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SECTION 8 VOUCHER HOLDERS:
HAVE YOU RECEIVED A RENT INCREASE?

Read this FAQ to get the answers to some of your questions.

Why is my rent increasing when my income hasn't changed?

Every year the Housing Authority decides how much it will pay towards your rent each year. This is called the "Payment Standard". In 2005, the payment standard was lowered to meet HUD rules and in order to save money. Since the Landlord has not changed the rent that they charge for the unit, you will owe more to make up the difference. It is this extra amount that makes your rent go up.


How long do I have before my rent goes up?

Notices should provide you with three months before your rent goes up.


What if I haven't found a new place to rent by the 90 days?

You still have 60 days to search but, you will have to pay the increased rent amount or stay elsewhere while you continue to look. After the 60 days, you can ask for an extension. Disabled tenants are entitled to longer search time but may have to request it from the SFHA.


What if my Landlord is willing to lower the rent?

You may work out an agreement with the landlord to lower the rent and remain living under the Section 8 contract.


If I move, can I take my voucher with me?

Yes. You can find another apartment that will accept your voucher. However, it will have to meet the new payment standard requirement AND you can not pay more than 40% of your income towards rent.


How can I find a new place to live that will take Section 8?

You can get a list of Section 8 landlords from the Housing Authority to aid your housing search. You can also asked for the list of "building-based" Section 8 providers. There are many non-profit housing providers that accept Section 8 vouchers. A list can be found from the Mayor's Office of Housing. Some service agencies have lists and you can search online in places like "Craigslist" (type Section 8 as the "keyword").  You may also be able to take your voucher with you to another City or County if you wish. If you are a Senior, Disabled or a Veteran there are services that will help: click here.


Is there anything I can do to stop the rent increase?

There are some actions you can take to try to make your rent more affordable.

If you are Disabled: If the Housing Authority has already agreed to pay the entire payment standard towards your rent, you may be able to raise their payment assistance amount a bit higher. As a "reasonable accommodation", HUD can grant a waiver to allow the payment standard to be raised 10% above the HUD Fair Market Rents (this is what the payment standard must be based on). You may present your case to the Housing Authority and ask them to request this waiver. The increase could be between $75-$314 (depending on unit size), if approved.

If you think your Landlord is charging more for your unit than other similar units in your building or in the area, you should research and document this. Look at web sites such as "Craigslist", newspaper ads and for rent signs in your neighborhood. You can use this to provide the Housing Authority to claim that the landlord is charging "unreasonable" rent.

Can the Housing Authority force my Landlord to lower the rent?

No. The landlord has to willingly agree to change the rent, however the Housing Authority can ask the landlord to lower the rent based on comparable rent amounts in the area. If they do not agree to lower it to the "reasonable" amount, the Housing Authority will withdraw them from the program.


When can my rent be raised?

Other than when your income changes, you should only receive a notice of change in payment standard on your second re-certification (anniversary of your move-in date).


Who can I call with questions or for help?