How do I apply for housing assistance?
You must first apply to the waiting list through the office's Housing Choice Voucher Program. Housing assistance is for low-income persons. All eligibility requirements will be verified once your name is drawn from the waiting list. Currently, our waiting list is closed. You do not have to limit your application to the area where you currently reside. You may apply at any housing office accepting applications for wait list. *Please Note: Once the waiting is opened and names are added, priority will be given to people that live and/or work within Albemarle County, including UVA employees. You will be required to live within the Charlottesville/Albemarle MSA for 12 months before being allowed to exercise your portability rights. You are not guaranteed a rental voucher by virtue of having your name on the waiting list. You will need to satisfy eligibility requirements in order to receive rental assistance.
I am a landlord interested in renting to a voucher holder. Can you tell me how the process works?
Please see Information for landlords or feel free to contact our HQS Inspector, Clifford Hammill. He is available to discuss the program with prospective landlords when he is in the office. Mr. Hammill is frequently in the field conducting housing inspections, please leave him a message at (434) 296-5839 and he will return your phone call as soon as possible.
What happens if when I applied I did not meet the preference but later on I do meet the preference for living and/or working in AlbemarleCounty?
If any of your information changes, you must submit it, in writing, promptly to the office. Any changes that affect preferences will be updated and the application will be put on the appropriate list. Clients that did not meet the preference but do later will be put into the poole of applicants that meet the preference. Applicants that initially met the preference but then do not, will have their application put in the general pool of applicants. Preference verification will be completed at the time an application is pulled to be offered a voucher. Those that are called for a voucher for those that meet the preference but do not meet the preference will have their application returned to the waiting list and will be offered an application once those that meet the preference have been offered assistance.
Is your waiting list open?
No, We are not accepting Housing Choice Voucher waiting list applications at this time. If you are interested in one of the project-based rental units such as Park's Edge Apartments (households of 4 to 6), Park View Apartments ( 62 years or older only) or Scottsville School Apartments (Elderly/Disabled only), then you will need to complete an application for inclusion on those specific waiting lists.
What is a Project-Based Voucher?
A project-based voucher means the unit is subsidized, not the voucher recipient. With a Housing Choice Voucher, the client is able to use the voucher to find any rental unit that passes inspection, meets the rent reasonableness and if the owner accepts the voucher. With a project-based voucher, the assistance remains with the particular unit, regardless of which qualified family is renting the unit. If a family is renting a project-based unit and decides to move, they may not take the assistance with them. The family would need to receive a Housing Choice Voucher in order to continue to receive rental assistance at another rental. Please call the Office of Housing at (434) 296-5839 with any further questions.
Is it possible to be on more than one waiting list?
Yes, you may have your application on more than one waiting list. However, you will be required to receive assistance for a full 12 months before exercising your right to receive assistance if offered from another program.
Do you know when your list will open?
We do not have estimate as to when we will reopen the waiting list. The list was last open from November 2007 until January 2008. Before that time, the list was open 2004. The decision to reopen the waiting list will be made by the Chief of Housing and will be announced on the Albemarle County website and in the Daily Progress.
Why do you stop accepting applications?
It has been our policy to stop accepting applications when we can't provide rental assistance in a reasonable amount of time (more than two years wait).
What number am I on the list?
We do not give out numerical placement on the wait list because it is subject to change. However, we are able to tell you whether or not your name is still on the list. You must inform us in writing of any changes, particularly your mailing address so that we may contact you when your name comes up on the waiting list. If we do not have a current address on file, we will be unable to contact you and we will remove your name from the waiting list for failure to respond. Please help us help you by maintaining current information on file.
What laws protect my rights and responsibilities as a tenant or landlord?
The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA) outlines the rights and responsibilities for both the Landlord and Tenant. You may download a copy of the updated VRLTA by visiting the Office of Housing FORMS CENTER.
What do I do if my landlord will not fix a maintenance problem that I have reported to her/him?
The best way to deal with any complaint or issue with your landlord is to send her/him a written, dated and signed statement of the problem. Remember to keep a copy for your records. You should refer to your copy of your rental lease to familiarize yourself with maintenance responsibilities as outlined by the landlord. Also, you should ALWAYS have a copy of the Virginia Residential Landlord/Tenant Act which outlines how to notify landlords and how long they are given to respond and correct maintenance issues. If the landlord is unresponsive, you may contact the Charlottesville/Albemarle Legal Aid Society (CALAS) at (434) 977-0553.
What if a landlord has refused to rent a place to me because I have children? Can he/she do that?
The Virginia Fair Housing Law prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, elderliness, familial status or handicap. Familial status means families in which one or more children under age 18 live with a parent, a legal guardian, or the designee of the parent or legal guardian with his/her written permission. Familial status also includes pregnant women and anyone in the process of securing legal custody of a child. Hence, a landlord cannot refuse to rent to you just because you have children. The landlord can, however, refuse to approve your application for reasons of poor tenant history possibly due to the past behavior of your children. The only communities legally allowed to discriminate on the basis of age are 55+ communities and there are restrictions.
If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination, first, write it down. Record what happened with times, places, dates, names of those involved, and sequence of events. You may contact the Virginia Fair Housing Office at (804) 367-8530.
The Legal Aid Justice Center may also be able to help, by providing free legal advice to people who qualify. They can be reached at (434) 977-0553.
You may download a copy of the Virginia Residential Landlord/Tenant Act on the Albemarle County Office of Housing FORMS CENTER.
The County of Albemarle Office of Housing provides all program services without regards to Race, Color, Sex, Religion, Creed, National or Ethnic Origin, Age, Familial Status, Handicap or Disability. The County of Albemarle Office Of Housing Is Accessible To Persons With Disabilities. Accessibility for the Hearing-Impaired Is Provided By Calling the VirginiaRelayCenter by Dialing 711.