FAQs: Residents’ Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT DEDUCTIONS ARE ALLOWED?

The following applies to the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs

For each member of the family residing in the household under 18 years of age, or a full-time student (other than the head of the household or spouse): $480

For any elderly or disabled/handicapped family: $400

For any elderly or disabled/handicapped family, medical expenses in excess of 3 percent of annual family income.

For any family member employed or furthering his/her education, reasonable child care expenses.

HOW IS INCOME VERIFIED?

The Housing Authority of the County fo Kern periodically reviews the records of all of its Assisted Housing Program tenants with the Social Security Administration and the Kern County Department of Human Services.

If unreported income is found, a tenant may be terminated.

Income for all housing programs administered by the Housing Authority must be verified by an independent third party (employer, etc.)

WHAT IS THE TOTAL TENANT PAYMENT?

Total tenant payment is the highest of the following (rounded to the nearest dollar):

  • 30 percent of monthly adjusted income, or
  • 10 percent of gross monthly income, or
  • A minimum established by the Agency in accordance with HUD regulations, or
  • A ceiling rent established by the Agency in accordance with HUD regulations.

WHAT IS COUNTED AS INCOME?

Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received by the family head and spouse (even if temporarily absent) and by each additional member of the family over 17 years of age.

This includes all income derived from assets.

WHOM SHOULD I CALL FOR REPAIRS?

Section 8 Tenants:

  • If something needs to be fixed, do not wait. Contact the on-site property manager or the landlord.

All Other Affordable Housing Programs:

  • Report the problem to the on-site Housing Manager.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED A MAINTENANCE EMERGENCY?

A maintenance emergency:

  • Threatens someone’s health or safety immediately, or
  • Will cause property damage if not corrected immediately

Some examples of true emergencies include:

  • Leaking gas
  • Sewer backups
  • Fallen electrical lines
  • Flooding
  • If you see any of these types of problems, call for assistance anytime, day or night: (661) 631-8500. This applies to ALL Agency Housing sites.

HOW CAN I SAVE ON ELECTRICITY & GAS?

Use gas & electricity wisely:

  • Turn off lights when not in use.
  • Keep light bulbs clean.
  • Shut-off the TV set, radio, or stereo when not in use.
  • In cold weather, dress warmly in your home.
  • In cold weather, open window coverings on the sunny side of your home during the day for solar energy.
  • Close window coverings on cloudy days or in the evening (after the sun sets).
  • Use cold water in your washing machine and wash a full load.

WHAT TYPES OF PROGRAMS ARE OFFERED TO RESIDENTS?

  • Assistance with job traning and employment
  • Home-Ownership Programs
  • Credit Counseling
  • Workshops for Personal
  • Development
  • Food Baskets
  • Mental & Physical Health
  • Counseling/Referrals
  • Resident Advisory Councils

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN EVICTION?

If any resident on any Agency Assisted Program fails to pay rent, destroys property, or violates his/her lease, management will seek eviction proceedings to keep housing in decent condition for the majority of residents who follows the rules.

Serious Lease Violations include:

Failure to report changes in income or family size accurately and/or in a timely manner; destruction of Agency property; keeping unauthorized pets; poor housekeeping habits; fighting; displaying weapons; or threatening the health and safety of other residents and staff. These are all serious lease violations that can result in eviction.

What about Illegal Drug Use & Alcohol Abuse?

The Agency’s lease was modified in 2003 to make it easier to evict any Agency Assisted Program resident who engages in illegal drug usage and/or in drug-related criminal activity. Residents can also be evicted for alcohol abuse if their behavior adversely affects their neighbors.
Residents who violate their lease in this manner will be notified of their violation in writing and will receive either a 30-day notice of lease termination, or (in the most serious cases), a three-day notice of lease termination.

HOW OFTEN ARE HOUSING INSPECTIONS DONE?

Housing Inspections are performed on an annual basis on all Agency managed housing. In the Section 8 program, inspections are completed every other year.

Inspections are done:

  • When you move in
  • At least once a year (Agency managed housing) or every other year (Section 8)
  • When you request a special inspection However, the Agency has the right to inspect any unit and will conduct special inspections between regular annual inspections at will. Residents will normally be given notice prior to an inspection, unless an emergency exists.

HOW IS RENT CALCULATED?

You are charged a monthly rent that is either based on 30 percent of your adjusted household income or a rent schedule. The rent is calculated according to federal regulations.
In order to rent a unit, you must sign a written lease. This shows the amount of rent you must pay, what management will provide, and what you are expected to do.

HOW AND WHERE DO I PAY RENT?

The Agency does not accept cash. You should make your rent payment payable to the Housing Authority of the County of Kern by mail or by taking your check or money order to your Housing Manager. Please be sure to include your correct address on your check or money order.

HOW DO I ADD ANOTHER PERSON TO MY HOUSEHOLD?

Ask your Housing Specialist or manager if the person qualifies to be added to your lease.
Obtain an Add-On packet at the Section 8 or Applications Department (LIPH).
Have your landlord sign the first page for approval.
Have the person you are adding on complete the packet.
Make an appointment to bring the person you are adding to the Section 8 or Applications Department (LIPH).
Once your Housing Specialist has signed the add-on packet, schedule an interview with the Applications Department.
Please bring all necessary documentation to the interview.

WHAT DO THESE LETTERS/ACRONYMS MEAN?

BC Bakersfield College

CAPK Community Action Partnership of Kern

C.L.E.T.S. California Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems

DHS Department of Human Services

EOC Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo County, Inc.

ETR Employers’ Training Resource

FLC Farm Labor Center

FMRs Fair Market Rents

FSSP Family Self-Sufficiency Program

GBLA Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance

GEAHI Golden Empire Affordable Housing, Inc.

HAP Housing Assistance Payment

HUD U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development

KALC Kern Adult Literacy Council

KCSOS Kern County Superintendent of Schools

KEDC Kern Economic Development Corporation Kern

KERN COG Kern Council of Governments

LIPH Low Income Public Housing

MAOF Mexican American Opportunity Foundation

MOU Memorandum of Understanding

OMS Office of Migrant Services

PHAS Public Housing Assessment Systems

RCAC Rural Community Assistance Corporation

SEMAP Section 8 Management Assessment Program

SRO Single Room Occupancy

TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

THC Transitional Housing Center