For Existing Tenants with Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)

What you can do on this page:

  • Learn about the Tenant Portal, so you can quickly send documents to your Housing Specialist, report household changes, report income changes, and more
  • Learn about Housing Choice Voucher processes for existing tenants
  • Find rental units that accept Housing Choice Vouchers
  • Sign up for a free Housing Search Workshop

Processes for Housing Choice Voucher Participants

Re-examination Process for Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program in Santa Clara County, CA

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Participants in SCCHA’s housing assistance programs must report changes in income within 15 business days of the change. This must be done in writing.

Increases in Income

If your income has increased, you must notify SCCHA. Generally, increases in income are not processed between re-examinations except for families enrolled in the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program.

  • Use the Tenant Portal or submit your change of income (in writing) to your Housing Specialist, advising of the type of income that has increased.
  • Provide verification of the income that has increased. This can include paystubs, offer of employment, revised child support documentation, or Social Security award letters.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if more information is needed.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if there are any changes to your rent portion including the effective date of the change.

Decreases in Income

If your income has decreased, you must notify SCCHA. Decreases will be reviewed by your Housing Specialist.

  • Submit your change of income (in writing) to your Housing Specialist, advising of the income that has decreased.
  • Provide verification of the income that has decreased. This can include paystubs, notification of termination of employment, revised child support documentation, or Social Security award letters.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if additional information is needed.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if there are any changes to your rent portion including the effective date of the change.

When you add or remove someone from your household, you must notify SCCHA within 15 business days of the change.

Adding Someone to Your Household

If you want to add someone to your household, you must first receive approval from SCCHA. If the new member is an adult, you must receive written permission from the owner or landlord prior to submitting your request to SCCHA.

  • Submit your request (in writing) or through the Tenant Portal to your Housing Specialist, letting them know who you would like to add.
  • Provide documents for the person(s) you are requesting to add. These can include birth certificates, custody documents (for minors), Social Security cards and photo identification.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if more information is needed.
  • You may be required to attend an office appointment.
  • You will be notified (in writing) of the decision, as well as any changes to your voucher size or rent portion.

Allowing someone to move in without SCCHA permission may be grounds for termination from the program.

Removing Someone from Your Household

If you need to remove someone from your household, you must notify SCCHA within 15 business days of the change.

  • Submit your request (in writing) or through the Tenant Portal to your Housing Specialist, advising who you would like to remove.
  • Provide verification of a lease agreement, utility bill or death certificate for the person you are wishing to remove.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if more information is needed.
  • You will be notified in writing as to any changes to your voucher size or rent portion.

Moving Process With A Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8)

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We make it easy to move to or from Santa Clara County, CA with a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). This is called Portability.

Learn More

Re-examination Process

Re-examination Process for Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program in Santa Clara County, CA

Learn More

Reporting Changes in Income

Participants in SCCHA’s housing assistance programs must report changes in income within 15 business days of the change. This must be done in writing.

Increases in Income

If your income has increased, you must notify SCCHA. Generally, increases in income are not processed between re-examinations except for families enrolled in the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program.

  • Use the Tenant Portal or submit your change of income (in writing) to your Housing Specialist, advising of the type of income that has increased.
  • Provide verification of the income that has increased. This can include paystubs, offer of employment, revised child support documentation, or Social Security award letters.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if more information is needed.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if there are any changes to your rent portion including the effective date of the change.

Decreases in Income

If your income has decreased, you must notify SCCHA. Decreases will be reviewed by your Housing Specialist.

  • Submit your change of income (in writing) to your Housing Specialist, advising of the income that has decreased.
  • Provide verification of the income that has decreased. This can include paystubs, notification of termination of employment, revised child support documentation, or Social Security award letters.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if additional information is needed.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if there are any changes to your rent portion including the effective date of the change.

Adding or Removing Someone to Your Household

When you add or remove someone from your household, you must notify SCCHA within 15 business days of the change.

Adding Someone to Your Household

If you want to add someone to your household, you must first receive approval from SCCHA. If the new member is an adult, you must receive written permission from the owner or landlord prior to submitting your request to SCCHA.

  • Submit your request (in writing) or through the Tenant Portal to your Housing Specialist, letting them know who you would like to add.
  • Provide documents for the person(s) you are requesting to add. These can include birth certificates, custody documents (for minors), Social Security cards and photo identification.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if more information is needed.
  • You may be required to attend an office appointment.
  • You will be notified (in writing) of the decision, as well as any changes to your voucher size or rent portion.

Allowing someone to move in without SCCHA permission may be grounds for termination from the program.

