Oswego County Planning and Community Development

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Oswego County Housing Assistance Program


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Oswego County Housing Assistance Program










Summary

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Rental Assistance Program is administered by the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning on behalf of the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation. This is a FEDERALLY FUNDED PROGRAM created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Funds paid to participating owners, renters, and administration fees utilized to administer the program come from the Federal Government.

The objective of the rental assistance program is to provide income eligible participants (families and individuals that fall below the 50% of median income for their family size) with decent, safe and sanitary housing at an affordable cost. Rental units participating in this program must meet with Housing Quality Standards that are determined by HUD. Many times owners make improvements to their properties in order to be involved in the program, thus, improving the housing stock throughout our communities.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program generates money for both county property owners as well as eligible residents. In FY2012, the Oswego County Housing Choice Voucher Program office assisted 413 families. The office created revenue of $191,356 for the County and paid a total of $1,735,579 in rental and utility subsidies to participating owners and participants.

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Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Oswego County Housing Assistance Program as the administrator of the Housing Choice Voucher Program under contract with HCR (which, in turn, HCR is under contract with HUD) include:

  • Determining family eligibility and reexamining family income;
  • Maintaining a waiting list and selecting families for admission;
  • Calculating of family share of the rent and the amounts of housing assistance and possible utility reimbursement payments;
  • Assisting in the establishment of utility allowances;
  • Conducting outreach to owners, with special attention to those with units outside of areas of poverty or minority concentration;
  • Assisting persons with disabilities in finding satisfactory housing;
  • Approving rental units, including assuring compliance with housing quality standards set forth by HUD and determining the reasonableness or rent;
  • Conducting informal reviews and hearings at the request of applicants and participants challenging administrative decisions;
  • Administering the Family Self-Sufficiency Program;
  • Administering the Home Ownership Program;
  • Complying with fair housing and equal opportunity requirements;
  • Complying with HUD regulations and requirements;
  • Completing grant applications for program funding;
  • Remain current with changing program funding;
  • Complying with HUD-approved applications for program funding; and
  • Complying with DHCR's administration plan, federal state and local lows.
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Specific Programs

The Oswego County Housing Assistance Program also runs programs within the HCV Program to better serve the needs of the participating families. These programs include:








HCV Homeownership Vouchers - Allows our Section 8 HCV rental assistance participants to become first-time homeowners with their monthly homeownership expenses. The home must pass initial housing quality standards inspection conducted by our office and an independent home inspection before our office may approve the purchase by the family. Our office has been authorized to implement five vouchers so that some of our neediest residents may now be given the opportunity to achieve the American Dream of owning their own home.

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Project-Based Assisted Housing - Unlike the remainder of the HCV program, which is tenant-based subsidy, this subsidy stays with the project, not with the tenant. Minetto Senior Housing Complex has 26 units that are subsideized through this program for disabled and elderly families. The Gilbert's Grove Apartments complex (formerly known as Pathfider Courts) has 34 project-based family units available. Unlike the remainder of the program, which is tenant-based subsidy stays with the project, not with the tenant.

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Family Unification - allocations are provided to assist families who have lost, or are in danger of losing, their children to foster care, but who may be able to retain custody of their children or reunite the family if they can obtain adequate housing. In order to access this program, applicants must be referred to our office through the Department of Social Services.

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Mainstream Housing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities - enables elderly and non-elderly persons with disabilities, who often face difficulties locating suitable and accessible housing on the private market, to lease affordable housing of their choice.

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Fair Housing Council - a program developed to help communities plan and carry out comprehensive fair housing strategies. It is funded through administration fees of successful Community Development Block Grants and community donations.

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Questions about Oswego County Housing Assistance Program?