FAQ

Applicants

What type of housing assistance is available?

The Housing Authority has 4 different types of housing assistance programs. They include Public Housing, Section 8 Vouchers,  Rural Development, and Section 8 New Construction.

What is public housing?

The public housing program  is funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development and provides approximately 900 rental units at locations throughout Lasalle County and includes a mix of different unit types such as duplexes, high rises, row houses, and homes. The Housing Authority is the owner/manager of these units serving as the landlord.  The HA screens and selects tenants, signs and enforces leases and maintains the units.  Rent for the tenant is based on monthly adjusted income of the household and is paid to the Housing Authority.

What is a Section 8 Voucher?

The voucher program is funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development and is a certificate of eligibility for a participant to receive monthly rental assistance paid directly to a private owner landlord on their behalf.  The participant has choice of where and what type of unit within the county that they wish to rent and will execute a lease with the private owner. Their portion of the rent will be paid directly to the private owner.  The HA will pay the remainder of the rent directly to the owner each month.  Funding limits assistance to approximately 525 vouchers. The HA currently sets aside 125 vouchers for Grundy County, and 400 vouchers for use in Lasalle County.

What is the Rural Development Agency Housing?

Through funding received from the Department of Agriculture, the Rural Development Agency funds three apartment complexes in Lasalle County.  A total of 38 units at locations in Ottawa, Leland and Sheridan are available. The properties are a mix of assisted and non assisted units.  Assisted units have rents based on tenant’s income, non assisted units rent for an affordable cost below market.  The HA serves as landlord for these units.

What is Section 8 New Construction?

The Section 8 New Construction units administered by the HALC and funded by the Illinois Housing Development Agency are located at Fornof Manor in Streator, IL.  Fornof Manor is a 104 unit high rise originally designed for the elderly.  Unit rents are based on tenant income. The HA serves as landlord for these units.

How do I apply for housing?

Pre-applications for public housing and lottery applications for Section 8 Housing Authority programs  may be obtained at the HALC main administrative office located at 526 E. Norris Drive in Ottawa, IL or at one of two sites offices, either Centennial Courts, 2222 N. Tonti, LaSalle, IL or Evan Heights, 1401 Otter Creek, Streator, IL.  Applications are not mailed other than as reasonable accommodation to a disability.

I’m homeless, can I get immediate assistance?

Unfortunately, the HALC does not offer emergency housing or have emergency subsidy available. Please refer to the Helpful Links section to view a list of local agencies that may be able to provide emergency shelter and assistance.

How long is your waiting list?

The length of the waiting list varies for each program and is subject to other factors such as unit turnover, preference status of applicant, and bedroom sized required.  Following submission of a fully completed pre-application, applicants are sent a letter with an estimated length of wait time. Public Housing applicants may remain on the waiting list until a unit available.  Section 8 applicants must reapply for lottery selection following the expiration of lottery period.  Current lottery period expires 1/31/2015. Currently the Section 8 Voucher program is most popular, followed by public housing. Wait times for Section 8 New Construction and Rural Development are currently the shortest.

Do I need an appointment to apply?

Appointments are not needed and  applications are accepted during normal office hours for all waiting lists that are open.

What are office hours?

Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 – 12 and 1 – 4 with all federal holidays being observed.

What should I bring with me when applying?

You will need information on all household members. This will include providing legal names, dates of birth, social security numbers,  income received and address information. All household members aged 18 and older will need to sign the pre-application.  A photo identification will be required for the head and co-head of  the household.  Proof of address,  income, assets and social security cards will be required when you reach the top of the wait list.

Who is eligible to receive assistance?

Applicants must have household income that is less than federally established income lists.  The applicant must be of legal age to sign a lease (18 or legally emancipated). The applicant must not have a debt with the HA or any other HA.  Criminal records will be checked and prior tenancy or participation in federal housing will also be reviewed.  Crimes that are determined violent, drug related, or result in sex offender status will cause denial.  Previous evictions or multiple terminations from the Section 8 program will also cause denial.  Applicants must also be able to obtain utility service for any tenant paid utilities of the unit they rent.

Can I apply for more than one waiting list?

Yes, you may apply for multiple placements. You are encouraged to apply only for units you would seriously consider as refusals are limited and may effect your placement on other lists.  If you receive assistance in one program, it may effect your preference status placement on the waiting list for other programs.

How much will my rent be?

For all programs, assisted rent is based on approximately 30% of monthly adjusted income with allowance given for anticipated tenant utility costs.  For the Section 8 voucher program,  participants should keep in mind that the greater the rent, the greater the tenant portion.  Tenants may end up paying more than 30% of income if  they select a larger or nicer unit, but will not be allowed to pay more than 40% of their income.

Is a Security Deposit Required?

Yes. A tenant paid security deposit is required. For all programs other than Section 8, the deposit amount is $100. For Section 8, the deposit amount will be determined by the private owner, must be paid by the tenant, and should not be more than one month’s rent.

Are Pets Allowed?

Yes, if the pet meets size requirements, has recent vaccinations, is spayed/neutered, and a pet security deposit is paid.  Note: final decision of pets being allowed in Section 8 is the decision of the private owner.

How is my application effected if I live outside of the county?

