Frequently Asked Questions
The Bloomington Housing Authority does not provide immediate emergency housing. Call the Indiana 2-1-1 hotline or view the City’s Resource Directory to learn about emergency shelter options in the greater Bloomington community.
When a waitlist is open, interested applicant may apply. To check the status of program waitlists, click here.
Residents can learn more about services and programs available by visiting the Resident Services webpage or by contacting the Administrative Director, at 812-339-3491 x 115 or email@example.com.
Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8)
Please click here to be directed to the online waiting list check.
Requests need to be submitted in writing which includes fax, email, etc. This statement must be submitted before your voucher expires. Calling to make a request for an extension will not be accepted.
You will need to give the landlord your RTA when you are certain that this is the unit/location for you and after they have approved you to utilize this unit.
Your landlord will know whether or not your unit passed inspection. Please contact your landlord for inspection results.
If your unit has passed inspection, you will need to get in contact with your landlord to sign your lease. If your unit has not passed inspection, it is recommended that you do not sign a lease with the landlord until the unit passes inspection. If the unit fails an inspection for a second time, the BHA will not assist the unit and you may need to seek other options.
For an estimate on your portion of rent, you may utilize the HCV Rent Estimator.
Your case manager will not know the rent amount until after the unit passes inspection and up to 10 days thereafter. For an estimate on your portion of rent, you may utilize the HCV Rent Estimator.
It is up to your landlord to notify you of the scheduled inspection. Please ensure the inspector can access all outlets and windows, and move any furniture which is blocking outlets or windows.
Yes, please sign in any time you enter the BHA for any reason.
Leaving multiple voicemails may potentially cause delays as case managers are currently assisting over 300 families each. Please note, it may take up to 24 business hours to receive a return call from your occupancy specialist. Often times, emailing will result in a quicker response time. Click here to view the staff directory.
Yes, if the two-bedroom unit is within the one-bedroom payment standard (utilities plus rent), you may qualify for the two-bedroom unit. However, if after one year of residing in the unit, the landlord chooses to request a rent increase of up to the two-bedroom payment standard, you will be responsible for the amount that exceeds the one-bedroom payment standard.
You must give your landlord a notice as stated in your lease agreement. Move-ins for new admissions to HCV Program are done the 1st or the 15th of the month. You must turn your keys in at least one day prior to your Section 8 move-in date. Failure to give your notice and turn in your keys prior to this date will result in delayed assistance.
For current information on all HCV waiting lists, please navigate to the Waiting List by clicking here.
To report any changes, increase or decrease, you must complete an interim change form that is available online by clicking here.
For your convenience, once you have completed the fillable PDF Interim Change Form, you may save the document to your computer, tablet, or smartphone and then email the document to your case manager. Click here for the BHA staff email directory.
You may also obtain and complete the interim change form at the front desk of the BHA main office. Changes to income and/or family composition must be reported in writing within fourteen calendar days of the occurrence. If you begin working, an interim change form must be completed within fourteen calendar days from the hire date. Calling to report a change will not be accepted.
Click here to be directed to the HQS Inspection Guidelines.
You will first need to schedule an appointment with your HCV Case Manager to be certified to move. A staff directory with contact information can be found here. Your case manager will assist you with providing your current landlord the required notice to vacate. Please note you may be ineligible to move with continued assistance if you are within your initial 12 month lease term, if you owe money to the BHA, or if BHA has filed for termination of your assistance.
Yes, your voucher assistance is portable and can be used anywhere within the United States served by a Public Housing Authority. For more information regarding the portability process, please navigate to the Portability section by clicking here.
You will need to request an appeal in writing within 14 calendar days from the date of your termination notice. The written appeal request must be submitted to BHA within the 14-day window. Once BHA has received your written request for an appeal, a hearing will be scheduled.
Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)
The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) is a program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that seeks to preserve affordable housing.
Public housing across the country needs more than $26 billion in repairs and many public housing agencies (PHAs) do not have enough money to keep units in good condition. RAD provides PHAs a way to stabilize, rehabilitate, or replace properties.
RAD allows PHAs to convert a public housing property’s HUD funding to either:
- Section 8 project-based voucher (PBV); or
- Section 8 project-based rental assistance (PBRA).
This conversion of funding to long-term Section 8 contracts lets PHAs make needed repairs while ensuring permanent affordability for these units. Only 225,000 public housing units can convert funding through RAD. PHAs must submit applications to HUD to get approval to convert some or all of their public housing funding to PBV or PBRA contracts.
