COVID-19 Pandemic Frequently Asked Questions

1. Information for HCVP Tenants

Is the Department of Human Services (DHS) open to the public?

Effective March 30, 2020 the DHS building is open for pre-scheduled appointments only. Walk-in appointments are no longer available in efforts to reduce the exposure and slowdown the spread of COVID-19. The public is being encouraged to make contact by phone, email and remote video options to communicate with the various departments or specific caseworkers. For general inquiries or if you are unsure who to contact, call 703-228-1300 and the call center will assist you.

I am a Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) participant who needs to drop-off paperwork to my caseworker/Housing Specialist, do I still need to schedule an appointment?

No, you do not need to schedule an appointment to drop-off paperwork. HCVP participants may email copies of documentation directly to their caseworker or submit to the general HCVP email inbox at hcv@arlingtonva.us.

Participants can also drop off documentation in the “Drop Box” located in front of the Sequoia 1, located at 2100 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA. Please ensure that any documentation that is dropped off is in a sealed envelop and addressed to the Housing Choice Voucher department and include the name of your Housing Specialist.

I have had my work hours cut as a result of COVID-19, how do I report my decrease in income to the HCVP?

Contact your Housing Specialist and provide proof of change of income. All Housing Specialists are available by telephone or email. You can obtain a Change of Income Form here.

If other members of the household have also had a decrease in income, you must provide up-to-date verification for all adult household members, including assets and bank accounts verification.

If I have been laid off, furloughed or even become unemployed can my portion of the rent be decreased?

It depends. Contact your Housing Specialist and provide proof of change of income. All Housing Specialists are available by telephone or email. You can obtain a Change of Income Form here.

If you qualified for unemployment you must provide proof of the amount that has been approved by providing the “Award Letter”.

If other members of the household have also had a decrease in income, you must provide up-to-date verification for all adult household members, including asset (bank accounts) verification.

I’ve heard that myself or members of my household may receive a stimulus check from the Federal Government. Is a stimulus check considered income that I must report to my HCVP Housing Specialist?

The pending stimulus payments directly to individuals and families would not be considered as income. Federal Government stimulus checks are temporary, non-recurring, payments. You should however inform your Housing Specialist if you or any member of your immediate household receives a stimulus check.

How can I obtain childcare support assistance if I am an essential employee and must report to work?

Contact the Department of Human Services 703-228-1300. This is also the contact source for food, utilities and other resource assistance.

How should I complete my HCVP Annual Recertification?

An “Annual Recertification Package” will be mailed to you. If there are questions, please contact your Housing Specialist. It is recommended that you send this information back to the attention of your Housing Specialist through regular mail, email or by fax (703-228-1042).

Annual Recertification Packages can also be dropped off in a sealed envelope at the “Drop Box” located in front of the Sequoia 1, located at 2100 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA. Please ensure that any documentation that is dropped off is addressed to the Housing Choice Voucher Program and includes your Housing Specialists name.

Are HCVP annual inspections still being conducted?

No, annual HCVP inspections of the property has been suspended until further notice to protect the tenants and inspectors by reducing the exposure and spread of COVID-19.

How do I communicate with my Housing Specialist?

By telephone or email. Following are telephone numbers and email addresses:

Staff Telephone Number Email Address
Denise Barbour 703-228-1463 dbarbour@arlingtonva.us
Kelly Lowery 703-228-1499 klowery@arlingtonva.us
Lynell Brady 703-228-1453 lbrady@arlingtonva.us
Tessa Inverary 703-228-1464 tinverary@arlingtonva.us
Elizabeth Ortiz-Suarez 703-228-0704 eortiz-suarez@arlingtonva.us
Titi Akodu 703-228-1456 takodu@arlingtonva.us
Russell Young 703-228-1462 rayoung@arlingtonva.us
Marco Traverso 703-228-1496 mtraverso@arlingtonva.us
Gabriela De La Vega 703-228-1468 gdelavega@arlingtonva.us
Vanessa Street 703-228-1455 vstreet@arlingtonva.us

I’m unsure who my HCVP Housing Specialist is, what should I do?

Call the DHS Customer Service at 703-228-1300.

Can I still transfer/port-in my HCVP voucher from another state or jurisdiction during this pandemic?

Yes, Arlington County will still process port-in request from other Housing Agencies. We are requesting that information be emailed to hcvportability@arlingtonva.us.

I have heard that the government has issued some kind of hold on evictions relating to non-payment of rent; Can you please explain this?

Answer: Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a temporary national moratorium on eviction on September 1, 2020 and effective September 4 – March 31, 2021 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 for eligible renter for non-payment of rent. Following are links that can give you more detailed information (Overview of National Eviction Moratorium; National Eviction Moratorium: FAQ For Renters; Sample Declarative Statements in English / Spanish / Simplified Chinese / Traditional Chinese / Tagalog / Vietnamese / Arabic). If you are a participant of the Housing Choice Voucher Program and have experienced a loss or decrease of income, you should contact your Housing Specialist so that your portion of the rent can be redetermined.

2. Information for HCVP Property Owners and Landlords

Are new inspections being conducted for units that are being processed for initial occupancy?

A limited number of new inspections will be coordinated with landlords and property owners for newly lease HCVP units. We are also exploring conducting these inspections by live video, if possible, with the inspector and management staff. If an in-person inspection is scheduled, it will be for vacant units only.

Are HCVP annual inspections still being conducted?

No, annual HCVP inspections of the property has been suspended until further notice to protect the tenants and inspectors by reducing the exposure and spread of COVID-19.

I have a tenant that has not paid their tenant payment contribution, what should I do?

Notify the tenant of the delinquency; but, also advise them to consult with the HCVP Housing Specialist to determine if they might qualify for a reduction in their portion of the rent or a referral for emergency rental assistance.

Who do I contact about setting up a new unit leasing inspection?

The “Request for Tenancy Approval Form” (RFTP) is used as notification that the HCVP participant has identified prospective unit, and that landlord is also interested in leasing that unit to this tenant. The HCVP participant will provide this RFTP to the prospective landlord for completion. The Housing Specialist will complete some preliminary calculation to determine if the requested contract rent amount is within the participants limits, and if so, will forward a request to the HCVP Inspectors to schedule an inspection. Once the RFTA is received it will take an average of 10 working days to complete the inspection.

I am interested in leasing my property under the HCVP, how do I get started?

You can list your property for free by going to AffordableHousing.com. There will be instruction to assist you with the process. Individuals or families (applicants) that are qualified for the HCVP are issued a Voucher that authorizes them to find a unit that they are interested in leasing. The applicants are advised to use Gosection8 website as a source to identify potential units. Once the applicant identifies a landlord that is interested in renting a unit to them, the RFTA form should be completed and returned to the HCVP office.

Who do I contact with tenancy concerns?

If you have repeated problems with the tenant, you have the right to enforce your lease and take the necessary actions against the tenant. Whenever you do start proceedings against a tenant, you must follow local and state landlord/tenant requirements. The County’s Housing Information Center may be able to help you. Call 703-228-3765 or e-mail housingdivision@arlingtonva.us

Who should I contact if I have questions about a payment?

You should start with the client’s HCVP Housing Specialist. If you do not know who the Housing Specialist is, please call Customer Service at 703-228-1300.