Preference on the waiting list is given to persons who live or work in county.  Public housing applicants will have to wait longer for assistance.  Section 8 assistance will be based on preference status with 90% of applicants selected from full preference applicants. Applicants who live out of county are not considered full preference. Historically, the demand for the Section 8 voucher program is so great that we have never been able to provide assistance to a person residing outside the county.

What changes do I need to report while I’m active on the waiting list?

Changes in any application information should be reported to the office in writing immediately.  Some changes will effect your wait time. A change in address should be reported promptly so that you can be contacted when you reach the top of the waiting list. If you fail to report changes, or you fail to respond to notices from our office,  you will be withdrawn from the lists and will be required to re-apply and start your waiting time over.

Residents

When is my rent due?

Rent is due on the first of every month. The HALC, as a courtesy, mails out rent statements at the end of every month. These statements will show your monthly rent amount, along with any additional charges that have incurred on your account. If you have failed to pay your rent by the 15th of the month, you will be assessed late fees.

How do I pay my rent?

When you receive your monthly statement, there is a payment envelop enclosed. You may use this envelop to mail your payment in. You can also drop your payment off at the Central Office, located on Norris Dr. The HALC will only accept checks or money orders for payment. You may elect to enroll in automatic withdrawal, with payments being taken out of your checking account around the 8th of every month. This is a convenient way of paying your rent and insures your rent is paid on time, avoiding late fees.

What if I can’t pay my rent or can only pay a portion of my rent?

If you are having a financial hardship and need additional time to pay your rent for the month, you need to contact our Finance Department immediately. There are options available for those residents that qualify.

What do I do if there are charges on my account that I don’t understand?

If you have questions regarding charges on your account, please contact the Finance Dept. during normal business hours.

I have a maintenance problem in my home, what do I do?

If you need maintenance assistance during normal business hours (Mon – Friday, 8:30-12noon, 1:00-4:30pm), you should contact your property management office to inform them. If it is after hours, and is non-emergency, please contact your property management office the following business day. If you have a maintenance EMERGENCY and it is AFTER business hours, you need to call:

1-815-434-0380    or         1-866-885-5683

When the machine answers, press the correct number for your area:

Parkview Homes Management Office, AMP 1~ #5

Centennial Courts Management Office, AMP 2 ~ #6

Evans Heights Management Office, AMP 3 ~ #4

Leave your name, address, apt. #, and PHONE NUMBER. One of the

maintenance staff members will respond to your call.

It is important to report any maintenance problems as soon as possible, regardless of how the problem happened. By notifying your management office, the maintenance staff can repair the problem quickly, thereby reducing the chance of additional and costly damage.

What is considered a Maintenance Emergency?

A “maintenance emergency” is defined as those situations where a work order is necessary to correct a condition that poses an immediate threat to life, health, safety or property, or related to fire safety. The following examples are considered emergencies: water leaks, broken pipes, backed up sewer lines, no heat (not due to non-payment of your utility bill), no electricity (not due to non-payment of your utility bill), you are locked out of your home (please note, you can be charged for lock outs)

How long does it take to have maintenance work completed in my home?

Emergency repairs should be handled immediately. The time to complete non-emergency repairs depends upon the nature of the repair, the supplies needed to correct the problem, and the staff available to do so. If you are concerned about the time it is taking to complete the repair, please contact your property manager.

How often does the HALC inspect my unit?

The HALC conducts inspections of all public housing units on an annual basis. If there are problems in the unit, the HALC may do more inspections as necessary. You will always be notified in advance, in accordance with your lease agreement. Section 8 units are biennially inspected.

Can I have a pet?

Pets are allowed, with some restrictions. Please review the Resident Handbook for guidelines as to the types of pets allowed and size limitations. There is also an additional Pet Deposit required and in some cases, an additional monthly charge. Your Property Manager can help answer any further questions you may have.

My household composition has changed; I got married, I have a new child or a better job. How does this affect my rent payment?

Any changes in a family size will most likely effect your rent. All changes in income and family composition must be reported to the HALC. After reviewing the changes, any adjustments to your rent will be made in accordance with HALC policy.

Can I add someone to my household?

All additions to the household must be done in accordance with HALC Policy. Please discuss this with your Property manager as they will also get you the necessary paperwork needed to do so.

I have a guest coming from out of town; can they stay more than one night?

Please discuss this with you Property Manager as there are guidelines in our Guest Pass Policy that apply to this.

I received a letter stating I have to have an annual re-examination, what is that?

The HALC is required by federal regulations to review each participant, in all programs, on a yearly basis. The re-examine is done to make sure that the correct amount of rent is being charged based upon the actual income of all adults in the household and that the size of the home is correct for the number of family members residing in it. It is imperative that you follow the directions in the letter in the time frame given. Failure to do so can lead to disqualification for the program you are participating in.

I want to move out, what do I do?

Your lease with the HALC is a Month to Month agreement that requires you to give a 30 Day Notice prior to moving out.  Therefore, if you are moving, you need to contact your Property Manager and notify them of your move. You are responsible for paying your rent for those 30 days, regardless if you move out prior to the end of the 30 days.

Will I get my deposit back?

Your deposit is 100% refundable, provided you leave your unit in an acceptable condition without damage. Your unit should be left clean (including all appliances), keys should be turned back in along with any HALC ID cards that were issued to members of your household, and all monies owed on your account need to be paid. If you are eligible to receive your deposit back, a check will be mailed to you after your paperwork has been completed.