Creative Housing pays the landlord directly. Payments are mailed 10 days in advance of the first of month in which rent is due. Clients also pay the landlord directly. Most apartments expect rent on the first of the month. An apartment may have a grace period from 3 to 5 days after the first 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.

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.

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.

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 one-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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Types of Apartments: There are many different types of apartments available. Floor plans to consider are townhouses with two 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.

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:
Service Coordination
Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities
1600 Watermark Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43215