Why the Section 8 HCVP makes sense for landlords

You, probably, already rent to families that are very similar to those receiving The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) assistance1.

  • Worried about who won’t make rent this month?  Next month?  Every month?
  • Think you'd worry less if part of the rent—often the lion’s share—were guaranteed each month?  Mailed directly to you?  On the first of each month?
  • Think there’s got to be a better way?
  • There is.  The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program--a win-win for landlords and tenants.  Rental assistance that lowers the rent of eligible families, and guarantees on-time monthly payments to owners.

The Housing Authority of the County of Alameda's (HACA's) utility allowance is its estimate of the monthly cost of the reasonable consumption of those essential utilities (and, if supplied by the tenant, the refrigerator and/or stove) not included in the tenant rent but for which the tenant is responsible.  The utility allowance does not include the cost of telephone or cable services.

The utility allowances below are effective 7/1/16 for moves and income redeterminations effective 7/1/16 or later.

7/1/16 Utility Allowance - Multi-Unit Buildings & Attached Homes
  Studio 1-Br 2-Br 3-Br 4-Br 5-Br 6-Br

Heating - Electric

$16 $16 $23 $29 $33 $51 $59
Heating - Gas $13 $18 $20 $24 $27 $28 $32
Cooking - Electric $3 $4 $5 $5 $6 $7 $8
Cooking - Gas $2 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3
Hot Water - Electric $20 $23 $40 $51 $53 $52 $60
Hot Water - Gas $9 $12 $16 $22 $26 $30 $35
Refrigerator1 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $10
Stove1 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $10
Water $29 $41 $52 $64 $82 $93 $107
Sewer $23 $23 $23 $23 $23 $23 $26
Trash $29 $29 $29 $49 $49 $78 $90
Electric - Other $22 $29 $39 $48 $55 $60 $69
1 Tenant-Supplied              
 
7/1/16 Utility Allowance - Single Family
  Studio 1-Br 2-Br 3-Br 4-Br 5-Br 6-Br
Heating - Electric $19 $19 $36 $47 $81 $88 $101
Heating - Gas $18 $22 $29 $35 $39 $50 $58
Cooking - Electric $3 $4 $5 $5 $6 $7 $8
Cooking - Gas $2 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3
Hot Water - Electric $20 $23 $38 $51 $53 $52 $60
Hot Water - Gas $9 $12 $16 $22 $25 $28 $32
Refrigerator1 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $10
Stove1 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $10
Water $36 $50 $64 $79 $100 $115 $132
Sewer $27 $27 $27 $27 $27 $27 $31
Trash $29 $29 $29 $49 $49 $78 $90
Electric - Other $22 $29 $39 $48 $55 $60 $69
1 Tenant-Supplied              

 

The utility allowances below are effective 7/1/17 for moves and income redeterminations effective 7/1/17 or later.

7/1/17 Utility Allowance - Multi-Unit Buildings & Attached Homes
  Studio 1-Br 2-Br 3-Br 4-Br 5-Br 6-Br

Heating - Electric

$18 $18 $25 $35 $42 $64 $74
Heating - Gas $15 $20 $22 $26 $30 $31 $36
Cooking - Electric $3 $4 $6 $6 $6 $8 $9
Cooking - Gas $2 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $5
Hot Water - Electric $22 $25 $48 $63 $66 $65 $75
Hot Water - Gas $10 $14 $17 $24 $29 $33 $38
Refrigerator1 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $10
Stove1 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $10
Water $29 $41 $52 $64 $82 $93 $107
Sewer $24 $24 $24 $24 $24 $24 $28
Trash $29 $29 $29 $49 $49 $78 $90
Electric - Other $24 $32 $44 $54 $62 $68 $78
1 Tenant-Supplied              
 
7/1/17 Utility Allowance - Single Family
  Studio 1-Br 2-Br 3-Br 4-Br 5-Br 6-Br
Heating - Electric $21 $22 $41 $57 $102 $110 $127
Heating - Gas $20 $25 $32 $38 $43 $55 $63
Cooking - Electric $3 $4 $6 $6 $6 $8 $9
Cooking - Gas $2 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $5
Hot Water - Electric $22 $25 $45 $64 $66 $65 $75
Hot Water - Gas $10 $14 $17 $24 $28 $31 $36
Refrigerator1 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $10
Stove1 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $10
Water $36 $50 $64 $79 $100 $115 $132
Sewer $28 $28 $28 $28 $28 $28 $32
Trash $29 $29 $29 $49 $49 $78 $90
Electric - Other $24 $32 $44 $54 $62 $68 $78
1 Tenant-Supplied              

What does HACA do?

