Frequently Asked Questions

Public housing originated in the 1930s in response to the tent communities that sprung up during the Great Depression. In its many forms and through all of its changes, the goal of public housing has always been to provide decent, safe rental housing for low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities. About 1.2 million households live in public housing managed by some 3,300 housing authorities, which receive federal aid from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). VIHA has about 3,014 public housing units located throughout St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John.

Pick up a pre-application form at one of our leasing divisions on St.Thomas or St. Croix (link to or mouse over for address), or request that a pre-application be mailed to you. VIHA’s leasing division is responsible for maintaining the waiting list and processing applications in a timely way.  Once you complete and return the pre-application, your household will be placed on our application waiting list.

Each applicant will be notified in writing of his or her status based on the information submitted. It is the applicant’s responsibility to notify staff of any changes in status during the leasing process. Please note, application will be withdrawn if you don’t respond to our update request within the deadline.

Also known as Section 8, HCVP offers vouchers to eligible, very low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities so they can afford housing on the private market. The vouchers provide a monetary supplement to assure families do not spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent, and landlords receive regular rent payments. The vouchers are provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered by VIHA.

The voucher program is for families and individuals whose household incomes are 50 percent or less of the median income for the Virgin Islands. VIHA’s HCVP department (link or mouse over for contact info) can tell you the qualifying income levels for the Virgin Islands by family size. Your eligibility is based on:

1. Annual gross income.
2. Whether you qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family.
3. U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status.

Contact the VIHA HCVP department at (340) 714-0174 on St Thomas or (340) 778-8442 on St. Croix, or pick up an application at their offices in either District.

To determine your eligibility for a HCVP voucher, VIHA needs:

1. The names of people who will live in the unit; their sex, date of birth, and relationship to the family head of household.
2. Your current address and telephone number.
3. Any family characteristics or circumstances that might qualify the family for tenant selection preferences; for example, veteran status.
4. Names and addresses of your current and previous landlords for information about your family’s suitability as a tenant.
5. An estimate of your family’s anticipated income for the next 12 months and the sources of that income.
6. The names and addresses of employers, banks, and any other information VIHA would need to verify your income and deductions, and to verify the family composition.

A representative from VIHA’s HCVP department can describe the program and its requirements in more detail and answer any questions you might have.

A HCVP representative will request birth certificates, tax returns and other documents to verify the information given on your application. VIHA will also rely on direct verification from your employer and others. You will be asked to sign a form authorizing the release of relevant information so VIHA can process your application.

VIHA will notify you in writing. If you are eligible, your name will be placed on the waiting list, and VIHA will contact you when your name comes up. If you do not qualify for assistance, VIHA will explain why, and, if you wish, you can request a formal hearing. See (link or page) for more details.

Yes. If you are offered HCVP rental assistance and accept it, you and the landlord you choose to rent from will sign a lease. VIHA will provide the lease agreement. 

Your rentreferred to as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP), is based on your family’s anticipated gross annual income, less deductions if any. Annual income is the total income your family expects to receive from all sources, including the head of household, spouse, and each family member 18 years of age or older. 
 
HUD allows VIHA to exclude certain allowances from your annual income. A VIHA representative will determine if any of them apply to you:

1. $480 for each dependent;
2. $400 for any elderly family member or person with a disability; and
3. Some medical deductions for an elderly or disabled head of household. 
 
The total rent you pay will be the highest of the following, rounded to the nearest dollar:
 
1. Thirty percent of your monthly adjusted income. (Monthly adjusted income is your annual income less the deductions allowed by HUD, as explained above);

2. Welfare rent, if applicable; or

3. A $25 minimum rent.
In general, for as long as you comply with the lease and as long as your family’s income is within the HCVP/Section 8 income limits.
This optional program helps you build savings and skills to achieve financial independence. Anyone who receives public housing or voucher assistance is eligible. The FSS program helps you create a step-by-step plan with the training and services you need to reach your goal. The services might include child care, transportation, education or job training, employment counseling, financial literacy and homeownership
counseling, among others.   
 
As your income grows, the increased amount is deposited in an escrow account established for your family. When you graduate from the program, your family can access the money in the account and use it for any purpose.

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