The Department of Leased Housing administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program to eligible families within Jefferson County. Housing Choice Vouchers provide tenant based assistance. Families may use their voucher with private landlords throughout our jurisdiction in Birmingham and Jefferson County.
Our objective is to provide outstanding customer service to our program clients, landlords, general public and community partners.
A family interested in participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program may apply to HABD when the waiting list is open and applications are being accepted. HABD gives public notice of when the waiting list will open and where applications will be accepted on our website and notices in The Birmingham News and The Birmingham Times.
Applicants are placed on the waiting list. Preference is given to the homeless, victims of domestic violence and involuntarily displaced families due to a formally recognized natural disaster or government action.
When applicant’s name reaches the top of the list, the applicant is contacted for an interview. They must provide income verification, family composition, and social security numbers for all family members and other information used in determining eligibility. Applications must pass a criminal background screening.
Applicants must attend a briefing to receive their Housing Choice Voucher. They will receive information such as family obligations and the number of bedrooms for which they qualify. This briefing is about two hours and teaches families how and where to find a unit, how to maintain the unit, how to remain in the program, along with additional information on tenancy.
Participants are responsible for locating their own rental unit.
An initial inspection is conducted and the unit must meet the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Quality Housing Standards (HQS).
The rent is set by the owner of the property, however rent charged must be reasonable and in accordance with HABD and HUD guidelines.
The participant and the landlord will sign an assisted lease agreement. The landlord must provide a lease that is the same agreement used for unassisted tenants. HABD is not a party to the lease. Rather, the landlord and HABD execute a housing assistance payment contract (HAP). Families are not parties to the HAP contract.
After the unit passes the inspection and all required documents are signed, the family may move in and HAP will begin. Payments are made the first week of each month.
More information is available by contacting Leased Housing at (205) 521-7460.