Rental Choice Virginia Timeline

Introduction to Rental Choice Virginia -- For individuals with intellectual disabilities


  • Support Coordinators identify eligible individuals on their caseloads and introduce them to Rental Choice VA. Individual indicates interest in Rental Choice VA to Support Coordinator.
  • Support Coordinator completes Rental Choice VA referral and submits to CSB Housing Coordinator.
  • CSB Housing Coordinator screens referral and notifies Support Coordinator whether individual meets basic eligibility criteria and can move forward.
  • Eligible individual attends a Rental Choice VA Orientation Session (with family) to discuss details about program requirements, the transition process, supportive service options and funding.


  • Prep for the Initial Transition Meeting: Individual and Support Coordinator (with help from the residential program) complete the Housing Needs Survey and Household Budget Profile.
  • Initial Transition Meeting: Individual and the Person-centered Planning (PcP) team review the Housing Needs Survey and Budget Profile and decide whether, with a rent subsidy, the individual has sufficient financial resources to live in the desired independent housing arrangement. If not, the team discusses strategies to help the individual maintain a balanced household budget. If these strategies cannot achieve a balanced budget, the individual may not be able to participate in Rental Choice VA at this time.

If the individual can achieve a balanced or positive budget with a rental subsidy, then the team reviews the individual’s strengths, abilities, likes, interests, dislikes, needs for support, and learning goals in his/her own rented home. The team outlines what supports are needed at home and in the community, when, and how often. The team identifies service providers and community resources that could meet the individual’s support needs. The Support Coordinator links the individual and family to providers and resources, focusing on addressing critical support needs first (e.g., health and safety, financial security and stability, lease compliance, etc.).

  •  Individual/family contacts service providers to discuss service needs, provider philosophy, service delivery model, availability, and service capacity in the region where the individual wants to live and at the times of day the individual needs services.
  • Individual/family notifies Support Coordinator regarding choice of provider(s).
  • Individual/family completes applications to provider(s) for services.
  • Provider(s) make decisions on acceptance of individual and Support Coordinator sends referral information to the provider(s).
    • Second Transition Meeting: Individual and PcP team review services secured for critical support needs.
    • If the team has secured all critical services, the Support Coordinator can help the individual complete the Rental Choice VA Application, including the Housing Needs Survey, Household Budget Profile, and a copy of the proposed Consumer Services Plan for independent housing.
    • If the team identifies service gaps, it will review options tried and outcomes, barriers the team has experienced to securing services, and strategies to address these barriers. If needed, the Support Coordinator should request a consultation from the Community Resource Consultant (CRC) on how to address these barriers. If the team, with help from the CRC, is unable to develop and implement successful strategies to secure critical services needed to assist the individual to live independently in the community, the team may be unable to move forward with Rental Choice VA at this time. Support Coordinator should document the service gaps, options tried/outcomes, barriers, strategies tried, and outcomes of these strategies in a memo to the CSB Housing Coordinator. This information will be presented to the DBHDS Interagency Housing Workgroup.
  • CSB Housing Coordinator processes the Rental Choice VA application. If individual meets eligibility criteria, Coordinator issues the individual a Rental Choice VA certificate good for 90 days. If all slots are filled, the first ten eligible individuals will be placed on a waitlist.
  • Support Coordinator schedules intake meetings with each provider, the individual and where appropriate, family.
  • Support Coordinator links the individual to a Housing Locator who uses the individual’s Housing Needs Survey to identify and provide referrals to at least three safe, decent housing options that are within the Rental Choice VA program rent limits. Housing Locator will talk with landlords in advance about who Rental Choice VA serves and negotiate more flexible terms around application requirements. This effort should increase the likelihood of successful first-time applications.


  • Third Transition Meeting: The individual and the PcP team begin planning for specific items and resources the individual needs to move to independent housing, including home modifications, furniture, supplies, and funding for upfront housing costs (e.g., application, security deposit, utility connections, moving expenses, etc.). The team decides how to move the individual (e.g., hire a moving company, rent a moving truck, or simply utilize existing vehicles). The team also determines who will accompany the individual to visit/assess potential housing options to see if they meet the main criteria identified in the Housing Needs Survey.
  • Individual and family or PcP team member visit properties to decide on most appropriate housing option.
  • Support Coordinator submits Waiver Transition Services request for funds to cover upfront housing costs.
  • Fourth & Fifth Transition Meetings: The individual and PcP team continue to plan the implementation of any home modifications and begin securing furniture and supplies. Plans are made for continuity of health care/behavioral health care, adaptive equipment, medications, transportation between daytime activities and the new home, emergency phone numbers, bank accounts, food for the first week, cash on hand, etc.
  • Individual and family notify Support Coordinator of the housing property that is selected. If the individual needs assistance with any fees (application, security deposit, etc.), he/she must provide documentation of the fees to the Support Coordinator. Support Coordinator submits check requests.
  • Individual submits rental application to leasing staff at the property. Leasing staff approve application.


  • Residential Program staff meets with staff of new service provider(s) to educate them about how to effectively support the individual (e.g., communication, behavior, physical needs, etc.).
  • Support Coordinator provides leasing staff a Request for Tenancy Approval form. Leasing staff complete the form and fax it to the CSB Housing Coordinator.
  • CSB Housing Coordinator determines whether the rent is reasonable and the unit meets Housing Quality Standards. Rent must be reasonable compared to Fair Market Rent and similar, unassisted units in the property and the market area. Unit’s condition must pass a third-party, visual inspection of basic health and safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
  • CSB Housing Coordinator requests the fiscal agent execute a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Agreement with the landlord. This agreement specifies how much the individual and the Rental Choice VA program will pay toward the total contract rent, and under what conditions.


  • Residential Program staff meets with new service provider staff to bring new service providers up to speed on current major issues and changes related to health, safety and support concerns.
  • Individual signs the lease with the landlord AFTER the inspection is complete, the landlord has executed the HAP Agreement and the Support Coordinator and Housing Locator have reviewed the lease for compliance with Rental Choice VA requirements.
  • Time to BOX UP!


  • Individual must obey the terms of the lease and the Rental Choice VA Participation Agreement. Make sure these documents are kept in a safe place! At the end of each year when the lease is up for renewal, the unit must be re-inspected. In addition, if the individual’s income changes or the household sizes changes, the individual will need to complete the recertification process.