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Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Specialist

Classification: Housing Choice Voucher Specialist
Supervisor: Director of Housing Choice Voucher
Position Status: Exempt
Supervision Exercised: None
Revision Date: July, 2012

Position Summary/Objectives 

  • The Housing Choice Voucher Specialist is responsible for administering tenant-based rental assistance to an assigned caseload of 300 - 400 eligible low-income families and individuals participating in the Housing Authority of Champaign County (HACC) Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV), in accordance with program policies and procedures.
  • The Housing Choice Voucher Specialist is responsible and accountable for the implementation of all aspects of program administration including but not limited to eligibility screening; employment, income, training, and school verifications; housing subsidy assistance and rent calculations; voucher issuance; approving requests for tenancy; approving requests for reasonable accommodations, program moves, and portability; landlord eligibility screening; housing assistance payments contracting; payment processing; annual contract renewal processing; conducting periodic re-certifications/re-exams; referrals to Family Self Sufficiency services; determining program compliance and handling program terminations; monitoring caseload activities; and providing client and landlord customer service. The Housing Choice Voucher Specialist must be attentive to the social service needs and challenges faced by low-income families and individuals.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Administers all aspects of activities required in the administration of HACC's Housing Choice Voucher program as outlined above for assigned caseload of 300 - 400 clients.
  • Monitors and manages caseload, ensuring that clients and landlords meet and continue to comply with program eligibility and participation requirements.
  • Conducts initial and periodic re-certifications/re-exams of clients to ensure accuracy and timely determinations of eligibility and subsidy assistance calculations in accordance with HACC policies and applicable U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations. 
  • Provides excellent direct customer service to clients and landlords participating in the HCV program, including but not limited to responding to inquiries and requests from clients, landlords, and the general public.
  • Documents all tasks completed in the appropriate client and landlord files within the HACC computer system and maintains records in accordance with established document management requirements.
  • Responsible for timely and accurate follow-ups to complete tasks; opens, reviews, and acts upon all mail, telephone, and electronic and phone call inquiries received within established timelines; uses agency-approved forms, letters, and correspondence; assures that all correspondence issued is the correct and most recent version.
  • Contributes to the assigned team; actively participates in team meetings, process improvements, and other special projects; collaborates with and supports all team members and follows through on initiatives and assignments as directed.
  • Embraces and supports all initiatives, policies, and procedures within the Housing Choice Operations department; implements all new requirements in accordance with established guidelines.
  • Performs other related tasks as required. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required

  • The Housing Choice Voucher Specialist role requires skilled reading, analyzing, and interpreting data, documents, information, and publications.
  • Must be able to evaluate information and situations in order to make sound independent decisions.
  • Must possess problem-solving abilities with skills to identify critical issues and develop and execute plans to resolve disputes.
  • Demonstrated ability to use critical thinking to solve problems.
  • Organization and Records Management Skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to use time-management skills to achieve success with schedules, workloads, and deadlines.
  • Ability to utilize organizational skills to manage all aspects of a client's case; including tracking activities, updating records and monitoring outcomes. Must manage files and documents, follow recordkeeping requirements, and maintain confidentiality.
  • Manage multiple work streams and priorities simultaneously while maintaining quality, customer service standards, and accuracy.
  • Must use basic to advanced math skills to complete financial forms, develop reports, and understand statistical data. Must use math in daily work tasks, such as calculating financial eligibility for services, determining the level of subsidy assistance, or monitoring expenditures.
  • Highly proficient in data entry and computer skills and the ability to use and manage computer files, use databases, create spreadsheets, and prepare presentations.
  • Must have aptitude to become proficient with proprietary database operations and demonstrate functional proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
  • Housing Choice Voucher Specialist requires strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills and the ability to forge positive relationships with clients, co-workers, and colleagues.
  • Must possess the ability to influence, interview, and negotiate.
  • Must demonstrate excellent listening skills, presentation, and public speaking skills and the ability to share information effectively with diverse groups.
  • Must possess strong writing skills to compose documents, reports, and correspondence.
  • Knowledge of Housing Authority of Champaign County, HCV program, and/or HUD Section 8 programs preferred. 

