What does "project-based" rental assistance mean?
Project-based rental assistance means rental assistance comes with the apartment. You will pay 30% of your income toward rent and utilities. The federal government, through the Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Program, pays the difference between your payment and the actual rent charged.
How are Project-Based Vouchers different from Housing Choice Vouchers?
Under the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, you may select an apartment of your choice. When you move out of the apartment, you can transfer the rental assistance to another apartment of your choice. Under the PBV Program, the rental assistance is tied to specific apartments. It is not a mobile subsidy that can be taken with you from place to place. If you move, you do not have any right to continued housing assistance.
What are the benefits of participating in the Project-Based Voucher Program?
Eligible tenants always pay only 30% of their adjusted monthly income towards rent and utilities even if the rent for the apartment increases in the future. Your apartment is inspected to ensure that it is in good condition before it may be approved for the program.
Where are these apartments located?
Our current project-based apartments are located in or near Portland. For a list of project-based voucher apartments please contact the Portland Housing Authority's receptionist.
Where are these apartments located?
Depending on the length of the wait list, you may have to wait several years for your name to come to the top of the wait list and for a vacancy to occur.
How do I submit my application for project-based assistance?
You can submit your application by mail or in person at Portland Housing Authority. Please note that we cannot accept applications by fax. When we receive your application form, we will add your name to the requested waiting list(s) for the specific apartments you check off on your application
What if I am already on the Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list?
If you are already on Portland Housing Authority's HCV Program waiting list, applying for a project-based apartment will not affect your position on that list. If your personal information, such as address, is different it will be updated using the information that you provide on your most recent pre-application form.
Can I apply to multiple locations?
Yes, but please do not add your name to the list for an apartment unless you think you would really live there. Applying to every project slows down the admissions process for everyone. If you apply for an apartment that does not have an appropriate bedroom size for your family you will not be added to that list.
After I apply may I add or remove household members?
Once you have submitted an application, it is very important that you notify us of any change in your family that could affect the size of the apartment you need. You may add or remove people from your application by submitting the change in writing to the intake department. Please include your name, Social Security number, the information to be changed, and a telephone number where we can contact you.
Adding or removing household members may affect your eligibility for some apartments. If the change increases or decreases the number of bedrooms your family needs, and the locations to which you have previously applied do not have any apartments with that bedroom size, your name will be removed from that list.
May I change my waiting list choices?
Yes, you may add your name to the list for new apartments as they become available. You may also ask that your name be removed from one or more waiting lists if you no longer have an interest in that apartment. If you add your name to a list, your date of application for the new apartment will be the date your application for that apartment is received.
How do I change my address?
To submit a change of address in person, visit Portland Housing Authority and complete a change of address form. To submit a change of address by mail, write a brief letter that includes your name, Social Security number, phone number, previous address, and new address, or request a change of address form be mailed to you. Mail your change of address form or letter to the intake department. Please note that changing your address with the U. S. Postal Service or with another housing authority does not change your address with us. You must update us separately.
What can I expect once I am selected from the waiting list?
You will receive a letter that an apartment is available and you will be instructed to contact the property owner for screening. Property owners each have their own tenant selection standards that they use to choose suitable tenants for their rental apartments. The owner will either approve or deny your application based on their standards. If the property owner offers the apartment to you, you have (5) days to accept the offer.
If you are approved by the owner and accept the offer, you must then complete a final PBV eligibility screening at Portland Housing Authority. Please note that an owner may offer an apartment to more than one applicant. In that case, the applicant that first completes the final PBV eligibility screening will be chosen to occupy the apartment.
If I move into a project-based unit, may I still remain on the Portland Housing Authority's waiting list for other housing programs?
Yes, it is your option to remain on the other waiting lists or to have your name removed.
What if I want to move?
If you live in the apartment for one full year and have been a tenant in good standing during that time you may request that a HCV be issued to you. If a HCV is not available at the time of your request, you will be placed on a waiting list for a housing choice voucher.
Can I be denied assistance?
Yes. Even if you can prove that you need housing, we are required by federal law and regulation to refuse assistance if you do not qualify.
What if I have special needs?
Please tell us during the application process if you have any special needs that must be accommodated. Some examples of accommodations include large-print materials, assistance with completing forms, translation services, allowing a live-in aide. We will make every effort to meet your needs.
How will I know when apartments in new locations become available?
It is your responsibility to contact Portland Housing Authority periodically to learn about new housing opportunities. Unfortunately there are too many people on the waiting list to contact everyone individually. We will make known any new PBV units that come on line by posting, letters to related service agencies, etc.
If I have a Housing Choice Voucher but move into a project-based unit, will I get my HC Voucher back when I move out?
No. If you move into a project-based unit, you give up your HCV.
Is there a limit on how many people can live in the unit with me?
Yes. Your landlord can tell you the maximum number of people who can live in your unit and whether you may add new members to your household. Portland Housing Authority determines the number of bedrooms needed based on its subsidy standards. A unit can be determined to be "overcrowded" under the Housing Quality Standards for the program.
If my income changes, do I need to report the change to Portland Housing Authority?
Yes. You must report any income changes in writing within 10 business days to Portland Housing Authority. If your income increases, the amount you pay for rent and utilities may increase. If your income decreases, the amount you pay may be reduced. If you don't report an income increase, you could lose your housing assistance and be required to repay Portland Housing Authority for any overpayment.
Would I have to move if I became "over income?
If you become "over income," your landlord will require you to pay the full rent amount—without assistance from Portland Housing Authority—or may require you to move to a non-subsidized unit so that an eligible family could move into the unit you had occupied.
Where can I get an application and more information about this program?
Portland Housing Authority
14 Baxter Blvd.
Portland, Maine 04101-1822