Removing Someone from Your Household

If you need to remove someone from your household, you must notify SCCHA within 15 business days of the change.

  • Submit your request (in writing) or through the Tenant Portal to your Housing Specialist, advising who you would like to remove.
  • Provide verification of a lease agreement, utility bill or death certificate for the person you are wishing to remove.
  • You will be notified (in writing) if more information is needed.
  • You will be notified in writing as to any changes to your voucher size or rent portion.

Starting the Move Process

Moving Process With A Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8)

Learn More

Portability (Moving to or from Santa Clara County with your voucher)

We make it easy to move to or from Santa Clara County, CA with a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). This is called Portability.

Learn More

Other Information and Resources for Existing Tenants

The chart below details the Payment Standards, or how much the Santa Clara County Housing Authority can pay towards the contract rent of households receiving rental assistance:

0 BR 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4 BR 5 BR 6 BR 7 BR 8 BR
$2,209 $2,491 $2,983 $3,834 $4,382 $4,986 $5,648 $6,287 $6,937
Single Room Occupancy (SRO)
$1,657

Housing size subsidy standards determine the number of bedrooms needed for families of different sizes. SCCHA is legally required to give the family the smallest subsidy that they qualify for based on family size. The family unit size number is entered on the voucher issued to the family. The household is responsible for paying for any bedroom(s) above the allocated unit size.

SCCHA does not determine where family members may sleep, or who shares a bedroom or other room in the home.

SCCHA’s Subsidy Standards:

  • One (1) room for every two people
  • Approved live-in aides qualify for one (1) additional room
  • An additional room may also be provided as a reasonable accommodation of a disability

Sometimes households choose to live in units which have a different number of bedrooms from the number on the voucher. In those instances, there are also limits on how many people may live in a unit:

Unit Size Minimum Persons In Household Maximum Persons In Household
Single Room Occupancy (SRO) - -
Studio (0 BR) 1 2
1 Bedroom 1 4
2 Bedrooms 3 6
3 Bedrooms 5 8
4 Bedrooms 7 10
5 Bedrooms 9 12
6 Bedrooms 11 14

Most processes can be started online using the Tenant Portal. If you need printable forms, please find them linked below:

Move Forms and Flyers

Family Self Sufficiency Forms

Other Forms and Documents

Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan and Participant Policies

Learn More

Participants in all of SCCHA’s housing assistance programs have certain rights. If you believe your rights have been violated, please contact your Housing Specialist. These rights include:

  • Living in a unit that is safe, decent and sanitary
  • Protection from unlawful discrimination
  • Holding the property owner liable for damage to the unit caused by landlord negligence
  • Paying only the amount of rent approved by SCCHA
  • Receiving proper move-out notice
  • Protections under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). You must not be denied assistance, terminated from participation, or be evicted from your rental housing because you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking*

*If you feel you qualify for VAWA protections, click here to learn more about how SCCHA may be able to assist you.

As a participant in any SCCHA housing assistance program, you must follow certain rules. Failure to follow these rules may lead to termination of rental assistance. Some of your responsibilities include:

  • Providing required information for your regularly scheduled reexaminations, and any other relevant housing information
  • Reporting changes to income or household composition within 10 business days
  • Allowing SCCHA representatives to conduct regularly scheduled inspections
  • Allowing only authorized people to reside in the unit – you cannot lease or sub-lease the unit
  • Complying with the owner’s lease, including paying your portion of the rent
  • Complying with the terms of your voucher and Tenancy Addendum
  • Copying SCCHA on any notices from or to the property owner, including 3-day pay or quit, eviction, rent adjustments and notice to move/vacate

For a complete list of your participant obligations, please click here

Payment Standards

The chart below details the Payment Standards, or how much the Santa Clara County Housing Authority can pay towards the contract rent of households receiving rental assistance:

0 BR 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4 BR 5 BR 6 BR 7 BR 8 BR
$2,209 $2,491 $2,983 $3,834 $4,382 $4,986 $5,648 $6,287 $6,937
Single Room Occupancy (SRO)
$1,657
Subsidy Standards and Rental Unit Size

Housing size subsidy standards determine the number of bedrooms needed for families of different sizes. SCCHA is legally required to give the family the smallest subsidy that they qualify for based on family size. The family unit size number is entered on the voucher issued to the family. The household is responsible for paying for any bedroom(s) above the allocated unit size.

SCCHA does not determine where family members may sleep, or who shares a bedroom or other room in the home.

