Private Market Rent Subsidy Program

The Creative Housing Private Apartment Rent Subsidy Program provides rent subsidies to qualified individuals with developmental disabilities in Franklin County. The Private Apartment Rent Subsidy Program is an income based rental assistance program that works with apartments in the generalized community. The program mission is to enable people with disabilities to live more independently as a part of the mainstream of the community and assist them in finding safe and affordable housing.

The program is a partnership with the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities (FCBDD). Clients are referred to Creative Housing by the Supported Living Options Specialists (SLOS) from Service Coordination, FCBDD.

 

HOW DOES THE PRIVATE APARTMENT RENT SUBSIDY PROGRAM WORK?

 

ELIGIBILITY & REFERRAL

Eligibility for the program is determined by FCBDD. Individuals interested in the program must be eligible for services from FCBDD and must first contact and work through their Service Coordinator at FCBDD. The Service Coordinator starts the referral process by contacting Supported Living Options Specialists, who in turn forwards the referral to Creative Housing.

 

CONSUMER REVIEW

Upon referral, Creative Housing arranges for visitation to apartments that best fit the needs of the client. Possible needs taken into consideration may include location in Franklin County, COTA bus availability, handicap accessibility, being close to stores, restaurants, churches, family or work, and various amenities. Finding the best fit for our referrals hopefully will lead to long term success in the generalized apartment community.

 

APPLICATION

After selecting the apartment of choice, the client makes application with the landlord. The client’s chosen provider, Service Coordinator or Supported Living Option Specialist helps fill out the application. All information provided during the application process will be truthful and accurate. No information will knowingly be withheld. Apartment management may do various background checks, including credit, criminal and rental history. Creative Housing has found that when management is informed prior to any check of an existing problem, they may be willing to work with referrals in the approval process. Clients are held to all other application standards. The application fee is paid by the client unless FCBDD authorizes Creative Housing to make this payment. The landlord will notify Creative Housing of approval or denial and Creative Housing will contact FCBDD staff.

 

INSPECTIONS

Upon approval, Creative Housing will schedule pre-occupancy inspections. The inspections are: Electric, Heating, Fire and Housing Quality. All inspections must meet the guidelines established by FCBDD before any lease is signed. This is a protection for both the client and the landlord.

 

SIGNING THE LEASE

After all inspections are completed and approved, Creative Housing coordinates the lease signing. Creative Housing does not sign any lease. At the time of the lease signing the Creative Housing Rental Assistance Agreement is signed by the client, the landlord, and Creative Housing. This is an important day in the life of the client. The lease is usually for one year and the client now has the responsibility for paying rent on time, as well as utility bills not included, for the term of the lease. There are also rules and regulations in the lease that must be followed. All clients are expected to take good care of their new home and respect their neighbor’s privacy.

 

DEPOSIT

All apartments have deposits. The amount of deposit varies. The deposit is paid by the client unless FCBDD authorizes for Creative Housing to pay a one-time grant.

 

HOW IS THE RENT SUBSIDY CALCULATED?

The Program is an income-based program. Each rent subsidy is unique to the individual client. The rent subsidy is the difference between 30% of the referral’s income minus a designated utility credit and fair market rents. An example:

John Smith is referred for a 1-bedroom apartment. The rent according to fair market rents must be no higher than $624 per month. John’s combined income of Social Security benefits and wages is $600 per month. 30% of $600 = $180. A designated utility credit of $75 is subtracted from the $180 rent responsibility. $180- $75= $105. John will pay the landlord $105 each month for the term of the lease. Creative Housing will pay the rest up to a total of $ 624. If the rent is $ 624, Creative Housing will pay $519 directly to the landlord.

WHAT ARE THE COLUMBUS FAIR MARKET RENTAL RATES AND DESIGNATED UTILITY CREDIT?

Studio
1-BR
2-BR
3-BR
4-BR
Rental Rates
$553
$643
$814
$1024
$1113
Utility Credits*
$75
$75
$84
$93
$102

*DESIGNATED UTILITY CREDITS: Full credit for 1 tenant; equally divided credit for 2 or more tenants.

 

HOW ARE PAYMENTS MADE TO THE LANDLORD?

