Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have a question after reading these and going through the website, please call our office at (406)442-7970 OR Submit Your Question to our housing experts!

1. What is Public Housing, Local Housing Choice Voucher, and State Housing Choice Voucher?

-Public Housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered single family houses to apartments for elderly families.
-Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) are formally known as Section 8. 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.

Housing Choice Vouchers are administered locally by the Helena Housing Authority.  The HHA receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.

2. What is the difference between Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), and State Housing Choice Voucher?

-Public Housing comprises apartments owned and maintained by the Helena Housing Authority (HHA).  A resident pays a subsidized rent directly to the HHA.

-Housing Choice Vouchers are administered by the HHA, where you find housing from a private landlord. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the HHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.  Under certain circumstances, if authorized by the HHA, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home. Homeownership.

-A Housing Choice Voucher 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. 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.

3. What is the income limit?

-Each program has specific income limits that must be targeted as established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by county.

4. Does HHA provide emergency housing assistance?

– No, unfortunately HHA does not provide emergency housing assistance.

5. Where do I go for emergency housing assistance?

God’s Love Shelter can assist a person with emergency housing help:
533 North Main
Helena, MT 59601
(406) 442-7000
(406) 443-6007
fax: (406) 442-1738

24 hours 7 days per week emergency shelter for homeless individuals; serves three meals per day; offers counseling, showers, and laundry facilities.

6. Can I have a pet?

7. Who can get information from the HHA on my behalf?

- Any person or company that represents you can ask questions on your behalf if they have a release of information signed by you authorizing such information to be released to them regarding you.

8. What is confidential?

9. What is the RMC/RC, and what is their function?

10. What services does HHA provide?

11. What will my rent amount be?

-If you live in public housing, your rent will be 30% of your adjusted gross income, less a utility allowance if you are responsible to pay for your utility bill.

-If you have a voucher, your rent will be 30% of your adjusted gross income, less a utility allowance if you are responsible to pay for your utility bill.  It may be more on a voucher, but not to exceed 40% of your adjusted gross income.

12. Why do I have to have a background check and what type of background check do I have to have?

13. What is the deposit amount?

-For public housing, it depends on the size of the unit that you qualify for.

-If you have a voucher, the deposit it established by the owner of the rental property.

14. Do I have to have children to apply for housing assistance?

-There are no requirements as to the number of members in your household.

15. What do I have to report and when?

-If you are receiving assistance currently, you are required to report any changes in income or family composition.  Public housing is within 10 days for reporting a change.  Section 8/HCV is within 30 days of a change.

16. What is a preference?

17. What programs are available at the HHA?

18. What happens if I don’t report income or changes in family composition with in the allotted time?

19. What type of income do I need to report?

20. What is homeownership?

– A program that allows Voucher holders to purchase a home using their Housing Choice Voucher.

21. What do I do with an eviction notice?

22. What is the difference between administering and absorbing a Housing Choice Voucher?

– Administer is when a housing Authority manages your voucher for Helena Housing Authority while you live in their state/county.

– Absorb means when you move to another county/state, that housing authority gives you a voucher from that state/county.

23. If I live in public housing, can I apply for a Housing Choice Voucher?

24. What programs should I apply for?

25. Does HHA have a kids summer program?

26. Do I have to have power in my name?

27. What utilities do I have to pay?

28. Can I move on these programs?