Resources for HCV Program Landlords
All in-person HCV Owner Orientations are postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
You can register for an online webinar by going HERE (Zoom Meeting)
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program (formerly known as Section 8) provides assistance to very low-income individuals and families to enable them to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private rental housing market. In Sacramento, the HCV program for the City and County of Sacramento (including all incorporated cities in the County) is operated by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) acting as the Housing Authority of the County of Sacramento.
For more information about the Housing Choice Voucher Program, please contact SHRA’s customer service line at (916) 440-1390 or visit the office at 630 I Street, Sacramento CA, 95814. Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. Inquiries can also be submitted via fax at 916-449-1285.
HCV Landlord Information
New Landlord Information/FAQS
How can I learn more about the HCV program?
We recommend attendance at the free Owner Orientation session to learn the basics of the HCV program, and the responsibilities of the owner, tenant, and the Housing Authority. At the interactive meeting you can have your questions answered and receive helpful information on how to participate in the program, what is needed for your rental property to pass inspection, and what paperwork is required. Allow 1-1.5 hours for the orientation meeting. Due to Covid-19, all owner orientation classes are currently being held through online through Zoom. You can register for an upcoming session here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpdOGrrDMtGdx1S78nZNWaIQiFpIBOYX2z
Registration Questions: Contact April Overlie at email@example.com
All in-person HCV Owner Orientations are postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. You can register for an online webinar here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpdOGrrDMtGdx1S78nZNWaIQiFpIBOYX2z
Owner Orientation Session Schedule
None at this time.
What is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program?
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program (formerly known as Section 8) provides rental assistance to very low-income individuals and families to enable them to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private rental housing market. In Sacramento, the HCV program for the City and County of Sacramento (including all incorporated cities in the County) is operated by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) acting as the Housing Authority of the County of Sacramento.
Who are Housing Choice Voucher holders?
Housing Choice Voucher holders qualify as low income. They are members of our community, and many are working families. Voucher holders come from many backgrounds. A voucher holder can be:
· The senior citizen living on social security
· A homeless veteran looking for housing
· A single mother heading back to school for a better job
· The two-parent family who is surviving paycheck to paycheck.
· A barista at the local coffee shop
· A teacher at a local preschool program
Each of our voucher holders have a different story to share.
Will voucher holders take care of my property?
Just like with any other tenant, the housing provider is responsible for selecting the tenant and enforcing their lease. Thorough screenings and clearly communicated property rules and expectations will help reduce tenant-landlord conflicts. A voucher holder who does not abide by their lease and damages the property has more to lose than a conventional tenant as they risk being terminated from the HCV Program and not receiving rental assistance. Many voucher holders have case managers/family who may help intervene and work with the tenant to help ensure they are abiding by the property rules and lease agreement if needed.
How much can I charge for rent?
Approvable rent is based on a calculation that takes several factors into consideration:
• The payment standard for the area (See See HCV Payment Standards)
• The tenant’s income
• The utility allowance and responsibilities of the tenant and housing provider
• Rent comparison to similar units in the area
There are two formulas used to determine if the rent is approvable:
1. Rent Reasonableness Determination Analysis which will compare the rent to similar units in the area.
2. The tenant’s portion of rent plus the utility allowance is less than 40% of the family’s adjusted annual income.
An affordability worksheet is available on the SHRA website HERE to determine if a rent amount is approvable.
If the gross rent amount (Rent + Utility Allowance) is not approvable and you still want to rent to the family, you may do so by reducing your rent or changing the utility responsibilities to ensure that the tenant’s portion of rent + the utility allowance is less than 40% of the family’s adjusted annual income as long as the rent still meets the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rent reasonableness standard.
How do I start accepting vouchers?
The best way to notify voucher holders about your unit availability is to list your property online at https://affordablehousing.com/ at no charge. Users will be directed to an external website over which SHRA has no control. Advertising or other messaging on the Affordable Housing website do not reflect the views of, or pertain to programs or services provided by SHRA.Voucher holders use the site to look for housing and are quick to contact new listings. You can log in and manage your listings on this site with ease. You can list on other property listing sites as well.
SHRA has a housing locator who can partner with you to market your property on the above website. Please send information about your listing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have chosen a qualified tenant. What should I do next?
After you choose a tenant that has a voucher, he/she will provide you with a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) packet from the tenant. The RFTA packet is the formal documentation that is completed to begin the enrollment process with the HCV Program.
1. Once all relevant sections of the RFTA packet are completed and signed by BOTH the tenant and the housing provider, the packet must be submitted to SHRA.
