|Caribou Municipal Building
25 High St
Caribou, Maine 04736
|Phone: (207) 493-4234
Fax: (207) 376-0178
|Caribou Housing Agency partners with more than 90 private property owners to provide affordable housing in the Caribou area. A landlord is free to lawfully screen HCV applicants on the same basis other applicants are screened. If a landlord accepts the applicant as a tenant, the rent meets the HCV program guidelines, and the unit passes inspection, rental assistance can begin. No long-term commitment on the part of tenant or landlord exists past the end of the lease.
Tenants are responsible for paying approximately 30% of their income for rent and utilities. The difference between what tenants are required to pay and the actual rent is paid monthly by the HCV Program directly to landlords. Landlords can have a good expectation of payment even when renting to low- and moderate-income tenants.
Leasing with Housing Choice Voucher Program
If you wish to rent to an HCV family, and enjoy a number of benefits including lower vacancy rates, tenant stability and free property inspections you should inform CHA of the availability of your property. Ultimately, it is the HCV family’s decision whether or not to rent your property. Of course, as the landlord, you would screen the HCV family just as you would any other prospective tenant. The following steps summarize the process to become an HCV landlord:
Owners participating in the HCV Program have the following responsibilities.
Owners and landlords wishing to list their property for participation in the HCV Program may do so using a separate website called Maine Housing Search.
Payment standards represent the maximum amount of subsidy that CHA can provide a family. CHA does not automatically approve this rent level for a given unit. CHA’s monthly rent subsidy depends on a number of factors, including payment standards, the rents of other comparable unsubsidized rental units in the area, and the income of the family. Please see CHA’s current Payment Standards schedule.
A family will authorize CHA to help negotiate a reasonable rent on his behalf. CHA will conduct a rent reasonableness study to determine and document whether the requested rent is reasonable compared to similar units in the market place and not higher than those paid by tenants living in unassisted units.
In comparing units, CHA will consider the items listed below.
If the requested rent is not approvable based on the Rent Reasonableness study, the CHA will propose a contract rent to the owner. The contract rent is the maximum monthly rental amount which includes the tenant’s portion and the Housing Authority’s portion. If the proposed contract rent is approved by the owner/agent, processing will continue.
The housing unit selected by the family must meet an acceptable level of health and safety before CHA can approve the unit. When the voucher holder finds a unit that it wishes to occupy and reaches an agreement with the landlord over the lease terms, the CHA must inspect the dwelling and determine that the rent requested is reasonable. CHA will inspect the subsidized unit annually to determine that it meets HUD’s and the CHA’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS). Click here for more information regarding HQS inspection standards.
Annual Rent Increases
An owner may request an increase in the contract rent, or a change in utility responsibility, only after the one-year lease has expired. A written request must be submitted sixty days prior to the change in contract or utility responsibility.
The CHA will conduct a Rent Reasonableness study to determine and document whether the requested rent increase is reasonable.
Owner should complete a Change of Owner Information Form for any address changes, adds, changes or removals of a Management Company and for any changes in ownership. Visit the Forms section or click here to print a Change of Owner Information Form.
In an effort to reduce cost and better serve you, CHA has changed the way payments are processed to property owners, landlords, and managing agency participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. As our operating costs continue to rise and the HUD funding does not, it is necessary we find ways to reduce costs without reducing services.
Effective January 1, 2017, the Caribou Housing Agency will no longer send Housing Assistance Payment Checks to property owners, landlords and managing agencies.
Direct deposit can be set up by completing the Direct Deposit form. Attach a VOIDED check to the form. Send the completed form and voided check by mail, or hand deliver to the Caribou Housing Agency. Once CHA receives your direct deposit request, you will be set up in HAPCheck.
HAPCheck is a centralized, secure, web-based program for producing on-line statements for owners. HAPCheck gives 24/7 access to statements, view and print statements, securing handling of information, and stores statements for up to 18 months.
In order to access HAPCheck you, as the landlord, will need your Tax ID number and your issued password from the Caribou Housing Agency.
Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) Information
Click here for information on Emergency Transfers under VAWA for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program.
Click here for the HUD-5382 VAWA certification form.