Housing FAQs2020-12-08T19:01:17+00:00

How can HomeFront help you?

Answers to frequently asked affordable housing questions

Together we can empower people to achieve independence through housing. Get answers to your affordable housing questions here. If you don’t find the information you are looking for, please contact us and we’ll get you an answer.

What if I can’t pay my rent?2020-11-04T23:20:32+00:00

Residents who fail to pay rent are sent a notice with a deadline to pay their overdue balance. If the balance isn’t paid by the date listed on the notice, the resident will receive a 30-day notice to vacate.

Is there a fee for not paying my rent on time?2020-09-22T20:30:55+00:00

Yes, there is a $25.00 late fee and $6.00 processing fee assessed for overdue rent payments.

Pleasantview and Laurel Gardens residents are charged a $5.00 late fee, and $1.00 each additional day the rent is late until the end of the month.

Please see the Residents page for more information.

Does HomeFront offer any services to residents?2020-09-22T20:32:13+00:00

Yes! Please see the Residents page for more information.

Are pets allowed?2020-04-09T20:56:13+00:00

Public Housing allows one cat (must be spayed or neutered). Dogs are not allowed. Contact your Eligibility Specialist if you are someone with a disability and require accommodation for a service animal.

Please see the Residents page for more information.

How do I make a maintenance request?2020-04-29T20:11:47+00:00

To submit a maintenance request, call (406) 245-6391 to speak with the Housing Resource Specialist. For after hours maintenance requests, call (406) 248-4111.

Please see the Residents page for more information.

How do I pay my rent?2020-04-09T20:54:22+00:00

HomeFront accepts check, money order and direct debit.

Please see the Residents page for more information.

When is my rent due?2020-09-17T19:58:56+00:00

Rent is due on the 1st of the month and considered late if not paid on or before the 6th of the month. First month’s rent is due the day of move in. Please see the Resident Information page for more information.

What if I have a problem with the tenant?2020-09-22T20:34:10+00:00

You have the right to enforce your lease and take the necessary actions following the HAP Contract and the Montana Landlord Tenant Law. Please send a copy of any warning letters or notice to vacate to HomeFront.

Who pays if the tenant causes damage to my property?2020-09-22T20:35:50+00:00

Please refer to the Montana Landlord Tenant Law. HomeFront will not pay for any damages to your property.

Can I refuse to rent to an individual?2020-04-29T16:27:56+00:00

You have the right to select the tenant you want. However you must not discriminate against an individual because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status or disability.

Can I list my rental property availability through HomeFront?2020-04-29T16:29:01+00:00

Yes. HomeFront can post information about your rental property in our office. In addition, HomeFront encourages owners and landlords to list their properties with other entities such as GoSection8.com, MTHousingSearch.com, Facebook and freerentalfinder.com. Some of these services provide free listings. Families with vouchers are encouraged to utilize these web-based resources to locate rental listings.

I’m selling my property, and the new owner wants to accept Housing Choice Vouchers. What do I need to do?2020-04-29T16:30:54+00:00

If you are selling your property and you are renting to a family with an HCV voucher, please contact HomeFront BEFORE the sale is finalized. HomeFront will be happy to work with you and the new owner to ensure that contracts and payments are transferred in a timely manner.

How can I raise the rent of my unit leased by a Housing Choice Voucher holder?2020-09-22T20:36:46+00:00

The HCV program requires a landlord to provide a 60 day notice for a rent increase. The notice must be sent to the tenant and to HomeFront. HomeFront will determine if the increase meets the program regulations.

When will I receive HCV subsidy payments?2020-09-22T20:37:43+00:00

Homefront processes HCV subsidy payments twice a month; on the 1st and the 15th. We encourage all landlords to sign up for direct deposit so your payments get to you in the quickest and most efficient manner.

Will my property need to be inspected in order to accept HCVs? If so, what will the HomeFront inspector be looking for during the inspection?2020-04-29T16:35:09+00:00

Yes. The property will need to be inspected before Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) can be paid. The Housing Quality Standards are listed in 24 CFR 982.401. Some state and local criteria also apply. In general, the inspectors will be ensuring that that unit meets a minimum of safe and sanitary conditions. Additional information can be found in the HomeFront HCV Administrative Plan, Chapter 8.

