Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions section below for residents.
How much is my voucher worth?
There is no set dollar amount attached to a voucher. The subsidy amount for a voucher depends on your income, your voucher size, and the payment standard for the area where you chose to live. To find out what the payment standard is for a unit you are interested in, please use our online tool at www.brhp.org/search. Enter the address of the property and your voucher size, and the tool will give you the range of acceptable rents for the area where you are looking.
What if I’m unemployed?
SSI, SSDI, unemployment, child support, and TCA is considered income. It is important to know that you will need a ‘stable’ income to pay your bills and your rent portion in an Opportunity Area. Unemployment and TCA are temporary and child support is unstable. We want to help you succeed in your new home, and a stable income is a necessary part of that success.
Can BRHP help me with my housing search?
Yes, we hold a workshop once a month to help you with your housing search process. Additionally, if you need transportation to a unit or would like someone to meet with you and the landlord, our housing services counselors can help. Please feel free to call them for advice or to schedule an appointment.
After I receive my voucher, how do I search for a home?
We provide three unit referrals at your voucher briefing. Please check out those units. If they are not right for you, you can try one of the websites listed on the handout Housing Search Resources from your Voucher Briefing Packet.
If I find a unit on my own, how do I check to see if it’s allowable and affordable?
Use our Search Tool and enter the property information. This tool will tell you if the property is located in an Opportunity Area, and it will give you an estimate of the affordable rent. If the rental amount of the property is more than the amount given on the website, the unit is not affordable.
Once I find a unit that is allowable and affordable, what is my next step?
Complete an application for a unit. Remember, the landlord must approve of you and can do their background and credit check, which may require a fee. The fee may be up to $100 per applicant over the age of 18, so be prepared. Some apartment complexes may ask another fee of up to $350 to hold the apartment. Make sure you have access to your money to pay that fee. If you are denied, some complexes can take 30 days to return that money. Also remember that some landlords require a pet deposit (about $250 to $500) and “pet rent” (about $25 to $35 each month). Once the landlord approves you, give them the Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) form located in your Voucher Briefing Packet. Make sure you sign all parts of the RTA form.
What happens after my RTA has been submitted?
It can take up to three weeks to process an RTA. During this time, we will not contact you, but you should be preparing to move. We will tell the landlord if the unit passes inspection, and the landlord will then contact you. We cannot release any information to you about an inspection; please contact the landlord for updates.
How do I know when I can move in?
The landlord will contact you if the unit passes inspection to arrange a time for you to sign your lease. Remember to call BGE to transfer service or set up a new service and to purchase renter’s insurance if your landlord requires it. Even if your landlord does not require it, it is wise to have renter’s insurance.
Can I get assistance with my security deposit?
If you need security deposit assistance you must contact a counselor to apply for the security deposit loan before you sign your lease. Remember you are responsible for a portion of the security deposit and your portion of your first month’s rent. And please remember that if you choose a property in a non-opportunity area, you will not be eligible for security deposit assistance.
How do I make sure I reported my change correctly?
You must report the loss of income as well as the gain of income. If you are now receiving unemployment, don’t forget to also report the loss of the job. Report a change by completing an Interim Change Packet.