Rental Assistance

Tenant Based Rental Assistance

Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) is a rental subsidy that can be used to help individual households afford housing costs such as:

  • rent
  • security deposits
  • utility bills
  • utility deposits

The program provides payments to make up the difference between the amount a household can afford to pay for housing and the local rent standard.

Other things that make this program different:

  • It helps individual households, rather than subsidizing new affordable rental projects.
  • Assistance moves with the tenant. If the household no longer wishes to rent a particular unit, the household may take its assistance and move to another rental property.
  • The level of assistance varies based on the income of the household, the unit the household selects and the rent standard.

TBRA offers flexibility for households to choose the neighborhood and type of housing (such as a single-family home, large apartment building, duplex, garden-style unit, etc.). It also offers jurisdictions flexibility to meet fluctuating demand for housing and allow the design of specialized programs specifically for people with disabilities.

Since TBRA programs are tenant-based, the City can terminate the assistance if the tenant fails to meet program requirements. TBRA poses no long-term financial obligation to the City.

Selection Process

Maximum Income

Since 1992, Hamilton County has used funds for a TBRA program that provides affordable housing for people with disabilities whose household income is below 50% of area median income. 

Based on household size, maximum incomes for 2010 are:

  • 1 person: $24,350
  • 2 people: $27,800
  • 3 people: $31,300
  • 4 people: $34,750
  • 5 people: $37,550
  • 6 people: $40,350
  • 7 people: $43,100
  • 8 people: $45,900


  • The applicant must qualify as a family.
  • One or more members of the family must be disabled.
  • The family’s annual income must fall below 50% AMI.
  • The family must not owe rent or other amounts to the program or another PHA.
  • The family must not have been evicted within the past three years from Public or Indian Housing, or a Section 23 or Section 8 Program, because of drug-related criminal activity.
  • The family must not be illegally using a controlled substance or abusing alcohol.
  • The family members must be U.S. citizens or have eligible immigration status.
  • The family must not include a member who is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program.
  • The family must not include a member who has been convicted of a violent criminal act or a felony drug-related criminal act within the past three years.
  • The family must not have been terminated from another assisted housing program for fraud within the last two years.

Applying For Assistance

The County utilizes a waiting list that is established through referrals from the Center for Independent Living Options. Applications are available based on availability of room on the waiting list.

Clients and staff of these agencies complete the forms. The forms, along with income verification information, are then submitted to the County for final review and approval to be placed on the waiting list.

Applicants are placed on the waiting list in the order they are determined to be eligible.

For more information, contact Suzanne Hopkins, Director of Programs with The Center for Independent Living Options, at 513-241-2600.