The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) contracts with more than 5,200 landlords to rent to tenants who receive Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance. Section 8 housing facts are interesting, to say the least. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which oversees the Section 8 program, defines it as a national program designed to help low-income renters find housing in the private market by providing subsidies to property owners who rent to them.
A program called Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers helps more than 15,000 low-income households including families, Veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities pay their rent in the City of San Diego. How to find Section 8 housing with a felony is described here.
It is important to have accurate information about the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers program. This is SDHC’s largest program, and misconceptions can prevent families from finding participating landlords and may cause landlords to bypass many of the benefits the program provides.
Facts About the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
If you receive your rent subsidy from the Housing Authority, it’s important to understand how the voucher program works and how to handle any issues that may arise. That’s why it’s important for you to know the facts about Section 8 housing and the Section 8 housing choice voucher program. Below are a few facts about section 8.
Fact No 1: Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
Landlords choose Housing Choice Voucher tenants in the same way they choose other tenants, by conducting a screening process.
- Consider verifying a candidate’s credit history, references, and background before making an offer.
- Fair housing laws make sure tenant selection is never based upon race, color, age, religion, sex, or any other discriminatory factor.
- In addition to their participation in the rental assistance program, landlords receive support from SDHC to ensure that tenants fulfill program requirements.
- The Program Integrity Unit of SDHC examines reports of program violations, such as unauthorized family members, and takes appropriate action.
Landlords follow a standard tenant screening process for Section 8 tenants, including checks on credit history and references. Discrimination based on factors like race, age, or religion is strictly prohibited by fair housing laws.
Fact No 2: Landlords Control
Landlords control how many of their units they will rent to low-income tenants with Housing Choice Vouchers.
- A landlord or property manager who accepts one tenant, who receives rental assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, doesn’t have to rent all of their available units to such tenants.
- Landlords who own multiple units are free to decide which if any, units will be occupied by program participants.
- If you move out of a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) apartment, the landlord is not required to rent the vacant unit to another tenant in the program.
Landlords have the flexibility to decide how many of their units they want to rent to low-income tenants with Housing Choice Vouchers. Accepting one voucher tenant doesn’t require renting all available units to such tenants, providing landlords with choices.
Fact No 3: Paperwork a Landlord
Most of the paperwork a landlord is required to complete occurs at the beginning of a new lease, and SDHC staff will help, as needed.
Landlords are responsible for:
- Finding tenants
- Screening prospective tenants
- Collecting security deposits from tenants and providing receipts as required by law
- Completing the Request for Tenancy Approval form
- Obtaining Landlord’s signature on the Request for Tenancy Approval form
- Completing a W-9 form (landlords are considered independent contractors) and mailing it to the address on page 2 of this packet, or faxing it to 619-544-1268. This is a tax requirement and should be mailed immediately.
- Signing lease agreements. The landlord’s signature can be on a copy, which is then attached to the original lease agreement. Landlords are also required to have their tenants sign a Lead Warning Statement advising them of lead hazards in or around the property. Landlords must keep record of this signed statement. The Lead Warning Statement can be found here.
Landlords handle necessary paperwork primarily at the start of a new lease, with assistance from SDHC staff if needed. This includes tenant screening, security deposit collection, and completing essential forms, ensuring compliance with tax requirements and lease agreements.
How do landlords select tenants in the Section 8 program?
Landlords use a screening process, considering factors such as credit history, references, and background checks, while adhering to fair housing laws.
Should landlords rent All the units to Section 8 tenants?
No, landlords have the flexibility to decide how many of their units they will rent to low-income tenants with Housing Choice Vouchers.
What paperwork is required from landlords in the Section 8 program?
Landlords are responsible for various paperwork, including tenant screening, collecting security deposits, completing approval forms, and signing lease agreements.
Are landlords required to rent vacant units to other Section 8 tenants if one tenant moves out?
No, landlords are not obligated to rent vacant units to other Section 8 tenants if one tenant moves out.
What factors do landlords consider when choosing Section 8 tenants?
Landlords consider various factors, but they cannot base tenant selection on discriminatory factors like race, color, age, religion, or sex.
In fact, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program plays a vital role in assisting low-income individuals and families to secure housing in the private market. It is essential to understand how this program works, both for tenants and landlords. Landlords have control over tenant selection, but fair housing laws ensure no discrimination occurs. Proper paperwork and support are available to streamline the process, benefiting both parties involved.
Also Read: Section 8 housing