The Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program is the federal government’s largest program for assisting low-income families, including the elderly and the disabled, to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. Housing assistance is provided directly to the landlord on behalf of the family or individual; participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.
Families and individuals must meet Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) eligibility requirements.
Low-income families and individuals who are on SCCHA’s waiting list (which has not been opened since 2006).
Prior to being approved for a voucher, SCCHA performs a limited screen of household members for criminal activity such as lifetime registered sex offender status.
Applicants and participants in the HCV/Section 8 program are issued a voucher which allows them to search for a unit.
Applicants and participants may use their voucher outside of Santa Clara County through a process called Portability.
Participants are allowed to rent a unit of a size other than that issued on their voucher within certain limits.
When the household finds a unit that it wishes to lease and reaches an agreement with the landlord over the lease terms, SCCHA must inspect the dwelling and determine that the rent requested is reasonable.
Once a unit has been inspected and the contract rent (total amount of rent to be charged for the unit under the lease) approved, the owner and tenant must sign a lease with the approved reasonable rent and the owner must sign a Housing Assistance Payment contract with SCCHA.
Owners receive two rent payments each month, one from the participant and one from SCCHA. The participant pays 32% of their income toward the rent, and SCCHA covers the difference, up to a specified limit.
Participants and owners are provided written notification anytime there is a change to the amount of the tenant portion of the rent and amount of the HAP portion. If the change results in an increase to the tenant’s portion, 30-day written notification will be provided.
For more information about the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program click here click here.
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