Expanded Choice Program

The Expanded Choice Program

The Expanded Choice Program (ECP) helps families with Housing Choice Vouchers find homes in Opportunity Areas in the City of New Haven and its surrounding region. These are neighborhoods in these areas that have historically been difficult for families with vouchers to move into for a variety of reasons, including, for example, rental prices being outside of families’ price ranges, or because property owners are not very familiar with the voucher program. Many families with vouchers want to move into Opportunity Areas because they offer high-performing schools and other public amenities.

Families with vouchers from Elm City Communities can sign up to be selected for the program. To assist families in moving to Opportunity Areas, families receive pre- and post-move coaching. They also receive housing search assistance and financial assistance to help cover the security deposit and some other move-related expenses.

Elm City Communities has also taken steps to ensure the rental ceiling standard for homes in the Opportunity Areas are affordable for families and competitive for the property owners in the private rental market.

This program assists Owners with reliable on-time rent payments, landlord-tenant mediation, free property listing service, and more. Program staff work with families and property owners to facilitate good tenant-owner matches and positive relationships between them.


Address Locator Tool 

Clients and property owners can use this page to identify if a property is in an Opportunity Area
and the highest amount the Housing Authority can pay for a unit in that area
by voucher and bedroom size. 

Tool Link: brhp.shinyapps.io/Elm-City-Search-Tool/

Instructions:

Please use this search tool to determine if a home you are interested in renting is in an Opportunity Area. Please fill in all the required information in the form below and then press “Submit.”


Service for Families

Families in ECP work with a Counselor who will discuss your family’s housing and community needs, develop a family preparation plan, work with you to conduct your housing search, and assist you in contacting property owners.

We can only assist families in finding homes in designated Opportunity Areas.

Benefits of Participating in ECP:

 1. Personalized Support: Our dedicated team is here to assist you every step of the way. From helping you settle into your new neighborhood to connecting you with essential services and amenities, we’re committed to making your transition smooth and stress-free.

 2. Financial Assistance: ECP participants are eligible to receive valuable financial assistance, including:

  • Security Deposit Assistance: Receive the equivalent of one month’s rent to help cover your security deposit, easing the financial burden of moving.
  • Move Reimbursements: Up to $300 in reimbursements for expenses related to moving to an opportunity area, including:
  • Application fees (for all family members over the age of 18) for up to 3 units.
  • Transportation costs incurred while visiting potential new homes.
  • Assistance with utilities arrears or deposits, ensuring you have access to essential services from day one.

 3. Community Connections: Joining the ECP isn’t just about finding a new place to live; it’s about becoming part of a supportive community. Through ECP events and activities, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with neighbors, build friendships, and create lasting memories.

 4. Continued Support: Our commitment to your well-being doesn’t end once you’ve settled into your new home. We’ll continue to work with you and your family, providing ongoing support and resources as needed to ensure your tenancy is successful. end once you’ve settled into your new home. We’ll continue to work with you and your family, providing ongoing support and resources as needed to ensure your tenancy is successful. 

If you have a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) from Elm City Communities and you are interested in the Expanded Choice Program, contact Tanya Chirsky at 203-498-8800 x 1147 or ecp@elmcitycommunities.org. You can also make sure that you will qualify for the program by looking at our eligibility guidelines Housing Choice Voucher Eligibility | Elm City Communities.


Property Owners

The Expanded Choice Program connects families with Housing Choice Vouchers to property owners who maintain quality housing in Opportunity Areas in the City of New Haven and its surrounding region.

The Housing Choice Voucher program is a federal rental assistance program that helps low-income families find housing in the private rental market. Families with vouchers only pay a portion of their income towards their rent, and the voucher covers the rest.

We make sure that the unit will be affordable for the family before reaching out to property owners.

Find out why property owners should work with the Expanded Choice Program:

  • Reliable, on-time rent payments: Rental payments paid by the Housing Authority are guaranteed through direct deposit and will increase if the tenant’s income decreases. ECP families also receive security deposit and other financial assistance to ensure timely lease up.
  • Supported families: Tenants receive coaching to help ensure that they will make a successful transition into their new home and security deposit assistance.
  • Landlord-tenant mediation: We can help clarify and resolve issues with the tenancy.
  • Faster processing: Staff will help you fill out the paperwork and efficiently process it.
  • Free listing service: Fill vacancies quickly and save on advertising costs through our exclusive unit list for homes in your area.
  • Property owner portal: You will be able to easily manage your ECP contracts online with self-service tools and personalized account management.
  • Rent to a family in need of a home: Families in the program are looking for homes in Opportunity Areas to give their families the best chances at success. They need property owners, like you, who will give them a chance too.

List your eligible units today! Not sure if your unit is in an Opportunity Area? Check [embedded Address Locator link]. For more information, contact Tanya Chirsky at 203-498-8800 x 1147 or ecp@elmcitycommunities.org.

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