Section 8 Voucher Assistance

How can I find a rental unit that qualifies for The Section 8 Housing Program?

To assist applicants in searching for a unit, our office will provide a list of landlords who are willing to work with the program and have units available. (Landlords have been advised to check references of applicants seeking units.)

The applicant initially has 60 days to find a qualifying unit. An applicant may choose a unit that rents for more than the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the Mason City area as published by HUD if it does not result in the applicant paying over 40% of their income for rent and utilities. Units selected by an eligible applicant must be inspected by the Mason City Housing Authority Inspector and pass Housing Quality Standards.

What happens after I find a rental unit?

A Lease Approval form (indicating rent amounts, deposit, etc.) must be completed and signed by the tenant (applicant) and the landlord. An initial inspection is scheduled with the landlord or tenant to determine if the unit passes Housing Quality Standards.

After a unit passes inspection, both the tenant and the landlord will sign a lease. The landlord and the Housing Representative will then sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract. This one-year lease may not be broken without penalty.

After the first year, the tenant and landlord may agree to sign another one-year lease or proceed on a month-to-month basis. Only those household members listed on the lease may live in the unit.

Am I allowed to move while on the program?

Moving while on the program is permissible after the fulfillment of the initial one-year lease. A 30-day notice is required for both the landlord and the Mason City Housing Authority on or before the first day of the month. The new unit must also pass Housing Quality Standards. If a tenant moves while on the program, a new one-year lease is signed for the new unit.

How is the rental assistance paid?

Once a unit is approved and the lease and contract have been signed, a rental assistance check will be mailed to the landlord on or about the first of the month for which payment is due.