About Knox County Metropolitan Housing Authority
History of KMHA
KMHA was created in 1975 to administer the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program for Knox County. KMHA is a political subdivision of the State of Ohio, and is regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority is governed by a five member Board of Commissioners appointed by various local elected officials within the City of Mount Vernon and Knox County.
- Mayor of Mount Vernon: 2 appointments
- Probate/Juvenile Court Judge: 1 appointment
- Knox County Commissioners: 1 appointment
- Knox County Common Pleas Judge: 1 appointment
Each year Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority is funded through the Federal budget, receiving over $2.6 million dollars in rental assistance monies. KMHA currently has 652 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers dedicated to our agency. A voucher represents a family which is receiving rental assistance. The voucher goes with the family, and they can choose where they would like to live. KMHA also administers a Homeownership program and the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program. FSS is a program for Section 8 families who wish to enhance their income through employment, and want to establish an escrow savings account. The agency currently has a staff of seven employees.
Housing Choice Vouchers
The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.
The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.
Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by the Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority. KMHA receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program. A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority.
A housing subsidy is paid to the property owner directly by the PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the property owner and the amount subsidized by the program. Under certain circumstances, if authorized by the PHA, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.
Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. By law, KMHA must provide 75 percent of its voucher to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location. KMHA can provide you with the income limits for your area and family size.
If the KMHA determines that your family is eligible, we will put your name on a waiting list. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, KMHA will contact you to schedule a briefing.
During the briefing process, KMHA will collect information on family income, assets, and family composition. KMHA will then verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance payment.
How Housing Choice Vouchers Function
The housing choice voucher program places the choice of housing in the hands of the individual family. Once a very low-income family is selected by the Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority to participate in the program they are encouraged to consider several housing choices to secure the best housing for their specific family needs. A housing voucher holder is advised of the unit size for which they are eligible based on family size and composition.
The housing unit selected by the family must meet an acceptable level of health and safety before KMHA can approve the unit. When the voucher holder finds a unit they wish to occupy and reaches an agreement with the property owner over the lease terms, KMHA must inspect the dwelling and determine that the rent requested is reasonable.
Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority determines a payment standard that is the amount generally needed to rent a moderately priced dwelling unit in the local housing market and that is used to calculate the amount of housing assistance a family will receive. However, the payment standard does not limit and does not affect the amount of rent a property owner may charge or the family may pay. A family, which receives a housing voucher, can select a unit with a rent that is below or above the payment standard. The housing voucher family must pay 30% of its monthly-adjusted gross income for rent and utilities, and if the unit rent is greater than the payment standard the family is required to pay the additional amount. By law, whenever a family moves to a new unit where the rent exceeds the payment standard, the family may not pay more than 40 percent of its adjusted monthly income for rent.
Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority
201A West High Street
Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050