What do I need to do to accept Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs)?2020-04-29T16:35:54+00:00

If you select a family for your rental property that has a Housing Choice Voucher, you and the family will need to complete a Request for Tenancy form and submit it to HomeFront for approval. It’s that simple. HomeFront will evaluate and process the request and inspection. Once the rental unit has passed the inspection, HomeFront will provide and ask you to complete a Housing Assistance Payment contract.

How can I partner with HomeFront?2020-09-22T20:33:02+00:00

Please contact HomeFront’s CEO/Executive Director Patti Webster at (406) 245-6391.

I’m a senior and I don’t want to move from my current apartment. Do seniors qualify for HCVs?2020-04-09T20:47:01+00:00

Seniors can use Housing Choice Vouchers to select the residence of their choice, provided the landlord agrees to accept the HCV as payment for part of the rent. Seniors can also choose to live in a HUD-approved or managed facility.

How old must I be to live in a HomeFront senior apartment?2020-04-09T20:46:53+00:00

Individuals 62 or older are eligible for low-income senior housing. Applicants must have an income of less than 50% of the median income for the area and must pay up to 30% of the rent.

I am a senior and need help finding an affordable home. How can HomeFront help?2020-04-09T20:46:44+00:00

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has created three programs for seniors: Public Housing, Multifamily Subsidized Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs). Contact us for help understanding which programs may be available to you.

Does Section 8 housing still exist?2020-09-22T20:16:21+00:00

Section 8, now known as Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) is what we used to call the federally funded rental assistance program that assists low-income households pay rent to private landlords.

I have applied for a Housing Choice Voucher. Can I apply for Public Housing, too?2020-09-22T20:17:27+00:00

Yes. If you are on the HCV waiting list, you may also apply for Public Housing to increase your chances for receiving housing.

Who is my landlord when I use a Housing Choice Voucher, HomeFront or the property owner/manager?2020-04-09T20:45:29+00:00

The property owner/manager is your landlord. Please contact them for any issues with your home.

I found a rental before receiving my HCV. Can I get approved sooner?2020-04-09T20:45:22+00:00

No. Finding a unit before receiving your voucher does not have any influence on when you receive your voucher or your position on the waiting list.

Do Housing Choice Vouchers expire?2020-09-22T20:21:06+00:00

Rental assistance does not expire for households living in approved units who continue to be eligible and are in good standing with HomeFront. Vouchers for applicants are issued for a limited period of time. Upon issuance, if an applicant family has not utilized the voucher within a specified time period, the voucher will expire and the applicant family will have to reapply.

Is there a charge to apply for housing assistance?2020-09-22T20:21:58+00:00

No! It is against HUD policy to charge a fee for housing assistance programs.

Can Housing Choice Vouchers be transferred to another city or area?2020-09-22T20:23:06+00:00

Yes, we call that portability. Housing Choice Vouchers may be transferred to another Public Housing Authority’s service area if you have lived in your home for at least one year. You may also contact us for help in using your voucher to move into another unit.

Do properties that accept HCVs have to meet any quality standards?2020-09-22T20:23:42+00:00

Yes, HCV properties must meet Housing Quality Standards and be decent, safe and sanitary. HomeFront inspects properties before accepting them into the program.  The properties must pass the HQS inspection before rental assistance can begin at the unit.

What percentage of my income goes to rent when I qualify for a Housing Choice Voucher?2020-12-31T00:06:23+00:00

In most cases, you will pay a minimum of 30%-40% of your gross monthly adjusted income to your landlord toward your rent.

What is the Housing Choice Voucher program?2020-09-22T20:27:36+00:00

The HCV program is a housing assistance program where a family may utilize a voucher to choose their own rental home from available rentals in their community. The family pays approximately 30%-40% of their adjusted gross monthly income in rent. A qualifying portion of the rent is also paid by the Housing Choice Voucher program to the property owner.

English is not my first language. Do you provide translation services?2020-09-22T19:53:18+00:00

Yes, upon request.  There are also many HUD forms available in different languages.

