The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program provides affordable housing options to low-income individuals and families, and is administered through the St. Louis Park Housing Authority. Currently, the housing authority provides approximately 300 Section 8 housing vouchers to individuals and families in St. Louis Park.
A family that receives a housing voucher can choose a housing unit where the owner agrees to rent under the program. The housing authority will pay the rent subsidy to the owner of the rental property with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The family will then pay the difference between the actual rent charged and the subsidy on rent and utilities, which it typically between 30 and 40 percent of their annual income.
Portability is a feature of the Housing Choice Voucher Program that allows an eligible family with a housing choice voucher to use that voucher to lease a unit anywhere in the United States where there is a public housing agency (PHA) operating an Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Porting into St. Louis Park
The city must receive a request for tenancy approval by the 15th of the month for you to be assisted the following month. Once the city receives your file, we will contact you by phone and letter. You will need to meet with housing authority staff to be briefed.
Porting out of St. Louis Park
The city requires a written 60-day notice to move. At your move appointment, you will be briefed on the process of portability and given the paperwork needed to move to another jurisdiction.
The housing authority is currently billing.
To better serve program participants, we ask that you make an appointment with your caseworker if you need to meet with them so they are prepared for your visit. You may drop off papers at city hall for your caseworker or fill out change forms any time. Please make sure the head of household's name is on all the paperwork you turn in.
Reporting plans to move
You must give a written 60-day notice of plans to move.
Reporting changes in income and household size
All changes in income and household size must be reported in writing within 30 days of the change.
Many families in our community rely on landlords like you who are willing to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. There are several advantages of participating in the Section 8 Program. Please contact the housing authority to learn more about participating in this program.
General information regarding landlord participation in St. Louis Park's voucher program can be found under the housing choice voucher FAQs.
If you would like to have your unit/property added to the list given to participants and current voucher holders who request it, please contact Nicole Randall.
Additional landlord resources
- Fair housing information
- Housing quality standards inspection form
The waiting list for Housing Choice Voucher Program is currently closed.
The waiting list will open Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 8 a.m. and will close on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 4 p.m. Applications will be accepted online only during this period. Translation is available in 60 languages. More information coming soon.
If you are currently on the waiting list, updates on address and family composition must be submitted in writing through email at email@example.com or by mail to St. Louis Park Housing Authority, 5005 Minnetonka Blvd.
Do I have to include utilities in the rent payment for the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
No. As a landlord, you can decide who is responsible for paying utilities. If a tenant is responsible for paying utilities, this must be indicated on the Request for Tenancy Approval and in the lease. Utilities must be individually metered in order to be approved by the voucher program.
Does my property have to be pre-qualified to be included in the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
No. The St. Louis Park Housing Authority does not pre-qualify properties. Each time a landlord rents to a voucher holder, their property/unit will be screened for affordability and an inspection will take place. Typically, the Housing Choice Voucher inspection does not have as strict of standards as the city inspection that is needed for a landlord's rental license.
Does the Housing Authority cover any damages left after a family has moved out?
No. A landlord that participates in the Housing Choice Voucher Program would handle any damages left by a tenant the same way they would handle those from an unsubsidized tenant. If a tenant leaves your property not in good standing or has been evicted, they can or will lose their voucher. Anytime a landlord issues a lease violation to a tenant, it is recommended that they copy the Housing Authority they work with and follow up with them.
How do I make my property eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
There is no official certification process to be a Housing Choice Voucher landlord. A Housing Authority establishes policies and procedure, which are based on federal laws and regulations, they must follow to add any unit or property to the program. Contact the St. Louis Park Housing Authority at 952.924.2579 for additional information.
The rent I need to charge is higher than the Housing Authority will allow, and I can't afford to lower my rent. The family has offered to pay the difference, is that ok?
No. That would be considered fraud. Any payments between a landlord and tenant need to be disclosed in your lease. The portion of rent the tenant is responsible for is determined by the Housing Authority. In this case, the landlord would need to tell the family they are not able to work with them.
What is an appropriate response when someone asks if I accept housing vouchers?
The St. Louis Park Housing Authority encourages landlords to have specific written criteria for their tenants, and to consistently adhere to it. When a voucher holder applies, a typical response from a landlord could include, “I am willing to work with the voucher program, as long as the applicant is able to pass my screening criteria.” If you are a landlord that works with the program regularly, including information in your marketing materials such as "Rental Assistance Accepted" will let voucher holders know you are willing to work with them.
What process should a landlord follow if they decide to rent to a voucher holder?
A landlord should screen voucher holders like any other tenants. While the screening process is taking place, a landlord may fill out a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) form. The RTA lets the Housing Authority (HA) know about the unit the tenant is wanting to rent. The tenant is responsible for returning the form, along with an unexecuted lease, to the HA by the 15th of the month in order to be assisted for the following month. We encourage tenants not to leave this form with landlords due to the time-sensitive nature of the program.
Once the HA receives the RTA form, the unit is determined to be affordable or not based on the agency’s payment standards and the family’s income. After the unit is determined to be affordable, the HA will contact the landlord to schedule and complete a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. The inspection must pass by the first of the month. A unit cannot be included in the program if it does not pass the HQS inspection.
The landlord is required to fill out a W9, sign a HAP contract and submit the executed lease to the HA. At that point, the landlord can be paid based on the HA’s practices.
Nicole Randall, Housing Assistance Coordinator