Nov 14

[ARCHIVED] Tips for a “Less Stress, More Success” Move

The original item was published from November 14, 2016 10:47 am to November 14, 2016 10:57 am

By Vicki Mullins, Senior Housing Specialist

Part of Pensacola Housing’s mission is to ensure that there’s a sufficient supply of affordable housing stock in our community to meet the needs of our low-income residents. For participants in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV), this means housing that’s decent, safe and sanitary in accordance with Housing Quality Standards (HQS). It also means housing that meets the specific needs of voucher families, which can change over time. Sometimes, that means using your voucher to move to a different unit.

Moving can be one of our most stressful transitions in life. The checklists below are designed to help you prepare for your move, and to provide a quick overview of how to move with your voucher.

Before You Move
Before requesting a moving voucher, ask yourself the following questions.

• Do I have the funds to pay the security and utility deposits? How much will I need?

• Am I allowing myself enough time for a successful move?

• Geographically, where do I want to live? (For example: In a particular school district? Close to my employer? Near family or friends?)

• What if my lease ends in my current unit and my new unit fails the HQS inspection? Where will I go? Where will my household belongings go?

• Do I need to get on a waiting list at the property where I hope to move?

Starting the Move Process
Once you know the answers to these questions, you may be ready to start the move process. To do so, you’ll:

• Contact your Pensacola Housing counselor to find out if you qualify to move.

• If qualified, give written notification to your landlord and Pensacola Housing, providing at least a 30-day notice.

• Attend a Mover’s Meeting to receive the Housing Choice Voucher and Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA), and learn your new payment standard and maximum spending limit.

Finding Your New Home
You have your voucher and you’re ready to shop for the perfect home for you and your family. Your budget is set. Geographically, you know where you want to be. What’s next?

• Tour units in person. Insist on seeing the available unit. Never enter into a contract on a unit sight unseen.

• Make mental notes as you view the property. Consider its condition. Ask yourself if you think the unit will pass the HQS inspection. Is there peeling paint? Is the unit clean? Do the appliances work? Is there evidence of mold or mildew? Any sign of a leaking roof?
Note: In general, it’s best never to take possession of a unit until after it has passed the HQS inspection.

• When you’ve chosen your new home, have the landlord complete your RTA packet, then contact Pensacola Housing to submit it for approval.

Leaving Your Old Rental Unit Behind
Once you’ve vacated your old unit, you’ll want to leave it exactly as you found it—emptied of all your possessions, and clean. Make sure your old landlord knows exactly when you’re vacating, and knows how to get the keys. Whenever possible, you want to leave on a good note so your former landlord will provide a positive reference for you.

For additional resources, please visit http://www.cityofpensacola.com/779/Tenant-Information-Forms.