Considering renting to a Housing Choice Voucher Participant but you have questions? Here are a few of the most common. If you have more questions or concerns, please call the HCV Margaret Murano at (401) 647-7464.
What are the requirements for my unit to be rented to an assisted family?
The unit must meet HUD Housing Quality standards and the rent must fall within HUD Fair Market Rents and market rate comparables.
How do I make a unit available to certificate and voucher holders?
You may call the HCV Margaret Murano at (401) 647-7464 and have the unit posted in our list of available units. You may also advertise in the newspaper with the phrase “will accept Section 8.” Our families look for those listings.
Who pays the rent?
The tenant pays 30% of their income less utilities toward the rent. You collect the tenant’s portion of the rent from the tenant. WHA pays the assistance (difference between the tenant rent and the contracted rent amount) directly to you via check.
What is the term of the lease contract?
After one year, the term is open-ended as long as the tenant remains eligible and the unit is maintained to Housing Quality Standards. The tenant may vacate with 30-day notice after the first year; however, the landlord must have good cause to terminate the lease and evict the tenant.
What do I do when a certificate or voucher holder is interested in my unit?
Here are the steps to follow:
- Landlord screens tenants – you must screen the prospective tenant carefully to ensure you are making a good selection. When one of our families contacts you, we can only certify to you their income eligibility for the program.
- Request for Tenancy Approval – when you have selected a tenant, they will have a “Request for Tenancy Approval Form” for you to complete. When the tenant submits the form to our office, an inspector will contact you to schedule an inspection. Please note that the utilities must be on for the inspection.
- Landlords are required to provide a lead certificate for properties built before 1978.
- Inspection and rent – the unit will be inspected to ensure that it meets HUD Housing and Quality Standards. Required repairs and rent amount will be discussed with you by the HCV program.
- Lease and contract – after the unit passes inspection and the rent has been approved, the landlord and tenant enter into a lease. WHA and the landlord sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract through which the rent is assisted on behalf of the tenant.
For more information you can contact the HCV Program, Margaret Murano at (401) 647-7464.
Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and on recommendation from the Governor’s Office, the RI Department of Health and the CDC, the offices of Westerly Housing Authority are open for telephone calls or email only. All face-to-face meetings have been cancelled and/or eliminated until further notice.
Staff remains available to answer questions as follows:
- By telephone: Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm by calling (401) 596-4918.
- By Email:
If you have any after-hours maintenance emergency, please call (401) 596-4918.
If you have a medical emergency, please contact your primary care physician or call 911.