“Section 8 in San Diego”: this term is getting a lot of buzz, especially in the case of rental housing. All landlords and property managers must follow this program’s guidelines, but its intricacies are very complex.
That’s why we have got you this blog, which will clarify everything from what exactly it is to the procedure and its impact in a detailed way.
So, let’s get started!
What Is Section 8?
Section 8, also recognized as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, provides rental assistance to more than 16,000 low-income households. Managed by the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), this section aims to bridge the gap between the rental costs in the private market and what low-income individuals or families can afford.
Eligibility For This Section
The criteria below should be met for a person eligible for Section 8.
- Residents and workers within the City of San Diego.
- Annual income should be below 80 percent of San Diego’s Area Median Income (AMI) for individuals and families.
- Active-duty military, veterans, and seniors aged 62 or older have low incomes.
- Homeless families or individuals with disabilities.
Further, it is also important that the one household person has legal documentation. SDHC conducts background checks for the verification of legal status and screens.
You might still get help even if you had some legal trouble, but not if
- You’re on a lifelong sex offender list,
- Made drugs in government housing or got kicked out for drug issues in the last three years.
If one gets selected by meeting all the requirements under Section 8, SDHC will cover 70% of your rent and utilities. You need to pay the rest, which is 30%.
How To Apply For Section 8?
- Firstly, make sure you are eligible and meet all the above criteria. If yes, get ready for the next step!
- Go to the SDHC portal and fill out the Section 8 application for San Diego. If you need any assistance or have a disability, your local library might be able to help or call SDHC’s Wait List Call Center at 619-578-7640.
- After filling out the application, SDHC will look into it, and if you get selected, your name will be on the waiting list. You can view the status by logging into the SDHC Rental Assistance Wait List Portal.
- It is worth remembering that the waiting list might be pretty long because this section fills spots as others open up, so it takes time.
- When it’s finally your turn (which might be a while), SDHC will check for the qualification. And if everything goes well, you will get the voucher and start searching for Section 8 rentals in San Diego.
Now the question arises: How will an individual find the house? Here’s the answer.
There are a few ways to go about it, as listed below.
- Section 8 recipients can live wherever they want in San Diego through the housing choice voucher program. The best part is SDHC has given more flexibility for families to live in areas with better transport, schools, and job options.
- If you visit the Help With Your Rent Page of SDHC, there will be a list of affordable housing resources and interactive maps to help you search for a house.
- You can also search by entering the zip code of the area where you wish to live on the Affordable Housing Website. (Previously known as GoSection8)
What Is The Impact of Section 8 On Property Managers and Landlords?
Landlords can’t say no to tenants because they are on Section 8 and must treat them like any other renter. But yes! They have the authority to apply their regular tenant screening criteria.
There are several benefits of accepting Section 8 for property Managers and landlords, such as:
- They will get the rent money timely, especially the part from the government that comes in at the start of each month.
- Section 8 entities pay on time because losing their voucher is a big deal, given the long waiting list.
- Section 8 tenants bring the perk of scheduled property inspections, which ensures maintenance and compliance.
- Landlords receive access to electronic signature software for streamlined paperwork.
How is Section 8 incorporated into the income assessment?
Section 8 vouchers are considered a valid form of income during applicant screening combined with regular wages and other potential financial aid sources. This collective assessment determines the tenant’s affordability.
Now comes the factors affecting this aspect!
- Whether utilities are included or excluded in the calculation.
- Maximum rent varies based on the zip code of the property.
- Size of the voucher indicates the number of bedrooms (e.g., a studio vs. 2 bedrooms).
- Total yearly income of the tenant.
- Number of individuals in the tenant’s household.
The above evaluation gives a thorough understanding of the tenant’s financial situation which helps in making fair and accurate affordability determinations within the Section 8 program.
What Is The Leasing Process of Section 8 Applicants?
Below are the steps involved in the leasing process for Section 8 applicants.
- After approving a Section 8 applicant for one of your rental properties, the leasing process begins by requesting the Tenancy Approval Packet.
- San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) will review the submitted paperwork and ensure the following.
- The individual or family can afford the rent,
- Complies with Section 8 rules,
- Follow state and local laws,
- Eligible for other criteria like a minimum initial lease term of six months.
- After the approval, the rental unit will undergo an inspection to ensure it meets the health and safety standards stated by the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Tenants have to wait before signing the lease until the procedure is completed.
- Once the unit inspection is completed, final documents will be sent to both parties. Signing and returning the Housing Assistance Payments Contract/Lease Addendum is necessary before the first rental payment.
- The first payment from SDHC will be deposited directly into your account every month after all the documents are submitted.
- Further, payment continuation depends on maintaining health and safety standards and the ongoing eligibility of the Section 8 tenant.
Can Landlords & Managers Raise The Rent?
You must be wondering whether you can raise the rent, given that Section 8 is a financial assistance program. No need to worry about this! Landlords have the authority to raise the rent, but several rules and regulations must be followed.
- For the desired rent rate, landlords can submit their quotes to the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC).
- Then, they will compare the proposed rate with similar units in the area, considering features, amenities, location, unit type, quality, and utilities. After the comparison, SDHC provides a recommendation to the landlord.
- If the decision is unsatisfactory, landlords can submit a comparison of their own to three similar units within a short distance for a second review.
- If approved, the rent increase becomes effective on the date defined by the landlord or on the first of the month following a full 60-day notice, whichever is later.
- For existing Section 8 tenants, landlords must submit a Rent Increase Application and a copy of the written notice provided to the tenant to initiate the process.
To conclude, Section 8 in San Diego links people with limited incomes to decent homes. For tenants, it means more housing options and stability. Landlords can still ask for fair rent, and the program ensures things are going well for everyone.
In case of queries, you can reach out to the Sunset property management professionals, and we’ll be more than happy to help you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the minimum tenure of lease term requirement?
The minimum tenure of lease term requirement is six months.
How long does it take to get on the Section 8 waiting list in San Diego?
The timeline can be more than ten years, and only one application should be submitted at a time.
What is Section 8 in San Diego?
Section 8 in San Diego is a government assistance program that provides affordable housing options for individuals and families with limited financial means.