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
Every year the Housing Authority decides how
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
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
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
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
How can I find a new place to live that will
take Section 8?
You can get a list of Section 8 landlords from
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
Is there anything I can do to stop the rent
There are some actions you can take to try to
make your rent more affordable.
If you are Disabled: If the Housing Authority
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
If you think your Landlord is charging more for
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
Can the Housing Authority force my Landlord
to lower the rent?
No. The landlord has to willingly agree to
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
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?