HACA administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) under contract with HUD and has the following major responsibilities:

  • Establish local policies;
  • Review applications from interested applicant families to determine whether applicants are eligible for the program;
  • Maintain waiting list and select families for admission;
  • Issue voucher to selected family and, if necessary, assist the family in finding a place to live;
  • Conduct outreach to owners, with special attention to owners outside areas of poverty or minority concentration;
  • Approve the rental unit (including assuring compliance with housing quality standards and rent reasonableness), the owner, and the tenancy;
  • Make housing assistance payments to the owner in a timely manner;
  • Ensure that families and their rental units continue to qualify under the program;
  • Ensure that owners and families comply with program rules;
  • Provide families and owners with prompt, professional service; and
  • Comply with all fair housing and equal opportunity requirements , HUD regulations and requirements, the Annual Contributions Contract, HUD-approved applications for funding, HACA’s administrative plan, and other applicable federal, state and local laws.

What does the Owner do?

The owner has the following major responsibilities:

  •  Screen families who apply for tenancy, to determine if they will be good renters;
    • HACA can provide some information to the owner, but the primary responsibility for tenant screening rests with the owner.
    • The owner should consider family background factors such as rent and bill-paying history, history of caring for property, respecting the rights of others to peaceful enjoyment of the property, compliance with essential conditions of tenancy, whether the family is engaging in drug-related criminal activity or other criminal activity that might threaten others.
  • Comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payments contract, executed with HACA;
  • Comply with all applicable fair housing laws and discriminate against no one;
  • Maintain the housing unit by making necessary repairs in a timely manner; and
  • Collect rent due from the assisted family and otherwise comply with and enforce provisions of the dwelling lease.

What does the Family do?

The family has the following responsibilities:

  • Provide HACA with complete and accurate information, determined by HACA to be necessary for administration of the program;
  • Make their best and most timely efforts to find a place to live that is suitable for them and that qualifies for the program;
  • Attend all appointments scheduled by HACA;
  • Allow HACA to inspect the unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice;
  • Take responsibility for care of the housing unit, including any violations of housing quality standards caused by the family;
  • Comply with the terms of the lease with the owner;
  • Comply with the family obligations of the voucher;
  • Not commit serious or repeated violations of the lease;
  • Not engage in drug-related or violent criminal activity;
  • Notify HACA and the owner before moving or terminating the lease;
  • Use the assisted unit only for residence and as the sole residence of the family. Not sublet the unit, assign the lease, or have any interest in the unit;
  • Promptly notify HACA of any changes in family composition; and
  • Not commit fraud, bribery, or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with any housing programs.

The program works when all the parties fully fulfill their obligations in a timely manner.  For more information regarding HCVP, visit HUD's Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) Payment Standards are set, at least, annually by the Housing Authority of the County of Alameda (HACA) based on rental market informationpublished each year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

  • A payment standard is HACA's maximum allowable monthly assistance toward an assisted family's gross rent.  Gross rent is the total of the (1) contract rent charged by the landlord; and (2) the utility allowance that HACA credits to the family for those essential utilities for which the family is responsible, including a stove or refrigerator provided by the family.
  • Payment standards DO NOT determine or limit the rent a landlord may charge. As described in "How Much Rent Can I Charge?", the maximum contract rent a landlord may charge is based on the reasonable rent for the unit and the family's income.
  • As applicable, payment standards DO determine how much of the rent is paid by HACA, and how much by the family.

 

HACA Payment Standards 2017-Section 8 & VASH
(Effective 10/2/2017)

  Effective Date 0-BR 1-BR 2-BR 3-BR 4-BR 5-BR 6-BR
Albany, Castro Valley, Emeryville 12/1/2016 $1,521 $1,826 $2,303 $3,198 $3,579 $4,116 $4,652
Dublin, Pleasanton 12/1/2016 $1,579 $1,895 $2,390 $3,319 $3,714 $4,271 $4,828
Fremont, Newark, Union City 12/1/2016 $1,550 $1,861 $2,347 $3,258 $3,646 $4,194 $4,740
Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo 10/2/2017 $1,492 $1,792 $2,260 $3,138 $3,552 $4,085 $4,617

 

Would you like to help a homeless US Veteran in need of housing? 

Through the VASH program, in conjunction with HACA, staff from the Veterans Administration (VA) refer veterans who are looking for housing to you and provide ongoing support to you and the veteran.  If you would like to learn more about how the VASH program can help you find qualified tenants, saving money on advertising costs, as well as time, contact:

If your available unit is located in the cities of Albany, Emeryville, Hayward, San Leandro or San Lorenzo contact Bobby Hines, Oakland VA Housing Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or (510) 587-3447 extension 3447.

If your available unit is located in the cities of Castro Valley, Dublin, Fremont, Newark, Pleasanton, or Union City contact Nhu-Ly Tran, VA Social Worker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (209) 470-6919.