As a property owner, you may be wondering “What is Section 8, and what are the advantages of providing Section 8 rentals?” Here are some frequently asked questions about Section 8.
Q: What is Section 8?
A: The California Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher) Program is a federal government initiative that aims to help low-income families in the state to access affordable, safe and sanitary housing. This program is operated by the California Housing Authority (PHA) which has offices spread across the state. The California Public Housing Authority (PHA) receives funds directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and uses these funds to administer the vouchers to beneficiaries of the program. (1)
Q: How does section 8 work?
A: After an applicant is approved, the Section 8 program pays a housing subsidy directly to the landlord, for a portion of the rent. Section 8 recipients pay the difference between the actual rent and the program subsidy.
Q: What are the advantages to accepting Section 8?
A: There are several benefits to accepting Section 8. First, when accepting 8, the government pays housing vouchers directly to the owner, always on time. Then, the tenant must also pay rent on time, or else they run the risk of losing the voucher. Additionally, Section 8 tenants often hold leases long term and they frequently renew leases, because Section 8 approved housing can be difficult to find.
Q: Are there any drawbacks to accepting Section 8?
A: Some landlords have the idea that it might be risky to rent to a Section 8 tenant, but for a tenant to be eligible to receive the assistance they must meet certain requirements. Tenants are screened by HUD and some of the requirements include the requirement that they not been evicted from a property within the last three years for drug-related criminal activity.
Q: Is my property eligible?
A: To find out if your property qualifies, start by reviewing your local Public Housing Agency's requirements, and making sure you meet them. Then you will need to complete a Section 8 application disclosing the property location and the amount of rent you wish to charge for your property. Then, you'll need an appointment for inspection. An inspector from your local office will perform the inspection, they will make sure your property meets all the housing quality standards and they'll verify that the rent you are charging is reasonable. If your property passes inspection, you may begin seeking a tenant. If it fails, then you need to fix whatever did not pass the inspection.
For more information, feel free to contact our Property Managers.