Housing Choice Voucher Program Frequently Asked Questions

Waiting List Questions:

Can I apply for the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8 Program)?
The Section 8 program is currently closed. To date, there is no scheduled date to reopen the waiting list. When the waiting list opens, the Housing Authority will publish it in all of the local newspapers and on the web page at www.hacsj.com

What programs do you have available?
The waiting list for all of the Public Housing properties is available for you to apply. You can obtain an application by clicking here. You will also find a description and locations of all of the properties.

Where is my position number on the waiting list?
The Housing Authority does not provide position numbers. That information is not available.

How long is the waiting time?
It is not possible to predict how long an applicant will be on the waiting list. The wait time depends on the turnover rate and funding. In many cases, an applicant may have to wait an undetermined amount of years before their name will reach the top of the list.

What is the income requirement for the Section 8 program?
Income limits are only established for new people being admitted to the program. Click here for the income limits.

What if an applicant needs to make a change to their waiting list application?
All changes to waiting list applications must be made in writing. Changes may be submitted by mail at P.O. Box 447, Stockton, CA 95201 or hand carried into the office at 448 S. Center Street, Stockton, CA 95203.

Continued Eligibility Questions

What are your payment standards?
The payment standards are available on the website at www.hacsj.com. The payment standards will not be the same as the voucher amount. The Housing Authority makes that determination when all household information (income, composition, etc.) has been received. The payment standard is the maximum subsidy payment before any deductions.

I have a Section 8 voucher for a 3 bedroom. Would I be able to move into a larger or smaller bedroom unit?
It is not advisable that you move into a larger or smaller unit unless the contract rent is at or below the estimated rent amount on your voucher.

When can I move?
The Housing Authority prohibits any move during the initial lease term. The Housing Authority also prohibits more than one move during any one-year period. The Housing Authority and the landlord must approve a transfer. Exceptions include: when the lease has been terminated by the Housing Authority due to owner’s breach, the family is a victim of domestic, dating or stalking violence; or the lease has been terminated by mutual agreement of the owner and the tenant.

Can I move to another city or state?
Families receiving Section 8 assistance may move anywhere in the United States that administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8).

How much will the Housing Authority pay on my behalf?
The Housing Authority pays about 30% of your adjusted monthly income. Other factors include the voucher payment standard and the gross rent.

Can I reschedule my appointments?
The Housing Authority recommends that you keep your scheduled appointments to avoid delay in service. The Housing Authority will reschedule at least once. This includes annual reexaminations, interim examinations, and inspections.

How do I add or remove people from my household?
Families are required to report changes to the family composition within 30 days of the change. All changes must be submitted in writing. Approval is needed to add members to the household. The Housing Authority is required to conduct a criminal background check on all adult members over the age of 18 and older. Changes to household composition may affect the voucher size and subsidy amount.

Who is my caseworker?
Caseworkers are assigned by last name. Click here for a list of caseworkers.

Who do I report changes to?
All changes should be reported to your assigned caseworker. The caseworker assignment listing is available at www.hacsj.com.

I am transferring in from another city/state. What are the amounts per bedroom size?
The payment standards are available on our website at www.hacsj.com. Keep in mind that these amounts will not be the same as the voucher amount. The Housing Authority makes that determination when all household information (income, composition, etc.) has been received. The payment standard is the maximum subsidy payment before any deductions.

I am transferring in from another city/state. Who should I send my portable transfer packet to?
Click here for a list of Portable Caseworkers. The mailing address is: P.O. Box 447, Stockton, CA 95203

Landlord Questions:

Landlord payments for the Section 8 program have been converted to direct deposit as of August 1, 2015. For more information and to access the Direct Deposit enrollment form click here

Am I required to enroll in the Direct Deposit program?
Landlords are encouraged to enroll into the Direct Deposit program. The only other option is to come into the office at 448 S. Center St. Stockton, 95203 to pick up your payment each month.

What happens if I don’t receive my payment?
The Housing Authority will not stop a payment without notification. Generally, payments are stopped when the contract has been terminated. Payments may be placed on hold if Housing Quality Standards deficiencies are not repaired by the date prescribed by the Housing Authority.

What is the maximum amount that I could get for my unit?
The Housing Authority has established payment standards based on the Fair Market Rents established by HUD. The payment standard serves as a cap for the Housing Authority not to exceed based on bedroom size. Deductions are not factored in to these amounts. The rent must be reasonable and will be compared to similar units.

How often are you required to inspect my unit?
The Housing Authority is required to conduct a Housing Quality Standards inspection at least annually from the initial inspection anniversary.

How do I add my unit to your list for a prospective Section 8 tenant to occupy my home?
There are two ways to list your property on the Available Unit Listing.

  1. You can enter the unit information yourself on the website at www.hacsj.com . This feature allows you to upload photos of the unit.
  2. You can provide the office with the unit details (Unit address, type, bedroom size, rent, contact name and number).
To remove the unit from the listings, you can remove it yourself from the electronic version. You must inform the Housing Authority in writing to remove the unit from the manual listing.

Who should I report my changes to?
Changes should be reported to the assigned Leasing Specialist of the participant residing in your unit. The assignment is based on the participant’s last name. The listing can be located at www.hacsj.com

I have a Section 8 tenant in my rental, what must I do to begin recieving payments?
The Housing Authority must approve the If you decide to participate in the program, be prepared to furnish proof of legal ownership of the rental unit. This is one of HUD’s requirements for the program.

We will begin making payments to you after the tenancy has been approved and the Housing Assistance Contract has been signed. We will mail a payment on or about the first of each month and will continue to make payments as long as the following conditions are met:

Are rent increases allowed?
After the initial term of the lease, the owner may request to increase the rent with 60-day notice to the family and the Housing Authority. The proposed increase must be reasonable. Remember, your lease must allow for rent increases after the initial term. Any increase cannot make the rent greater than that charged for comparable unassisted units.

May landlords collect a security deposit?
The owner may collect a security deposit. The Housing Authority has the discretion to prohibit security deposits that are in excess of either private market practice or the security deposits for the owner’s unassisted units.

Who selects and screens the tenants?
Even though a family is determined by the Housing Authority to be eligible for the program, the owner must approve the tenant as a suitable renter. The Housing Authority knows that the owner has approved a family when a Request for Tenancy Approval form is submitted.

It is the owner’s responsibility to screen families who are interested in renting their units. Owners should:

Consider a family’s background regarding factors such as:

When you are contacted by a prospective renter, evaluate him or her as you would any other renter.
Make sure that your tenant selection standards are based on objective, business-related considerations, such as:

Owners must apply the same standards of tenant selection to any family that applies, whether the family is a prospective Section 8 renter or not. Tenant selection must not be based upon: The Housing Authority DOES NOT screen families for their suitability as renters. That is the responsibility of the owner.

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Housing Authority of the County of San Joaquin
448 South Center Street
Stockton, California 95203
(209) 460-5000 - TDD 711  or 1-800-855-7100