project-based units are subject to most of the standard regulations of the HCV tenant-based voucher program. For example, households in project-based units typically must pay the minimum total tenant payment based on 30 percent of their monthly adjusted income. To ensure the quality of the housing, PHAs must inspect all units upon turnover, and must additionally inspect a certain number of randomly selected project-based units at least annually. The PHA and the owner execute an agreement to enter into housing assistance payments (HAP) contract, very similar to the HCV program. Under this contract the owner agrees to construct or rehabilitate the units, and the PHA agrees to subsidize the units upon satisfactory completion of the rehabilitation or construction. The HAP contract establishes the initial rents for the units and the contract term, and describes the responsibilities of the PHA and the owner. HAP contracts can be renewed subject to availability of funding.

The Galveston Housing Authority has 31 PBV's in the new mixed income developments managed by MBS and will have 97 PBV scattered sites that are being developed by the General Land Office as replacement public housing.

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