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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT for Victims of Domestic Violence

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Public Notice of Proposed Changes to the Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan

The Mobile Housing Board (MHB) is requesting public comment on proposed changes to the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Administrative Plan.  Public comments will be accepted until September 22, 2013.  

Written public comment may be submitted to the MHB Administrative Building, 151 South Claiborne Street, Mobile, AL  36602 or by email to hcvp@mobilehousing.org.

The proposed changes will be discussed at the Resident Advisory Board on August 22, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Emerson Gardens – 759 Palmetto Street, Mobile, AL  36603. 



Advertising and locating property made simple!

The Mobile Housing Authority has partnered with GoSection8.com, which provides an enhanced program to list rental properties on line. Listings are available to potential Housing Choice Voucher tenants seeking apartment units, duplexes, single-family homes or townhomes in the private market. If you have any questions regarding registering, creating or viewing property listings, please contact the GoSection8 toll free help line at 1-866-466-7328.

Landlords add your rental property

Tenants view rental listings

It is recommended that Landlords add photos to their listing for better advertising and faster lease up!


Section 8 Facts

Section 8 is a federally funded housing program that provides rental assistance to eligible families, based on their family size and household income. This assistance provides families with alternative housing choices and opportunities to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency.

The U. S. Department of Housing Urban Development (HUD) determines the rules and regulations for the (S-8) program. Housing authorities are provided some latitude in establishing their own policies and procedures, which are found in the S-8 Administrative Plan.

Locally, success of this program depends on the Mobile Housing Board's (MHB) ability to contract with property managers and owners, who have units that meet HUD’s minimum housing quality standards of decent, safe and sanitary housing. Many low- and very low-income families, regardless of size, rely on persons like you who are willing to participate in the S-8 program. Their financial status may prevent them from keeping pace with rising rental housing costs. Participating families include elderly persons, disabled persons, single persons with no dependents, working families, and families with no income.

Each family must meet HUD’s income limits, in order to qualify for assistance.

Waiting List

The Mobile Housing Board will take applications on an “as needed basis” depending on the length of the waiting list and available funding.

* Decisions to close the waiting list, restrict intake, or open the waiting list will be publicly announced.

MHB Responsibilities

S-8 is a three-way partnership between the family, the owner/landlord and the housing authority. In order for the program to work the MHB must do the following:

  1. Accept applications.
  2. Determine eligibility of applicants.
  3. Issue housing choice vouchers—includes briefings.
  4. Recruit owners/landlords.
  5. Inspect/re-inspect units—initially and at least annually.
  6. Approve leases and the owner.
  7. Make timely housing assistance payments.
  8. Ensure continued eligibility of family.
  9. Ensure compliance of rules and regulations by owners and families.
  10. Offer and conduct hearings.

Landlord Responsibilities

  1. Screen families
  2. Comply with fair housing laws—do not discriminate against any family
  3. Provide proof of legal ownership
  4. Maintain housing unit to meet HUD’s minimum housing quality standards
  5. Comply with terms of Housing Assistance Payments Contract
  6. Collect rent due by the family—enforce the lease
  7. Do not require the family to pay additional amounts not specified in the lease
  8. Notify the HA when unit is vacant
  9. Notify HA of your desire to sell the unit
  10. Certify they are not related to the family.

The participating family must:

  1. Comply with all program rules and regulations and all family obligations.
  2. Provide complete and accurate information to the HA.
  3. Sign and submit consent forms for obtaining information.
  4. Find a suitable place to live that meets program standards.
  5. Attend all scheduled appointments.
  6. Allow the Housing Authority to inspect the unit.
  7. Allow landlord to enter assisted unit to complete necessary repairs.
  8. Comply with terms of the lease with owner and HUD’s tenancy addendum.
  9. Pay rent on time.
  10. Report maintenance problems in a timely manner.
  11. Not commit any serious or repeated violation of the lease.

Unit Inspections

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) have been set by HUD to assisted units meet minimum health and safety standards. HQS consists of a) performance requirements, and b) acceptability criteria or HUD approved variations in the acceptability criteria. Please contact the Housing Authority for a copy of HUD Form 52580 (Inspection Form). The MHB requires additional standards in compliance with the local City Code and Fire Code, as it relates to window screens, screen doors, smoke alarms, etc.

What are the Most Common Fail Items?

  1. Inoperable smoke alarms (batteries dead or missing).
  2. Missing or cracked electrical outlet cover plates.
  3. Railings not present where required (handrails for steps most commonly required).
  4. Deteriorated paint surfaces (i.e. peeling, cracking, flaking paint on exterior and interior surfaces (lead-based paint is an issue for all units built prior to 1-1-78, specifically with a child under age 6 in the family).
  5. Tripping hazards caused by permanently installed floor coverings (carpet/vinyl).
  6. Cracked or broken window panes.
  7. Inoperable burners on stoves or inoperable range hoods.
  8. Missing burner control knobs.
  9. Defective refrigerator gaskets (broken seal allowing air to escape).
  10. Leaking faucets or other plumbing.
  11. No temperature/pressure relief valve on water heaters.
  12. No insulation around front and back doors (ensure no outside light can be seen when doors are closed).









Payment Std







Minus Utilities







Base Rent







Several factors determine the maximum amount of rent payable for a S-8 assisted unit:

  1. Rent reasonableness, discussed below;
  2. Family size; and 
  3. Family income.










30% of Median







Very Low Income















What is Rent Reasonableness?

HUD requires a rent reasonableness test be conducted on each unit and is essential to the successful operation of the S-8 program. Reasonable rent is defined as a rent to owner that is not more than rent charged:

  1. For comparable units in the private unassisted market.
  2. For comparable unassisted units in the premises.

Factors considered in each test are

  1. Unit size (square footage);
  2. Age (year built);
  3. Quality (includes quality of workmanship);
  4. Unit type (single family, duplex, mobile home, etc);
  5. Location (site and neighborhood, access to public services, etc.);
  6. Amenities (carpet, ceramic floors, air conditioning, central heat, insulation, washer & dryer hookups, etc);
  7. Housing services provided;
  8. Maintenance provided; and
  9. Utilities (does the landlord furnish water, stove, refrigerator, etc.) .


Purpose of Rent Reasonableness is to assure that:

  1. A fair rent is paid for units selected for participation in the S-8 program, (the rent charged for assisted units may not exceed rents for unassisted units);
  2. The program does not have the effect of inflating rents in the community .


Download Section 8 Plan PDF:
Section 8 Admin Plan

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Phone: (251) 434-2252 
E-mail: Section 8