Once Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services approves an eligible family’s lease and housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease. At the same time, the landlord and Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services sign a housing assistance contract which runs for the same term as the lease. This means that everyone — tenant, landlord and Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services — has obligations and responsibilities within the voucher program.
When a family selects a housing unit, and Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services approves the unit and lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at least one year. The tenant may be required to pay a security deposit to the landlord. After the first year the landlord may initiate a new lease or allow the family to remain in the unit on a month-to-month lease.When the family is settled in a new home, the family is expected to comply with the lease and the program requirements:
- pay its share of rent on time,
- maintain the unit in good condition and
- notify Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services of any changes in income or family composition.
The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program’s housing standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services.
Housing Authority's Role
The housing authority (Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services) administers the voucher program locally. Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services provides a family with the rental assistance that enables the family to seek out suitable housing. Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services also enters into a contract with the landlord to provide rental assistance payments on behalf of the family.
If the landlord fails to meet his/her obligations under the lease, Grand Prairie Housing and Neighborhood Services has the right to terminate assistance payments.
To cover the cost of the program, HUD provides funds to allow housing authorities to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the families. HUD also pays housing authorities a fee for the costs of administering the program. When additional funds become available to assist new families, HUD invites housing authorities to submit applications for funds for additional rental vouchers. Applications are then reviewed and funds awarded to the selected housing authorities on a competitive basis.