Frequently Asked Questions
Renters or Buyers
1. How can I locate an affordable place to live in Georgia?
Go online to the Georgia Housing Search (GHS) Web site at www.GeorgiaHousingSearch.org for rental housing listings throughout Georgia.
2. Is the GHS Web site for renters or home buyers?
Both. The Web site lists properties for rent and also contains links to information for those interested in homeownership.
3. I am currently enrolled in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's temporary housing program, can the GHS site help me find a place to live for a few months or longer, perhaps?
Yes, the web site allows renters to search for and owners to list by rental properties with short term leases.
Owners or Landlords
- How do I list my properties / get a Password?
Three easy steps:
- Fill out a registration form online (easiest) or call 1-877-428-8844 to register by phone
- Get your username and password
- Log on and list your properties
- Can I only list Section 8 properties?
No. You can list any rental property within cutoff limits for your region. Some regions have no cutoff.
- What's the rental cutoff limit for the housing I want to list?
It depends. Some regions have no cutoff limit. Other regions may let you list up to a certain percentage of the HUD FMR for your area.
After you choose a city to list in, you will find a screen with a chart that tells you what the cutoff based on the number of bedrooms in your unit. Or, as always, you can call 1-877-428-8844 for assistance.
- How much does it cost?
Zero, nada, it's FREE! The Georgia Department of Community Affairs, with support from the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, makes this service possible in your community.
- Who is eligible to sign up?
Anyone who wants to list rental properties, whether you're a property provider, landlord, owner or large-scale property manager responsible for the properties listed.
- Why would I want to sign up for this free service?
- Because you can advertise your properties in detail for FREE while helping your community keep track of housing inventory through this not-for-profit service.
- Because you can inform potential tenants of procedures, rules and requirements before they apply, saving valuable staff time.
- Because it's also free to conduct detailed searches for housing on this service, helping to ensure that your listing(s) will be viewed frequently by people who are serious about renting properties with the specific amenities you have listed.
- Because you control your listings. When a property rents, you can mark it as "rented" immediately from the market and avoid unwanted phone calls. When the property becomes available again, just log on and mark it as "available".. Your information stays in the system, and it costs nothing to maintain an account.
- Because we provide great, free tools to help manage your property inventory.
- Because you save your advertising dollars for more important things like replacing water heaters and screen doors.
- How long does it take to get set up?
In most cases, the process takes less than five minutes.
User-friendly tools and extended call center hours allow for easy access to account information to quickly add and update properties.
- I have been asked to rent a unit to a household displaced by a disaster and they state they qualify for federal disaster assistance. What does that mean to me as the landlord?
Individuals and households impacted by major disasters may be eligible to apply for Individual Assistance (IA) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If the household has qualified they should be able to provide written documentation from FEMA of their qualification.
The Individual Assistance program provides $28,500 (2007 limits) to the household to pay for eligible expenses associated with the damaged residence. The household may use the funds to pay for temporary or transitional housing. The household may also use the funds to make repairs to the damaged unit or to replace items lost in the disaster. The household may also qualify for financial assistance through the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program for rebuilding expenses not covered by insurance or other FEMA programs.
There is no requirement that the household must use any of the FEMA disaster assistance funds to pay for temporary or transitional housing, not any guarantee to the landlord that the rent for a displaced household will be paid from the fund. FEMA does not guarantee rent payments for displaced households and does not make payments directly to landlords.
As a landlord, you should use your existing tenant screening process to determine if you wish to rent to a household displaced by a major disaster.
- I am an owner of a property that received Federal funding. These funding sources result in the property having income limits and rent restrictions. Can I ignore this restriction and rent to a family that has been displaced by a major disaster?
You will need to check with the agency that funded or that monitors the property to determine if and when these limits are relaxed or waived. Make sure you verify the status of each funding source.