Creative Housing pays the landlord directly. Payments are mailed 10 days in advance of the 1st of month in which rent is due. Clients also pay the landlord directly. Most apartments expect rent on the 1st of the month. An apartment may have a grace period from 3 to 5 days after the 1st of the month. However, not all apartments have the grace period. Fees in the range of $25 to $50 are typical charges for late rent. Continuous late rent payments are not only costly, but can be cause for eviction.

 

WHAT OTHER INSPECTIONS OCCUR IN THE PROGRAM?

Creative Housing coordinates annual fire and housing quality inspections. This is done at the time of the lease renewal. A full set of inspections is scheduled by Creative Housing every 3 years.

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTENANCE ISSUES?

All maintenance problems need to be reported to the management of the apartment. The landlords usually have a phone number for emergency and non-emergency problems. In case of fire leave the apartment immediately and call 911.

 

CAN A CLIENT LEASE AN APARTMENT THAT RENTS ABOVE THE FAIR MARKET GUIELINES?

Although it is wise to stay within the guidelines, the rent subsidy program does allow the flexibility for clients to exceed the fair market rents. The difference is solely the responsibility of the client. An example: A client eligible for a 1-bedroom apartment finds an apartment for $650. The client would assume the responsibility for the difference between the fair market maximum rent of $624 and the actual rate of $650. The client will pay the additional $26.

 

CAN A CLIENT LEASE A 2 BEDROOM APARTMENT IF REFERRED FOR A 1 BEDROOM?

The rent subsidy program does allow clients to rent larger apartments as long as the rent is within the price guidelines for a 1 bedroom. An example: John Smith finds a 2-bedroom apartment that rents for $450 per month. Because the rent is at or under the guidelines he can rent the 2-bedroom apartment with no added rent responsibility.

 

CAN THE RENT SUBSIDY BE ADJUSTED DURING THE LEASE & RENTAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT PERIOD?

The rent subsidy can be adjusted during the lease period. If a referral has a significant decrease in wages and income, FCBDD can authorize Creative Housing to adjust the rent subsidy. Creative Housing will notify all parties by letter of the change in subsidy and corresponding client rent responsibility. This letter will act as an addendum to the current rental assistance agreement.

A landlord may increase the rent. This usually happens only if a tenant is on a month to month lease. In this case the client must notify Creative Housing of the notification of rent increase by the landlord. Because the landlord usually does not notify Creative Housing of a rent increase, it is very important to make Creative Housing aware of any rent increase notification. Creative Housing will adjust the subsidy and corresponding client rent responsibility. If the increase puts the rent above the guidelines, the tenant will pay some or all of the increase. Creative Housing will pay the entire increase if rent remains within fair market guidelines. Creative Housing will notify all parties by letter of changes to the rental assistance agreement.

 

WHAT IF DAMAGES OCCUR?

The client is responsible for damage to the apartment above what is considered normal wear and tear. Payment to the landlord for fixing unusual damage is the responsibility of the referral. FCBDD may authorize Creative Housing to pay the landlord for this expense. FCBDD may have the client reimburse Creative Housing.

 

CAN SOMEONE MOVE IN WITH ME?

No one can just move into your apartment. The only tenants are those named on the lease and rental assistance agreement. If you want to have someone live with you who is not named currently on these documents, you need to contact Creative Housing to see how this is done. Allowing someone to just move in with you can jeopardize your subsidy and can lead to eviction.

 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN CONSIDERING APARTMENT LIFE

Types of Apartments: There are many different types of apartments available. Floor plans to consider are townhouses with 2 levels and stairs, garden apartments with no stairs, apartments with access directly from the outside, large buildings with access from a corridor, large complex apartments with many residents, smaller apartments like a duplex, handicapped accessible apartment, and the list goes on. A good idea is to visit different types of apartments or look in an apartment guide to see what best fits your needs.

Rules and Regulations: All apartments have rules and regulations. All tenants are expected to follow these rules. Failure to abide by these regulations can lead to eviction. For instance, apartments have common walls so excessive noise is always a part of the regulations. Review of rules and regulations should be done before entering into a lease. If you cannot abide by the rules, another option of housing should be considered.

 

WHAT IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PRIVATE APARTMENT RENT SUBSIDY PROGRAM?

Please contact:

Private Apartment Rent Subsidy Manager
Creative Housing, Inc.
2233 CityGate Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 418-7725 ext 17
If you have questions about your specific eligibility for the program contact:

Case Management Services
Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities
1600 Watermark Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 464-2743