You will not lose your housing assistance because of RAD. Even though owners of a RAD property can use private money to make repairs, owners will still receive money from HUD and must follow HUD’s PBV and PBRA rules.
Since Section 8 programs also set rents at 30% of income like in public housing, most residents will not have rent increases because of RAD.
However, if you are paying a flat rent in public housing, you will most likely have to pay more in rent over time. In these cases, your new rent will be phased in over a few years, meaning that you will only pay a little more each year.
HUD encourages residents and their PHAs to work together during the RAD conversion process. Before PHAs can apply to participate in RAD, they must:
- Notify all residents at a property proposed for RAD conversion about their plans; and
- Conduct at least two meetings with residents.
During these meetings, you can learn about the conversion plans, ask questions, express concerns, and provide comments. The PHA must submit your comments and its response to them in the RAD application. The PHA must have at least one more meeting with all residents of the property before HUD approves the conversion. This is another chance for you to ask questions and provide comments.
Some properties will not require any repairs or construction. In other cases, the repairs can be completed while you stay in your home. However, some apartments and buildings will require more work.
In these cases, you will be relocated and protected by RAD relocation rules. You will have the right to return to your development once construction is completed. You may not be permanently displaced without your consent.
If construction at your property takes longer, the PHA may offer you other housing options, such as another public housing unit or a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) that you can use to rent another affordable unit in the private market.
Whether you choose to move temporarily or to move permanently to other housing, the PHA will help you find the best possible option and pay for your moving expenses.
When the property converts, you will sign a new Section 8 lease. RAD keeps many of the resident processes and rights available under public housing, such as the ability to request a grievance process and the timelines for termination notification.
Residents will also have a right to organize. Owners must provide $25 per occupied unit each year to support resident participation, $15 of which must be provided to resident organizations.
You will be able to continue participating in the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. If your property converts assistance to PBV, you will be moved from the public housing FSS program to the HCV FSS program. The rules in both programs are very similar.
If your property converts assistance to PBRA, you may continue your participation in FSS until your current contract of participation ends. The owner may choose to establish a PBRA FSS program to admit new participants.
If you are currently participating in the Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) program, you can participate until all the program funding is used.
Once the property has converted, residents of most properties will have a new “choice mobility” option, which will allow you to request a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) that the household can use to select a rental unit in the private market:
- Under the PBV program, you can request an HCV after living in a RAD property for one year;
- Under the PBRA program, you may request an HCV after living in a RAD property for two years.
A resident is under no obligation to move from the RAD property or to request an HCV.
Family Self-Sufficiency Program
The purpose of this program is to connect our clients with public and private employment, social and economic resources to affect positive changes in their lives, leading to independence from all forms of public assistance. FSS is ultimately an employment focused program.
To participate in the FSS Program, the participant must be served by the BHA through the RAD or HCV program, be 18 years of age or older, be committed to entering a job training and/or educational program, be currently in “good standing” with the BHA and be willing to enter into a FSS Contract of Participation. Other members of the household may participate and receive social services as well.
FSS can help families become self-sufficient by helping you to create an Individual Training and Services Plan (ITSP) that will encourage progress towards your educational and career goals. The BHA’s FSS Coordinators will work with each family to identify the barriers they may have encountered in becoming self-sufficient and determine possible solutions.
Yes! If the family’s earned income increases, the BHA compares the family rent to the baseline rent when a Contract of Participation (COP) is signed, and in most cases the difference is escrowed. Upon the successful completion of the FSS program, the family will be given a check for the amount in their escrow account which they can spend towards whatever they choose. Many families have spent their escrow funds towards paying off credit card debt, school loans, purchase of a car or down payment for a home.
When you first decide to participate in the program, you will have an appointment with a FSS program coordinator. In that appointment, you will be helped in identifying your needs, goals and identifying obstacles. Your coordinator will network with other agencies to help you overcome those obstacles and to achieve your goals. You will also be signing an Individual Training and Services Plan (ITSP) and be expected to seek and maintain employment.
An ITSP is a specific plan designed to assist you with identifying your strengths, goals, challenges, needs and abilities. Once identified, together we have a realistic idea of what it is going to take and possibly how long it will take to accomplish the goals to ensure your long and short-term success. The following criteria are necessary to create an ITSP:
- An ITSP is essential and must coincide with your Contract of Participation (COP).