Additional Responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain rapport with landlords, owners, and property managers as needed.
  • Conduct landlord briefings on contract obligations.
  • Conduct voucher briefing sessions, as necessary.
  • Establish and maintain contact with other human service delivery agencies; inform and refer clients as appropriate.
  • Identify and confer with other staff regarding department functions, procedures, and client status; request assistance from other involved areas as necessary.
  • Assist in researching, developing, maintaining, and revising department forms, procedures, and control systems as needed for direct duties and responsibilities.
  • Evaluate and complete studies on rent conditions and market availability.
  • Authorize HAP payments.
  • Other duties, as required.
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Detailed working knowledge of HCV program requirements.
  • Thorough knowledge of department practices and procedures.
  • Working ability to express ideas in oral and written form.
  • Considerable ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with fellow employees, tenants, and owners.
  • Considerable ability to organize and expedite workload.
  • Considerable ability to initiate work projects and to work independently.
  • Working knowledge of local human services resources. 
  • Thorough knowledge of Housing Choice Voucher program existing regulations and policies as they pertain to briefings, portability, and terminations.
  • Some knowledge of locally-administered housing and community development programs and other public agencies.
  • Working knowledge of tenant rights.
  • Thorough knowledge of leasing documents.
  • Considerable ability to work under pressure and to be flexible.
  • Considerable ability to work with people from disadvantaged situations.
  • Working ability to interpret and apply regulations accurately.
  • Thorough ability to respect privacy and confidentiality of client interviews, information, and files.
  • Considerable ability to be organized and to manage time effectively.
  • Considerable ability to perform simple mathematical functions with accuracy.
  • Considerable ability to work with staff in other city and agency departments.
  • Considerable ability to disseminate, discuss, and discern information.
  • Considerable ability to sell program ideas and concepts.
  • Considerable ability to interview and brief clients.
  • Skills in effective communication and negotiations.



  • Improving individual employee productivity and quality of work.
  • Increasing personal, staff, and owner satisfaction while maintaining production.
  • Interpreting regulations accurately.
  • Maintaining control of systems as they exist to ensure the accuracy of programs and timelines of program delivery.
  • Monitoring program abuse by clients.
  • Approving and documenting programmatic interpretations in unusual or complex situations in a manner justifiable to program monitors and auditors. • Dealing successfully with irate individuals and groups.
  • Prioritizing responsibilities and projects.


  • Resolving conflicts between program participants and owners after all other avenues have been exhausted.
  • Implementing HUD-required changes to programs within generally tight timelines.
  • Resolving cases of suspected program abuse by clients, owners, and other staff.
  • Modifying procedures to meet changing needs.
  • Dealing with difficult employees, owners, and program participants. 

Minimum Requirements

  • Associate's degree or better in business, public administration, urban studies, human or social services or related field; or 3 years progressively responsible related work experience, of which 2 years were in case management or property management capacity; or a combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of three years of demonstrated hands-on experience effectively managing client caseloads of 300 - 400 clients, including accountability for implementing a full spectrum of activities required in administering a public assistance, subsidy or comparable program.
  • Functional proficiency with technology used on-the-job to include Microsoft Office Suite and proprietary software, and other technology applications used to support organizational objectives.
  • Must obtain the Housing Choice Voucher Specialist certification within one (1) year of hire.

Physical Requirements/Work Environment

  • Generally works in an office environment.
  • Must be able to sit and stand for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to work in a deadline-focused and fast-paced environment.
  • Occasional travel by automobile within the county area may be required to conduct home visits.
  • Must be able to work in a deadline-focused and fast-paced environment.
  • Occasional overtime as required to meet workload demands.
  • Valid Illinois Driver's license and be insurable under the agency's commercial insurance policy.
  • Full-time use of personal vehicle. 

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