What is the next step if I’m interested in renting a house or apartment?

​If you choose a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) issued by NRHA, your People First USI coach will work with you through this process. Your People First USI coach will assist you with completing and submitting an HCV application to NRHA’s Occupancy Department.

Once NRHA receives your application, you will receive a letter from the Occupancy Department with the date of your first interview and a checklist of the documents needed for the interview.

After your documents have been received and verified, you will be scheduled for your briefing appointment. At your briefing appointment you will receive information about:

  • Rent payment standards
  • How housing inspections are completed
  • Using your voucher to move within or out of Norfolk and other important information

Following this briefing you will be given your HCV which lets you begin searching for your new home.

You will have 60 days to find new housing.  It is important to stay in touch with your People First USI coach during this period, so be sure to connect with your coach as soon as you receive your voucher.  They will help you with your search!  If you are unable to find a new home that suits your needs, an additional 30-day extension can be granted to you to keep looking.  You will need to keep a record of the places where you have searched for housing. If you need an extension to continue searching, you must contact the NRHA Occupancy Department before your voucher expires.

Once you find a house you like you will be required to provide the NRHA Occupancy Department with a copy of an unsigned lease and a Request for Tenant Approval (RFTA), signed and completed by the potential HCV landlord. We ask that the lease is unsigned to allow People First USI and NRHA staff the opportunity to review the lease to make sure it complies with federal, state and fair housing laws. The NRHA Occupancy staff will then determine if the property’s rent is reasonable and affordable for you and your family based on your family’s reported income.     

Voucher holders are not required to have a job, but you may be responsible for additional expenses such as utility bills and other fees. Your voucher will never expire as long as you follow the rules and regulations of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and you remain eligible.