PORTABILITY

Overview

“Portability” in the HCV program refers to the process through which the family can transfer or “port” their rental subsidy when they move to a location outside the jurisdiction of the public housing agency (PHA) that first gave them the voucher when they were selected for the program.

New families may not be able to port immediately; they may have to live in the jurisdiction of the initial PHA for a year before they can port.  Initial PHAs may allow moves during this one-year period.

  • Initial PHAs -The PHA that first gave the voucher to the individual when they were selected for the program.
  • Receiving PHAs– The agency that will administer assistance in the area to which the individual moves.

Porting Out – Transferring Your Voucher Out of Central Oregon

A voucher holder may move with voucher assistance only to an area where there is at least one PHA administering a voucher program. If there is more than one PHA in the area, Housing Works will provide the family with the contact information for the receiving PHAs that serve the area, and the family selects the receiving PHA. The family must inform Housing Works which PHA it has selected. If the family prefers not to select the receiving PHA, Housing Works will select the receiving PHA on behalf of the family. For a list of all Housing Authorities by State, click here.

For a step by step guide on how to transfer your voucher outside of Housing Works’ jurisdiction, click here. In order to ensure a smooth transition to your new Housing Authority, it is important that you maintain ongoing communication with your Housing Specialist. For a contact list of Housing Works staff, click here.

Porting In – Transferring Your Voucher to Central Oregon

You may be able to bring your Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8 rent assistance) from another housing authority with you to Housing Works.

NOTE: Housing Works is the local Housing Authority in Central Oregon serving Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties.

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The steps below outline the process for transferring or “porting” your voucher to Housing Works from another housing authority.

Step 1: Notify your Housing Authority

If you have decided to move to Central Oregon, you will need to notify your current housing authority that you want to move to our county.  If they approve you to move, they will send Housing Works their transfer paperwork.  Please be sure your housing authority has your current mailing address and contact information.

Step 2: Make Contact with Housing Works’ Portability Specialist.

When Housing Works receives the paperwork from your current housing authority, we will assign your case to a Housing Specialist. It is important that you contact our Portability Specialist to make initial contact. If there is missing information in your portability packet, we will mail/email the documents that need to be complete.  Please be sure to provide all of the information we require.  Any missing information, such as forgetting to sign forms or to include photo identification, will delay the process.

Housing Works’ Portability Specialist is Genesis Santana. Genesis can be reached at 541-323-7408 or gen[email protected]

Step 3: We will review your paperwork.

Once we receive your portability packet and any required additional documentation, your Housing Specialist will review your paperwork. Please note that if there will be a change in your adult household members, we will conduct a criminal background check.  If your portability packet is complete, your Housing Specialist will coordinate with you on the next steps to issue your voucher and HAP Calculation Estimates.

Step 4: Receive Your Calculation Estimates and Housing Choice Voucher.

Orientations are scheduled upon request and may be conducted over the phone, virtually or in person. If you request an orientation, we will provide information about our program and what to expect as you search for housing. In lieu of an in person orientation, you may also request that the briefing packet be sent directly to you. Your briefing packet will include a copy of your calculation estimate sheet and Housing Choice Voucher. As you search for a qualifying unit, feel free to provide potential landlords with copies of your calculation estimates or voucher. 

Additional Guidance:

Because moving can be tricky, please review our Leasing Steps to ensure you have a clear understanding on how to successfully utilize your voucher in Central Oregon. Should you decide that you are no longer interested in moving to Central Oregon and would like to move to another Housing Authority, please contact your initial Housing Authority. In addition, Housing Works will need your request to return to your housing authority in writing before your portability packet is sent back.

Things to consider before you move:

Housing Works is likely to have different rules, procedures, and deadlines than your current housing authority.  In addition, Central Oregon has a very tight rental market, with low vacancy rates. Here are some things to think about when deciding whether to transfer your voucher to Housing Works.

  • Our payment standards and utility allowance may be different from your current housing authority and may affect the rent you pay.
  • We may also have a different subsidy standard than your current housing authority. A subsidy standard is the way we determine the number of bedrooms you qualify for on your voucher and may affect the rent you pay. You may request an exception to the subsidy standard. Request must be received in writing and are approved on a case by case basis.
  • We use a rent calculation method different than most housing authorities, and it may affect the rent you pay.
  • If you are new to the Housing Choice Voucher program, we will need to determine that your family is income eligible according to the current income limits for Central Oregon.
  • The Central Oregon area’s rental market currently is experiencing less than 1% vacancies and rapidly increasing rents.
  • We are unable to assist with moving costs. As you plan, please take into account application fees, rental security and cleaning deposits, movers, travel expenses, new furniture, and storage space.