- Other adult family members can choose to have an ITSP. Available resources and services will be noted.
- Your ITSP it will have short and long term goals.
- One final goal is always obtaining and maintaining suitable employment. Another final goal is to be free from all TANF (welfare) before your COP expires (typically a COP is for five years).
The Contract of Participation is a signed agreement between the BHA and the participant acknowledging the client’s desire and willingness to work with the FSS coordinator to achieve self-sufficiency over a 5 year period of time.
Earned income includes income from wages and salaries, overtime pay, commission, tips, bonuses, military pay, self-employment and other compensations for personal services. Only adult household member (over 18 years of age) income counts towards earned income.
An escrow account is a special savings account created specifically and only for FSS participants as an incentive reward for attaining self-sufficiency. As a Section 8 recipient and FSS participant, you are eligible to escrow a percentage of any increase in your earned income since your Contract of Participation date. If the families earned income increases, the BHA compares the family rent to the baseline rent, and in most cases, is escrowed.
Your escrow stops until you find another job and earn income. It will remain “frozen” until then.
No. If there is no increase in earned income, then there will be no savings account.
Upon graduation from the FSS program, you will have a check issued to you in the amount you have escrowed since you began your contract plus interest.
Remember, this isn’t your money until you complete the program. If you quit or don’t complete the program, the money is forfeited and lost to you and your family.
Yes, upon graduation, the escrow can be used for anything you like, including paying debts, buying a home or car and paying school loans. You can also request an interim disbursement (a disbursement before the contract has been completed). To qualify for an interim escrow disbursement, a participant must have completed at least one interim goals, have a need for some of the escrow funds consistent with the participant’s goals, and meet any other guidelines specified by the PHA or owner in its FSS Action Plan.
It simply means that the head of the Section 8 household is obligated to find and maintain suitable employment. Suitable employment is based upon each individual’s applicable circumstances and is defined by those circumstances. It is acceptable to work part-time and go to school part-time, or even go to school full-time. Participants must obtain employment before their contract expires.
Summit Hill Community Land Trust
A community land trust (CLT) is a structure that allows land to be held “in trust” for community needs, outside of the influence of market pressures. A classic CLT is an independent community-controlled entity that owns land and takes care of (or “stewards”) that land, making sure it is being used in ways that support the community it is accountable to.
A central component of a CLT is that ownership of land is separate from the ownership of the buildings on that land. This separation of land and building allows homeowners to have control and security as owners, while the community has a backstop to ensure that when the land changes hands it stays affordable and in community-serving uses.
By separating ownership of the land from ownership of the structure a CLT uses a 99-year ground lease or a restrictive covenant to ensure that all future homeowners or renters that occupy the structure must income-quality. In the case of homeownership, the CLT has created a Shared-Equity Homeownership Program that is designed to retain a portion of the appreciation in the house at resale. This equity stays with the home to make it affordable for the next low to moderate income homebuyer.
Shared-equity homeownership is a tool to preserve housing affordability that keeps homes affordable for low to moderate-income families by investing public resources to discount the home sales price and keep prices affordable to all future homebuyers through resale restrictions. Summit Hill CLT utilizes an appraisal-based resale formula to determine and maintain an affordable sales price. Appreciation of the home is determined by comparing the appraised value of the home at purchase to the appraised value of the home at resale. The homeowner earns a percentage of the home’s appreciation, while the remainder of the appreciation stays with the house to reduce the sales price to keep it affordable for the next lower income homeowner.
- Community land trusts keep housing affordable in the long term, allowing lower-income households to continue to have access to neighborhoods that are increasing in price.
- Community land trusts recycle a single public investment in affordability. The resale restrictions mean one initial subsidy that made a home affordable stays with the home, keeping it affordable in perpetuity, as opposed to being lost once affordability restrictions lift.
- Community land trusts support their residents, and homeowners on CLTs have much lower rates of delinquency and foreclosure than homeowners in the regular market. The terms of the ground lease allow CLTs to intervene if a homeowner is struggling with their mortgage. This means community land trusts have value even in markets that aren’t rapidly becoming high cost.
- Community land trusts insulate land from speculation and provide a mechanism for ensuring a community voice in the use of land.
- As questions are being raised about how well the open market can advance racial equity, community land trusts are increasingly serving homebuyers of color. Leaders of color have been at the forefront of starting new land trusts in places including Houston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York City, and more. Sourced from: https://shelterforce.org/2021/07/12/understanding-community-land-trusts/
The first development project of the Summit Hill CLT is focused on developing owner-occupied permanent affordable housing at the Arlington Park development. There are future housing projects in development that will include affordable rentals.
