Housing Applicant

Frequently Asked Questions

What programs does CMHA provide?

The Columbiana Metropolitan Housing Authority oversees two Housing Programs.

  • Affordable Housing Units (units owned by CMHA)

    • Units are located in East Liverpool and Wellsville, Ohio

    • These includeed Fawcett Apartments, Riverview Towers, Shoub Towers, Woodland Hills, Independence Square, and various scattered sites. Each of these housing communities is highlighted in the "Affordable Housing" tab on the main page.

  • Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVP; Section 8 Rental Assistance). When approved, the family receives a voucher to help with renting from a private landlord in any areas of the country. This program is highlighted in the "Section 8" tab on the main page.


Rent in each program is subsidized and is income based. The application puts you on the appropriate waiting list. After your application is processed, you will be notified when your name reaches the top of the waiting list.


Which program is right for me?

Since the CMHA owned Affordable Housing units are located in East Liverpool and Wellsville. They may not meet the needs of everyone. Individuals or families whose circumstances require may need to live in other areas of the country. Those families may choose to apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.


How can I apply?

Applications for either program can be completed by clicking on the "Application" on the main page.

The basic application process and requirements are basically the same for both programs. However, these questions apply to the HCVP process only:
What does it mean that your HCVP waiting list is closed?

The CMHA Housing Choice Voucher Program is still operating. However, applications for new vouchers are not being accepted at this time due to the large number of families on the current waiting list for assistance. When it opens, announcements will appear in the East Liverpool Review and Morning Journal, as well as our website.


May I rent from a relative?

The owner/landlord may not be the parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, brother or spouse of any member of the assisted family. Renting from a family member may be approved as a reasonable accommodation for a family member who is a person with disabilities. If approved, both the voucher holder and owner/landlord will be notified in writing.


Can I ask for a voucher extension?

All vouchers are issued for 60 days. A voucher extension of two 30 day extensions may be issued. Any voucher over 120 days will be expired unless there is an approved reasonable accommodation for any family member with disabilities. Any person awarded additional time on the voucher over 120 days will be notified in writing.


My voucher expired - now what?

If your voucher has expired, you are eligible to reapply to the waiting list if the waiting list is open. If the waiting list is closed, you will not be able to reapply until such time that the list re-opens.


I found a unit! What happens now?

You will give your voucher and Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) to your prospective landlord. He/she will complete and return to the Housing Authority. The rent will be reviewed to ensure it is reasonable and affordable. If the landlord has returned proof of paid local taxes with the RFTA, it will be scheduled for an inspection; usually within 14 business days. Your landlord will notify you if the unit passes or fails the inspection. It is very important that you keep close contact with your prospective landlord during the process.


When should I pay my security deposit?

Many landlords will ask for the security deposit when you wish to rent their unit. This is not unusual. However, it is recommended that you receive the return policy in writing should you or the landlord decide not to rent the unit.


My unit passed - when can I get my keys?

You may begin your lease with your landlord the day the unit passes inspection. The Columbiana Metropolitan Housing Authority begins contracts on the 1st and the 15th of each month. If your unit passes inspection on the 2nd of the month, the contract (and your lease) will begin on the 15th of that month.


My unit hasn't passed inspection, but my landlord said I can move in.

Please be aware CMHA will not pay subsidy on your behalf to the landlord until your unit passes inspection and it is under contract. If you move in before this time period, the CMHA will not pay any portion of your rent and your landlord may be able to charge you the full amount of rent.


These questions apply to both programs:
Do you have emergency housing assistance?

No. CMHA does not have any emergency housing in either its public housing or HCV programs.


Are there circumstances that give me priority on the waiting list?

Yes, if you are currently on the waiting list. CMHA has preferences that will move a family to the top of the waiting list. The Columbiana Metropolitan Housing Autority, according to our local needs and preferences, will select families based on the following preferences:

  • Homelessness: This requires documentation from the Homeless Shelter at the Community Action Agency. In some cases, other verification may be accepted.

  • Domestic Violence: This must be verified by a recent report from a law enforcement agency or court..

  • US Veterans: This includes honorable discharged from US military service. Verification is required such as discharge paperwork or Veteran ID card.

Further information on preference requirements is available in the Admissions Office.


How do I change my address with CMHA?

You must tell the CMHA in person or in writing of any change in your address. To submit a change of address in person, fill out a change of address form at our Main Office:


Columbiana Metropolitan Housing Authority
325 Moore Street
East Liverpool, OH 43920

Otherwise, write a brief letter that includes your name, social security number, previous address and new address. Mail letter to the CMHA at the address above. Please note: changing your address with the United States Postal Service does not change your address with the Columbiana Metropolitan Housing Authority. You must update us separately.

How do I cancel my application?

You may cancel your application at any time by writing to the CMHA at the address listed above. When canelling your application, please include your name and social security number.


I'm at the top of the waiting list - what now?

You will receive a phone call or email advising you of a vacancy. At that time, you will need to provide the following items:

  • A copy of social security cards for every person who will reside with you.

  • A birth certificate for each member of the household.

  • A copy of all income sources within the household.

The CMHA will verify all information as well as conduct a criminal background check. We will also check the Debts Owed module in the HUD Enterprise Income Verification system to ensure you do not owe money to anouther Housing Authority.


What if someone in my family does not have a social security number/card?

It is required that all members of your household have a social security number/card. If you cannot locate your card, a print out from the social security office documenting your social security number is acceptable.


What if someone in my family does not have a photo ID?

It is required that photo IDs are submitted for everyone in your household over the age of 18. There are no exceptions.


What if someone in my family does not have a birth certificate?

It is required that birth certificates be submitted for each household member.


May I add or remove others from my application?

You may request to add or remove family members from your application. However, any request to add a person to your voucher must be approved by the Columbiana Metropolitan Housing Authority. All adult members of the household will be screened for a criminal background and any debt owed to another Housing Authority. Any member of household wishing to be removed must prove that they will not be living in the subsidized unit.


Can the CMHA deny assistance?

Yes. If you do not qualify based on income, or you have a negative criminial background, or you have an unpaid debt to CMHA or another housing authority you will be issued a determination of ineligibility. You may request a hearing if you do not agree with the information that determined you ineligible.


What is a reasonable accommodation? Can I get one?

Sometimes people with disabilities may need a reasonable accommodation in order to take full advantage of the Columbiana Metropolitan Housing Authority housing programs and related services. A reasonable accommodation is a change, adaption, or modification to the CMHA's rules, policies, practices or services which are necessary to provide a qualified individual with a handicap or disability an equal opportunity to participate fully in services, programs or activities provided by the CMHA. Your request may be made either orally or in writing. A request can also be made on behalf of the individual by a family member or other agent.


What if I have an individual need?

Please tell us if you need assistance of any kind to access our services. If you need an interpreter or a translator, tell us, and we will provide one for you.


I have a specific question that isn't answered here. Where do I get the answer?

If your question isn't answered in this list, please email your question(s) to: faq@colmha.org. You will receive an answer via email.


Is this how I find out if my fax or paperwork has been received?

Yes. Due to the large volume of paperwork our office receives, it is not practical to answer via telephone.

LET'S TALK: 330-386-5970

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