Housing Choice Voucher Program
Housing Choice Voucher Program comprises the majority of the Oakland Housing Authority's Section 8 rental assistance programs. OHA administered vouchers help approximately 9500 families pay their rent each month. Eligibility for the Housing Choice Voucher program is based on a family's household income. The voucher covers a portion of the rent and the tenant is expected to pay the balance. The tenants share is an affordable percentage of their income and is generally calculated to be between 30 to 40 percent of their monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities.
MODERATE REHABILITATION (MOD REHAB)The Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Program (Mod Rehab) is a unit-based rental subsidy program for low and moderate-income individuals and families. While the Housing Authority administers the program, HUD provides rent subsidy payments to private and nonprofit property owners for rental units rehabilitated under this program. These subsidies provide both a rental subsidy to the family as well as funds to service the debt incurred by the property owner for the unitís rehabilitation. Mod Rehab assistance is not transferable as it is in the Section 8 voucher program. Participants in the Mod Rehab program will only receive rental assistance if they are living in a Mod Rehab unit. If they move from a Mod Rehab unit, they will lose their assistance. Some Mod Rehab units are set-aside for the elderly, homeless, or disabled. Back to Top
Mainstream VouchersMainstream Vouchers are a special allocation of vouchers designed to assists families having a person with disabilities. The Mainstream program vouchers are targeted towards persons with disabilities who face difficulties in locating suitable, accessible housing and living independently in the private market. Only a family that includes a disabled person and is income eligible may receive a Mainstream program voucher. The Oakland Housing Authority administers 175 Mainstream vouchers for special needs clients. Mainstream program recipients are selected from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program waiting list. If the selected family is not already receiving supportive services they are referred to partner agencies that can provide them with specialize housing assistance. A disabled family or individual meeting the qualifications for a Mainstream voucher may also be referred to the special Mainstream Program waiting list by our partner agencies. Back to Top
Family Self-Sufficiency(FSS)The Family Self-Sufficiency program is a voluntary program available to Section 8 recipients designed to assist families in achieving economic independence. The goal of FSS is to provide financial incentives and useful referrals to community resources to participating Leased Housing residents who want to enter the workforce from unemployment or increase their earnings in their present employment. As a financial incentive, FSS participants earn money in an escrow account that is opened when they have an increase in earned income that sets off a raise in their rent. A portion of the difference between the old rent and the new rent is deposited into an escrow account that grows until the participant graduates from the program. The highest escrow account at this time is over $24,000! The other benefit to FSS participants is the limited case management through which we refer clients to social services that help them attain financial stability. FSS combines case management, education and training with the standard Section 8 Voucher assistance to aid families in becoming self-sufficient. Oakland Housing Authority FSS Program Coordinators are available to assure that program participants are linked to the support services they need to achieve self-sufficiency. FSS participants sign 5 year Contracts of Participation. These contracts outline the family's rights and responsibilities under the FSS program. At the end of their contract, FSS participants who have successfully met their goals, and who are free from public assistance, can receive funds from a savings account that they have built up over the course of the program. There are currently approximately 165 Section 8 families participating in the FSS program. Back to Top
Family Unification(FUP)The Family Unification Program (FUP) is a special set aside of Section 8 Vouchers administered by the Oakland Housing Authority in partnership with the Alameda County Social Services Agency's Department of Children and Family Services. Family Unification vouchers are targeted specifically to families who are separated or facing separation. The Family Unification Program is designed to assist families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the separation, or threat of imminent separation, of children from their families or in the prevention of reunifying the children with their families. The Alameda County Social Services Agency's Department of Children and Family Services must refer the FUP eligible family to the Oakland Housing Authority. The family must meet all Section 8 Program eligibility requirements to qualify. Back to Top
PortabilitySection 8 Portability refers to the option whereby a Section 8 participant who receives rental subsidy from one housing authority is allowed to move to the jurisdiction of another housing authority and still retain their voucher. A participant in good standing can transfer their Section 8 subsidy to anywhere in the United States where there is an Agency administering the Section 8 program. Section 8 families who are currently residing in Oakland can request a portability transfer at any time, assuming the proper notification of the intent to vacate was given to the current landlord. A new voucher recipient who was not an Oakland resident at the time they were placed on the waiting list must live in Oakland for at least one year before they can exercise the portability option. Back to Top
EligibilityThe eligible household must qualify as "Very Low Income" which is defined by HUD as 50% of the Area Median Income. Family income includes salaries, wages, tips, interest from assets, pensions, social security, assistance from grants, etc. for all members.
The following chart provides the current income limits by family size to qualify for assistance:
Income Limits for All Programs
FY 2012 HUD Income Limits for Alameda County, CA
Effective: December 1, 2011
Section 8 Family ObligationsSection 8 Federal regulations require certain obligations and responsibilities on the part of the family for continued participation. If a family fails to meet these obligations, their participation in the Section 8 program may be terminated.