The “classic” community land trust is an independent nonprofit organization governed by a tripartite board of directors. The “tripartite” board consists of equal numbers of CLT homeowners, members from the neighborhood or other geography served by the CLT, and other “at large” members who are selected because they are well-positioned to guide the work the CLT does, potentially including bankers, lawyers, foundation leaders, and leaders of other community organizations. While this is the traditional governance structure for CLTs, there is room for variation. It often, for example, makes sense to operate the CLT as a program or subsidiary of an existing organization during the start-up phase. Source
The Summit Hill Community Land Trust is a program of the Summit Hill Community Development Corporation governed by a committee made up of SHCDC board members, Bloomington Housing Authority staff, representatives from CLT properties and general community representatives.
The purpose of the conservation land trust to preserve open spaces, while a CLT is meant to create and steward permanent affordable housing. The purpose of a land bank is to hold surplus public property, such as tax-foreclosed properties, on short-term basis until they can be conveyed to private owners for reuse and redevelopment.
To initiate a resale the SEP homeowner will CLT staff to identify the next low to mid income homeowner. Currently, the Summit Hill CLT is working with the City of Bloomington Homebuyer’s Club and Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County to identify future homeowners of CLT homes and to provide homeowner education prior to purchase a home. The CLT will use the Resale Formula to determine the home’s sale price. The Summit Hill CLT Resale Formula is
((25% of the equity) + (market value of the owner’s capital improvement investments – if any) + (amount of principal paid over time owned)) – ((owner’s property tax liability – prorated to day of close) + (half of the cost of the appraisal) + (closing fees which will not likely include a title insurance policy)) = amount paid to homeowner by CLT. See SHCLT Purchase-Resale Model document for example.
If a property depreciates in value between the time an owner purchases and when the owner decides to sell, by the terms of the ground lease or covenant, the owner is responsible for that loss in value. The CLT will send the option price calculation to the owner and explain that their sales price may not be enough to pay off their mortgage balance and that the seller may need to bring cash to closing to pay off the debts on the property. Many sellers decide at this point to stay in the home until the property value rises such that they can afford to sell it – just like many market owners do.
If a seller must sell due to job relocation, health concern or delinquency/foreclosure risk the CLT may increase the net price to the next buyer, thereby helping the seller cover part of their loss. The CLT will only do so if the home will remain affordable to the next buyer and does not do so lightly.
Applying for CLT home:
There are currently two homebuyer educational courses available to an interested homebuyer. The homebuyer could either take part in the City of Bloomington’s Homebuyer’s Club or participate in Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County’s homeowner education course after being accepted to the Habitat program. An approved homeowner education course is a prerequisite of purchasing a CLT home. As Summit Hill CLT grows its capacity, it will develop its own homeowner education course.
There is no minimum credit score requirement to be eligible for the CLT Shared Equity Program. However, most lenders will have minimum score requirements to be eligible for a mortgage.
We have a list of lenders that have loan products that can be used to purchase SHCDC homes. We are happy to speak with other lenders, but many are not able to work with homes that have resale restrictions on them.
Yes, the buyer may use DPA to cover a portion of their closing costs. Talk to your bank about available programs. Be aware that some programs have restrictions on how soon homeowners can resell. SHCDC requires buyers to pay a min. of $1,000 toward closing costs.
If the value of the home decreases at the time of the appraisal, the seller will absorb the difference between the initial and resale price. SHCDC can assist in some cases, but the seller will still be responsible for paying off their mortgage.
Potential homeowners will need to complete all steps of the program before entering the buyer selection. Upon purchasing, the home will take 8-12 weeks to build. Then the certificate of occupancy will be transferred to the homeowner.
Homeowners are required to have their home be their primary residence with limited exceptions. Airbnb type scenarios are being considered. SHCDC must review all cases of renting. If a roommate is needed to afford the CLT home, SHCDC requires the monthly expenses to be below 30% of the renter’s income.
The lease does not have use restrictions on the property. However, everyone must abide by local Bloomington rules. The HOA may also put guidelines in place for the neighborhood.
The Arlington neighborhood has a shared green space for our community to maintain and enjoy. The city requires an HOA for any shared space in a neighborhood. You may volunteer on the HOA.