2. Information in the packet is reviewed by staff and, once approved, an inspection of the unit is scheduled.
3. When the unit has passed a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection as required by HUD, the tenant may sign the separate lease with the housing provider (landlord) and take possession of the unit. A contract is then executed between the housing provider and SHRA which will enable the owner to receive the housing assistance payment (HAP) from SHRA.
It is highly recommended that you consider attending the monthly owner orientation meeting to learn about the HCV Process and how to be successful as an HCV landlord.
How long is the initial term for the lease-contract?
The initial term is one year. After the initial lease-contract is expired, you may request a rent increase, change the utility responsibilities, or choose whether to continue tenancy.
How will I be paid?
Once the contract is executed, the housing provider will setup direct deposit on SHRA’s online landlord portal. The housing assistance payment from SHRA will be paid through direct deposit, and the landlord will be able to manage their ledger through the landlord portal.
The tenant will be responsible for paying their portion of the rent (between 30-40% of the family’s adjusted annual income) to the housing provider.
SHRA HCV Housing Provider Handbook
Payment Standards/Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMR)
Rent Affordability Calculator
Rent Payment And Other Financial Questions
What is the Landlord Account Services Portal?
SHRA has implemented a self-service Landlord Portal web site for landlords participating in the HCV program which allows vendors to view account data, make changes and access other self-service options. Features of the Landlord Portal include:
- Direct Deposit – Rent payments to the landlord also referred to as Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) are sent electronically to your bank account via direct deposit.
- Dashboard – View all key information in one place and updating your address and contact information
- Tenant List – View a list of all your tenants
- View Ledger – View a summary and/or detailed ledger of all payments made to you.
- View Inspections – View past inspections including any units in abatement status.
- 1099 Info – View past year 1099 information.
How do I set up a Landlord Portal Account?
Follow the link to the Portal at http://portal.shra.org/signup and follow the sign up process. Please note: Your username will be your vendor code, and you will need your Tax ID available for the sign up process.
What do I do if my direct deposit statement is not emailed to me?
If your electronic deposit statement has not been emailed to you, please confirm that it is not in your spam folder. If you still cannot find it, look on the Landlord Portal, or call (916) 440-1390 and a call center representative can assist you.
What should I do if I don’t receive the HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) share of the rent on the first of the month?
If by the 10th of the month you still have not received either a check or an electronic deposit in your account, please call (916) 440-1390 and a call center representative will send a message to a caseworker who can assist you. Landlords are encouraged to sign up for electronic deposit to ensure a timely delivery of the HAP check into your account.
When can I request a rent increase?
“A rent increase may be requested at any time after the first twelve months of the lease by sending a 60-day notice of the increase to the tenant and sending a copy of that notice to SHRA, along with a RFTA Supplemental form (linked below.)
In order to adhere to the new state law AB1110 (Effective January 01, 2020), the Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) has changed the required amount of notice that is needed for a rent increase request. If the requested rent is greater than a 10% increase, you must serve your tenant a 90-day notice. If the requested rent increase is less than a 10% increase, you must serve your tenant a 60-day notice.
What Are the Requirements for Increasing Rent?
• The tenant must not be in the initial first year of the lease term. A rent increase may be requested prior to the end of the lease term as long as the effective date is after the initial first year of the lease term expiration date.
• Notify the Housing Authority of any proposed changes in the amount of the rent to owner at least 60 days (for under 10% increase) or 90 days (for above 10% increase) before any such changes may go into effect, and can be enforced only after receiving Housing Authority approval.
• Request must include a RFTA supplemental form, which lists the unit amenities.
• Cannot be in failed HQS Status
• Only submit the request once.
• Request must be approved by the Housing Authority as being Rent Reasonable, per HUD guidelines before it is enforced
What Is Rent Reasonable?
The Housing Authority must determine whether the rent to owner is reasonable in comparison to rents for other comparable unassisted units. To make this determination, the following items are considered:
• The location, quality, size, unit type, and age of the rental property
• Any amenities, housing services, maintenance, and utilities provided and paid by the owner
• Other comparable rental properties’ verifiable contract rent, and market conditions
How to Submit a Request?
Serve the tenant with a 60-day notice of rental increase for increases less than a 10% increase or a 90-day notice of rental increase for increases greater than a 10% increase and submit a copy to the Housing Authority along with a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) Supplemental Form List of Unit Amenities) . You can submit the documents to the Housing Authority in person, by mail, or via fax.
After the request is processed, both the owner and tenant will be mailed a notice of approval or denial. If approved, a Subsidy Adjustment Notice will be mailed to both parties. The notice will list the effective date of the new contract rent, the new tenant rent amount, and the amount of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) the Housing Authority will pay. The new contract rent amount will remain effective for a period of 12 months.