SCCHA’s Subsidy Standards:

  • One (1) room for every two people
  • Approved live-in aides qualify for one (1) additional room
  • An additional room may also be provided as a reasonable accommodation of a disability

Sometimes households choose to live in units which have a different number of bedrooms from the number on the voucher. In those instances, there are also limits on how many people may live in a unit:

Unit Size Minimum Persons In Household Maximum Persons In Household
Single Room Occupancy (SRO) - -
Studio (0 BR) 1 2
1 Bedroom 1 4
2 Bedrooms 3 6
3 Bedrooms 5 8
4 Bedrooms 7 10
5 Bedrooms 9 12
6 Bedrooms 11 14

Forms for Housing Choice Voucher Participants

Most processes can be started online using the Tenant Portal. If you need printable forms, please find them linked below:

Move Forms and Flyers

Family Self Sufficiency Forms

Other Forms and Documents

Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan + Participant Policies

Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan and Participant Policies

Learn More

Participant Rights

Participants in all of SCCHA’s housing assistance programs have certain rights. If you believe your rights have been violated, please contact your Housing Specialist. These rights include:

  • Living in a unit that is safe, decent and sanitary
  • Protection from unlawful discrimination
  • Holding the property owner liable for damage to the unit caused by landlord negligence
  • Paying only the amount of rent approved by SCCHA
  • Receiving proper move-out notice
  • Protections under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). You must not be denied assistance, terminated from participation, or be evicted from your rental housing because you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking*

*If you feel you qualify for VAWA protections, click here to learn more about how SCCHA may be able to assist you.

Participant Responsibilities

As a participant in any SCCHA housing assistance program, you must follow certain rules. Failure to follow these rules may lead to termination of rental assistance. Some of your responsibilities include:

  • Providing required information for your regularly scheduled reexaminations, and any other relevant housing information
  • Reporting changes to income or household composition within 10 business days
  • Allowing SCCHA representatives to conduct regularly scheduled inspections
  • Allowing only authorized people to reside in the unit – you cannot lease or sub-lease the unit
  • Complying with the owner’s lease, including paying your portion of the rent
  • Complying with the terms of your voucher and Tenancy Addendum
  • Copying SCCHA on any notices from or to the property owner, including 3-day pay or quit, eviction, rent adjustments and notice to move/vacate

For a complete list of your participant obligations, please click here

Search for Housing

Looking for affordable housing in Santa Clara County? Whether you have a Housing Choice Voucher or not, you may search local rental vacancies at AffordableHousing.com or with any of the property managers who specialize in affordable rentals. If you currently have a voucher, you can also approach a landlord to see if they’d be willing to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher program.

Search for Properties Accepting Housing Choice Vouchers

Affordable Housing The John Stewart Company FPI Management
or

Request a Landlord to Accept Housing Choice Vouchers

If you already know where you want to live, you can approach the landlord and request that they rent to you with your Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8).

Learn More

Upcoming Housing Search Workshops

Even with a Housing Choice Voucher, it’s not always easy finding an affordable place to rent. SCCHA offers free workshops to help you succeed in your search. Learn everything from how the process works to how to fill out a rental application.

Stay Tuned!
Please check back later for more workshop dates.

FAQ

See the answers to questions we are commonly asked by existing tenants. Still have more questions?

Read Full FAQ

Please see the general response timelines below:

Response to call or email: Housing Specialists are working through their messages as quickly as possible and it may take up to 3 business days to respond to your inquiry. If your Housing Specialist is out of the office, another staff member will cover the answering of their calls and/or emails.

Response to income change request: processing times for income change requests is roughly 4-6 weeks. When your request is processed, SCCHA will send a letter to you and your landlord notifying all parties of the change. In many cases, the effective date of your new rent amount is the first day of the month after your Housing Specialist has received all supporting documentation.

Response to request for reasonable accommodation: The processing time for reasonable accommodation requests is roughly 4-6 weeks. Reasonable accommodations requests may be submitted to your Housing Specialist either verbally or in writing. After you share the request with SCCHA, the medical or other knowledgeable professional you listed in the request must respond to SCCHA's confirmation inquiry. SCCHA will mail you a letter with the decision.

As a Housing Choice Voucher participant, you'll generally pay 30% of your income in rent. The easiest way to find your rent portion is by using the Tenant Portal, where you can always find your updated rent amount without having to contact your Housing Specialist.

SCCHA recommends you advise your landlord of the anticipated change and pay as much as you can, if not all, of your last known rent portion. Please note that SCCHA will process the change to reflect around 30% of your household's updated income. Once SCCHA has notified you and the landlord of the change in your rent portion, you and your landlord can collaborate to figure out any reimbursements or credits to the following months' rent.