What is the Rental Assistance Program?

The Wake County Housing Program formerly known as Shelter + Care (S+C), has changed to Rental Assistance Housing Program (RAHP). As with S+C, RAHP continues to target homeless individuals with a documented disability. RAHP provides rental housing assistance, coupled with support services to assist recipients in living more successfully in the community. Applications are submitted by an agency that has the ability to verify an applicant’s disability status and homeless status.

Who is Eligible?

RAHP targets individuals with serious psychiatric disabilities who are literally homeless (living in shelters or verified outdoor locations) and in need of the highest level of support in order to maintain housing. These are permanent housing supports for persons who will need lifelong matching disability supportive services. The program uses a screening tool, Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT). The tool helps to determine the most appropriate housing assistance based on individual needs, so we can prioritize supportive housing for those who need it most. For example, the VI-SPDAT assessment can help to determine if an individual would be best served by receiving Rapid Re-Housing Assistance or Rental Assistance with support services. The VI-SPDAT is a required part of the RAHP housing voucher application.

Where Can You Get the Assessment?

All emergency shelters are already completing the VI-SPDAT assessment and will provide it directly to the RAHP staff when an applicant completes the voucher application and grants permission. Service providers working with homeless individuals who are literally homeless and not staying at a local homeless shelter can refer their clients to Cornerstone for a VI-SPDAT assessment. Cornerstone will provide a statement to the service provider verifying completion of the VI-SPDAT.

Who Completes the Application?

WCHS Housing does not accept applications for Rental Assistance directly from persons in need of assistance. An application for RAHP must be submitted by an agency that has the ability to verify an applicant’s disability status and homeless status. This means that an applicant must have, at the time he or she applies, a relationship with an agency or practitioner that includes a complete disability assessment and diagnosis of the applicant’s disabling condition; and that provider must attend a RAHP training and be certified eligible to make referrals to the program.

Where Can I Submit the Application?

Completed RAHP applications can be delivered to our office at 220 Swinburne Street or faxed to 919-212-9385. WCHS Housing can only accept the current version of the application, which can be found here. An application must be complete in order to determine eligibility. If an application is found to be incomplete, WCHS Housing will contact the Case Manager who submitted the application and inform him or her that the application is incomplete; discuss what is needed to make it complete; and notify the Case Manager that he or she has 10 working days to submit the required information. If the information is not received within 10 working days, the application will be made inactive and destroyed.  

How is the Waitlist Managed?

An unlimited number of RAHP applications will be accepted and placed on an Application Tracker. Applications will be prioritized based on homeless chronicity, service needs and date and time submitted. Ten applicants with the highest need, based on criteria, will be moved to the Voucher List. Service providers will be notified when a client is moved from the Application Tracker to the Voucher List, and housing staff will work with the case manager to update the application. Once the application has been updated, the client will be invited to an orientation session and issued a voucher. The Voucher List is maintained by Supportive Housing. The 10 applications on the Voucher List will be the next to receive a RAHP voucher. These clients will be issued a voucher based solely on their position on the list. For example, after the application at the top of the Voucher List receives a RAHP voucher, the next nine clients on the Voucher List move up one slot. The next application is then moved into the number 10 slot from the Application Tracker. Clients on the Application Tracker move up based on homeless chronicity, service needs and date and time submitted.


If you need additional information, feel free to contact Tarra Duford at Tarra.Duford@wakegov.com or 919-212-8419.