The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) (Assistance follows the family if it moves)

Over 7,000 families and 3,500 housing owners participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) administered by the Housing Authority of the County of Alameda (HACA) because the program is a win-win for both.  It provides rental assistance to eligible families, and guarantees monthly payments to owners.  The family’s portion of the rent is based on household income and ranges from 30 to 40 percent of it.  HACA pays the difference directly to the landlord, up to the Payment Standard.

When HACA determines that a family is eligible for HCVP assistance and funding is available, HACA issues the family a housing voucher.  The family can look for a house or apartment anywhere in HACA’s jurisdiction – as long as the rent is within the maximum that HACA allows the landlord to charge.  Often, the family can use the voucher where it is currently living, as long as the landlord will accept the voucher.  Under portability, the family is also eligible to move to the jurisdictions of other housing authorities that administer an HCV program.

Just as for a renter of unsubsidized housing, once the family finds suitable housing at an approvable rent, the owner screens the family for suitability and the family and owner enter into a lease. HACA then enters into a contract with the owner. The family and HACA begin making their respective monthly payments to the owner so that the owner receives full rent.  HACA’s payment is on time every month.  And, since the family’s rent is made more manageable by the HCVP assistance, it’s easier for the family to make its payment on time each month as well.

HACA continues to make payments to the owner as long as the family is eligible and the housing unit continues to qualify under the program.  If the family moves, the assistance continues and follows the tenant.

HCVP participants can apply to HACA’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS).  The objective of the FSS program is to reduce or eliminate the dependency of low-income families on welfare assistance and on Section 8, public assistance, or any Federal, State, or local rent or homeownership program.  HACA measures the success of its FSS program by the number of FSS families who have become welfare free, obtained their first job or a higher paying job, obtained a diploma or higher education degree, or similar goals that will assist the family in obtaining economic independence.

Click here for more information about the rights and responsibilities of the family, the owner, and HACA in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

For more information regarding HCVP, see HUD’s Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet.

Applicants: Click here for information about applying for HCVP assistance (Note: The HACA Wait list is currently closed.)

Landlords: Click here for more information about the Section 8 HCVP, including the advantages of the program, and how to list your available unit and do business with HACA.

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