Renting in the Private Market The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program provides rental assistance for low-income families in the private rental market. It differs from our public housing program in that families rent in the private market and live anywhere they choose in Wythe County. Rental assistance makes market rate housing affordable. Participants normally pay no more than 30% of their monthly adjusted income toward rent and utilities. The Housing Assistance Payment, which comes directly from Wytheville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, subsidizes the balance of the rent to the property owner. The contract rent plus the cost of utilities equals a gross rent, for which Wythe County has maximum allowable levels. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established the Fair Market Rent and a rent reasonableness survey to ensure that properties on the program compare equally to other properties in the locality. The payment standard amount is the maximum amount that a unit can rent for including the utility allowance. A home selected for rent must also meet established Housing Quality Standards. These standards ensure that the property provides safe, decent, sanitary living conditions for the family. The property is inspected before inclusion in the HCV program, and then inspected again annually to maintain the standards. A certified inspector performs each inspection or with WRHA permission the owner may self certify.