The Housing Choice (Section 8) Voucher Program

What is the Section 8 Program?

While there is an ever-growing need for housing to support low-income residents due to the real lack of affordable housing, there are programs that help lower-income families find and rent homes.  The Housing Choice Voucher Program, better known as the “Section 8” Program, allows private housing providers to rent apartments and homes at fair market rates to qualified low-income tenants.  The rental subsidy is administered by the Santa Clara County Housing Authority, SCCHA, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.).  In Santa Clara County, the program has been closed to new applicants since 2006, and even then, the program only opened for 5 days, received 60,000 applicants, and the waiting list was then closed again. After 15 years of dwindling down the 60,000 applicant list, the SCCHA has opened the program once again to new applicants. However, the program will operate very differently moving forward.  Applicants can now apply online through a relatively simple process without providing income verification.

Click Here to Register for the Section 8 Interested List

In order for a family to be eligible for federal housing assistance in Santa Clara County, the total household income must not exceed these established yearly income limits as listed in the table below:

1 Person $58,000
2 Persons $66,300
3 Persons $74,600
4 Persons $82,850
5 Persons $89,500
6 Persons $96,150
7 Persons $102,700
8 Persons $109,400

Income Limits effective as of April 1, 2021.

Additional Links and Resources:

Some applicants can also apply for the Moving to Work Program, a temporary voucher program that is designed to improve the applicant’s skill set so they can transition off the subsidy when they are better qualified and secure better-paying jobs. Applicants approved for this program are eligible for:

  • Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) or Section 8
  • Family Unification Program (FUP)
  • Non-Elderly Disabled Voucher (NED)
  • Mainstream (select Mainstream voucher increments)
  • Project-Based Voucher (PBV)
  • Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), with exceptions – not all MTW flexibilities apply

Full details for the Moving to Work Program can be found HERE.  

REMINDER: Source of Income Ordinance

Did you know when marketing rental properties using the terms “No Section 8” or “No Voucher Programs” could lead to fines and other penalties?

Both the State of California and the City of San Jose have enacted source of income discrimination laws.

Learn more from the video and links below.

City of San Jose Source of Income Ordinance Information

C.A.R. FAQs on CA Source of Income Law