Vermont's Office of Economic Opportunity and CVOEO are providing a new rapid re-housing voucher to families experiencing homelessness. Modeled after the CARES Housing Voucher Program, CVOEO’s HOME Family Housing Voucher Program will provide up to 100 families with 12-18 months of rental assistance. Families will be referred through the coordinated entry process, with local organizations providing housing navigation and retention services. Applications will begin being accepted by CVOEO on February 1, 2023.
The HOME Family Housing Voucher Program is an important step towards solving family homelessness by ensuring that families with children have access to rental assistance to make housing affordable.
What does the voucher provide?
The HOME Family Housing Voucher provides rental assistance for 12 months with possible extension through June 2024 and a security deposit for up to twice the value of one month’s rent. CVOEO will issue these payments directly to the landlord. The household is required to pay 30% of income towards housing costs. At the end of the voucher period, the household is responsible for paying 100% of the rent unless they have secured other rental assistance.
Who is eligible for a HOME voucher?
Households with dependent children must be enrolled in Coordinated Entry and matched to a Home Family Housing Voucher through the Coordinated Entry prioritization process.
To be eligible, the household must:
- Be a household with dependent children meeting the criteria under paragraph (1) of the HUD Definition of Homelessness, or meeting the criteria under paragraph (4) and living in an emergency shelter or other place described in paragraph (1) of the definition. HomelessDefinition_RecordkeepingRequirementsandCriteria.pdf
- Not be receiving rental assistance through any other subsidized housing program; and
- Have a net monthly income (income minus expenses) of more than 30% of total monthly income.
STEP 1: Be Selected for a HOME Voucher
Chittenden Homeless Alliance (Chittenden Continuum of Care) and Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness (Balance of State Continuum of Care) must follow their established current Rapid Re-housing prioritization policy through Coordinated Entry (CE). This process will allow for a household to be selected for a HOME Voucher.
STEP 2: Apply for a HOME Voucher
Once a selected household is matched to a HOME Voucher, the Housing Support Worker sends the complete and signed application with all required documentation to the CVOEO HOME Voucher Program Administrator at HOME.FHVP@cvoeo.org.
All applications must be accompanied by:
- A letter verifying the Coordinated Entry referral and status of homelessness signed by the applicant’ Housing support worker (Appendix E) or a signed self-declaration of housing status for homeless assistance (Appendix EE).
- Eligibility documentation
- Head of household and 18+ household members IDs (DL, NDL, Passport)
- Head of household and 18+ household members Income documentation (pay stubs, SSI award letter)
- Housing Support Worker Services Agreement
CVOEO will verify eligibility and, if needed, request additional information. Incomplete or unsigned applications will be denied but can be resubmitted once corrected.
STEP 3: Tentative Approval for a HOME Voucher
Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and are referred through the Coordinated Entry process will be tentatively approved for a HOME Voucher and provided with the following information:
- The portion of rent the applicant is responsible for each month.
- The rental unit size.
- The maximum allowable rent plus utilities.
- The maximum allowable security deposit (up to twice the value of one month’s rent).
- The county in which the rental unit must be located.
- Next steps, including additional unit requirements, that must be verified.
Applicants must locate a rental unit matching the above criteria within 90 days from the date of tentative approval notice. If this is not possible, they may request a 30-day extension.
CVOEO will deny the application if the applicant has not located a suitable rental unit within 90 days and an extension request has not been submitted; however, a 15-day extension will be granted when a unit has been identified but a lease has not yet been executed.
STEP 4: Final Approval for a HOME Voucher
In order to obtain final approval for a HOME Voucher, the applicant must submit the following documentation to CVOEO within 15 days of notifying CVOEO that a rental unit has been located:
- Notice that the unit has passed the housing inspection (Appendix F)
- Signed Fair Market Rent and Rent Reasonableness form (Appendix G)
- Signed CVOEO Home Voucher Release of Information (Appendix R)
- Executed lease agreement with completed HOME lease addendum (Appendix H)
CVOEO may deny the application if the above documentation is not accurately completed and received within 15 days of receiving notification that a rental unit has been located.
STEP 5: 12 Month Evaluation and Requesting an Extension
After 11 months in the HOME program, the participant must complete a HOME Voucher Evaluation Form and to be considered for an extension, a completed extension request form should also be submitted.
All forms and supporting documentation must be received no later than the 15th day of the last approved month.
Housing Retention Services
To complement to the navigation and retention services provided by the household’s Housing Support Worker, CVOEO offers direct support to HOME Voucher participants and landlords to help voucher holders remain stably housed. This service is primarily referral-based and includes facilitation of landlord/tenant communication and positive relationship building, one-on-one coaching support and tenant education, and referrals to housing services as needed. For more information and to make a referral, visit forms.office.com/r/iHHRzqfmbP.
Renters Rights & Responsibilities Resources
HOME Voucher participants have access to the Vermont Tenants Hotline at 802-864-0099 and all of CVOEO’s free financial and renter resources, educational offerings, and coaching. For information about Tenant Skills and Finding Housing workshops and videos, including translated materials and interpreted videos, visit cvoeo.org/vermonttenants; for personal finance classes, visit cvoeo.org/learn/growing-money-classes.
HFVP – Application Form
Coordinated Entry Local Agencies
Appendix A – Definition of Homelessness & Documentation Requirements
Appendix B – Income Verification & Client Portion of Rent
Appendix BB – Income Self-Declaration
Appendix C – Housing Support Worker Service Agreement
Appendix D – Determining Unit Size
Appendix E – Coordinated Entry Prioritization & Verification
Appendix EE – Self-Declaration of Housing Status
Appendix F – FMR and Rent Reasonableness
Appendix G – Housing Inspection
Appendix H – Lease Addendum
Appendix I – VAWA Property Owner Rights
Appendix J – VAWA Release
Appendix K – VAWA Certification
Appendix L – Info for Landlords
Appendix M – Client Notice of Rights
Appendix N – Emergency Transfer Request
Appendix O – Annual Review Form
Appendix P – Transfer Request
Appendix Q – Shelter Expense Statement 202H
Appendix R – Client Release
Appendix S – Grievance & Appeal Process
Appendix T – Housing Plan
Housing secured under this program is subject to state and federal fair housing law, which prohibits against discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, family status, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and receipt of public assistance. For more information about fair housing rights and responsibilities, visit cvoeo.org/get-help/fair-housing-and-discrimination.
Phone: 802-660-3455 X735
Housing Retention Services
CVOEO offers direct support to HOME Voucher participants and landlords to help voucher holders remain stably housed.
Renters Rights & Responsibilities Resources
HOME Voucher participants have access to the Vermont Tenants Hotline at 802-864-0099 and all of CVOEO’s free financial and renter resources, educational offerings, and coaching.