I need help finding housing right now — tonight. What should I do?2020-12-31T00:15:56+00:00

HomeFront doesn’t currently offer emergency housing. However, you can contact our Housing Ambassador Pamela Aning at (406) 237-1905 to discuss community emergency housing resources.  Calling 211 will also direct you to services to find somewhere to sleep tonight.

What do I do if I feel my fair housing rights have been violated?2020-09-22T19:59:26+00:00

HUD is ready to help with any problem of housing discrimination. If you think your rights have been violated, the Housing Discrimination Complaint Form is available for you to download, complete and return, or complete online and submit. You may also write HUD a letter, or telephone the HUD Office nearest you. You have one year after an alleged violation to file a complaint with HUD, but you should file it as soon as possible.  1-800-669-9777

How long can I stay in public housing?2020-09-22T20:00:22+00:00

You may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the lease and program regulations.  If your family income is sufficient to obtain housing on the private market, HomeFront may determine whether your family should stay in public housing.

Does HomeFront have any selection preferences?2020-04-09T20:42:35+00:00

Giving preference to specific groups of families enables HomeFront to direct limited housing resources to the families with the greatest housing needs. See the Do I Qualify? page for more information.

Does HomeFront verify personal information?2020-04-29T20:05:09+00:00

HomeFront programs have various requirements regarding personal information verification. Contact our Eligibility Department with questions.

Can HomeFront deny assistance?2020-09-22T20:01:17+00:00

Yes, HomeFront can deny assistance. An applicant can be denied if they are over income limitations or are a sexual offender, or do not meet other program requirements.

What is a recertification?2020-09-22T20:02:07+00:00

Annual recertification occurs to ensure program eligibility and program integrity.

Will I have to sign a lease?2020-09-22T20:03:18+00:00

Yes, residents will be held responsible for all terms of the lease in accordance with Montana Landlord Tenant Law. Housekeeping standards are included in the lease and are enforced.

Are utilities included in my rent?2020-09-22T20:04:21+00:00

This varies by development.

Will I have to pay a security deposit?2020-12-31T00:05:37+00:00

It depends upon the program.  The Public Housing program has low deposit requirements. One bedroom unit deposits are $350, two bedroom unit deposits are $400, three bedroom unit deposits are $450 and four bedroom unit deposits are $500.

Will my rent go up, or down, if my income changes?2020-11-04T23:13:30+00:00

In the Public Housing program the amount you contribute towards housing costs may fluctuate with changes to household income, size or circumstances.

Do I have to be a resident of the City of Billings to get help?2020-04-29T20:01:06+00:00

No.

How do I check on my housing application status and waiting list position?2020-04-09T20:39:51+00:00

Contact HomeFront directly, and make sure we have your most recent contact information. To check waitlist status, call (406) 237-1959.

I’ve just submitted my application, how long will I have to wait for help?2020-04-09T20:39:02+00:00

Your wait will depend upon the date of your application and any preferences you qualify for. The wait for assisted housing may be months to several years.

Is your Public Housing waiting list open?2020-04-09T20:38:49+00:00

Yes.

What is the difference between Affordable Housing, Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers?2020-09-22T20:11:09+00:00

HomeFront Affordable Housing rentals offer lower-than-market fixed rent rates. Public Housing consists of developments of government-sponsored dwellings. Housing Choice Vouchers offer help paying your rent in the form of vouchers paid to a private landlord.

What is income-based housing?2020-09-22T20:12:06+00:00

Income-based rent is set so eligible households pay no more than 30%-40% of their adjusted income toward housing costs, including utilities, each month. See the Do I Qualify page for more information.

Do I need to be a United States citizen to be eligible for housing assistance?2020-04-09T20:37:35+00:00

United States citizens and non-citizens with eligible immigration status may receive assistance through HomeFront.

Who is eligible for housing assistance?2020-09-22T20:13:15+00:00

See the Do I Qualify? page for more information.

What is a Housing Authority?2020-09-22T20:15:42+00:00

Public Housing Authorities are municipal organizations that administer federal, state, county and private affordable housing programs.  HomeFront is not a city, state, or federal agency, but a political subdivision of the state.

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