Owners may request rent increases no more than once every 12 months.
Do not make any changes to the contract rent without Housing Authority approval.
How can I change who is responsible for payment of utilities?
After the first twelve months of the lease with your tenant, and as long as the lease does not state otherwise, you may request a change of utility responsibilities to alter who (owner or tenant) is responsible for the cost of a utility using the form linked below. Please note the form requires both the owner or property manager’s signatures and the tenant’s signature. The Housing Authority is required to execute a new lease and contract when there are changes to the type of utility or payment responsibility which may affect the amount of tenant rent and/or housing assistance payment. Utility Respons. Change Form
How can I submit a change of Ownership or Payee for the property?
When there is a change in ownership or payee information for a property that is currently in a HCV contract with the Housing Authority, please submit the Change of Ownership or Payee form, W-9 form, and all required information. Ownership Payee Change Form
What are guidelines for giving and receiving proper notice to tenants?
Please refer to the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ website for information on giving and receiving proper notice to tenants. You may also refer to the Fair Housing Handbook for the State of California. Both are linked below.
Housing Inspection FAQs
What are the Housing Standards for units leased under the HCV Program?
In order to participate in the HCV program, the owner/agent must agree to maintain the rental unit to Housing Quality Standards (HQS) which are guidelines established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the HCV program. The rental unit must pass HQS inspection prior to execution of the contract with the Housing Authority and must also pass a biennial inspection. Additional inspections may also be conducted if health and safety issues are identified. All repairs must be completed within the timeframe specified or payment to the landlord will be stopped. It is important to note that SHRA is not financially responsible for damages caused to a rental unit. A specific provision addressing damages should be included in the Rental Agreement with the tenant. Courtesy HQS Inspection Checklist
If my unit passed SHRA’s inspection for the HCV program, do I still need an inspection for the City or County of Sacramento Rental Housing Inspection programs?
At this time, HCV properties are exempt but owners/agents are encourage to contact the City and/or County of Sacramento as applicable regarding their rental inspection programs, requirements and exemptions. It should be noted that all housing units are subject to local code enforcement ordinances and participation in the HCV program does not exempt a property from any code violations as cited by a Code Enforcement official.
City of Sacramento Rental Housing Inspection Program (for properties within the City of Sacramento only) link
County of Sacramento Rental Housing Inspection Program (for properties outside the City limits) link
How do I schedule or re-schedule my inspection?
SHRA inspects each assisted unit on a biennial basis. The family and owner are notified of the date of the inspection appointment by mail and by phone at least 30 days prior to the inspection date. Participation at the inspection is mandatory. Inspections occur weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If the family is unable to be present for the inspection due to a medical appointment or court appearance, SHRA will reschedule the inspection upon receiving written verification of the appointment or court appearance. If the family misses two inspection appointments, SHRA will consider the family to have violated a family obligation and their assistance may be terminated. Please call (916) 264-1655 if you need to reschedule your inspection. If a unit fails inspection, the owner is notified and must correct any deficiencies in a timely manner. For tenant-caused damages, the tenant must correct the repairs. If repairs are not completed within the timeframe specified, SHRA will consider the family to have violated a family obligation and their assistance may be terminated.
Non-emergency items repairs must be completed within 30 days. Emergency items must be repaired within 24 hours. At the end of your biennial inspection, if you receive a Certification of Repairs form from the inspector, you can self-certify that the fail items have been repaired or replaced. After all the failed items have been repaired or replaced, both the tenant and the owner/property manager are required to sign and date the Certification of Repairs form and attach receipts, photos, and repair work invoices. This form must be signed, dated and submitted along with proof of repairs within 14 days from the failed inspection date. Forms should be faxed to (916) 449-1285 or mail it to: SHRA, 630 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Please make sure to include the tenant name and t-code. You will receive a “Passed Inspection Letter” within two weeks of SHRA receiving the completed Certification of Repairs form, or you will be notified if an additional inspection is required.
What is the process for inspections?
- Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Initial Inspection Flow Chart
- Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Biennial Inspection Flow Chart
Frequently Used Forms
How to Submit Documents
All forms and documents must be submitted by fax, office drop box, or by mail. Please ensure that each document has the Tenant code also referred to as the T-Code written on the top of any submission. This will ensure that the document gets routed to the correct case files and SHRA Staff. All paperwork submissions are processed first-come, first served and are tracked in our system.
By mail: SHRA HCV Office, 630 I Street, Sacramento,CA 95814
Via Fax: 916-449-1285
Office: There is a drop box located outside 630 I Street, Sacramento,CA 95814.
Documents can be safely deposited here as it is checked daily during business hours.