HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM

Notice to Current Applicants
Applicants who received a letter to verify your continued interest for the Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher Program, complete the form. Access Frequently Asked Questions here.

Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs)
Please be aware that on July 1, 2018, SAHA began using a new method to calculate the amount of money paid toward rent and utilities only for SAHA’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) and Mainstream programs, as mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Up until this year, HUD required SAHA to base payment standards on Fair Market Rents calculated for the entire metropolitan area, rather than for specific ZIP codes. Under this new approach, the method used to determine the payment standards for those programs is based on rent estimates for each ZIP code, which has the potential to significantly increase opportunities for voucher families.

What are Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs)?
SAFMRs are estimates of the typical rent levels (including the cost of utilities, except telephone), within a ZIP code, rather than for the entire metropolitan region, for rental units with different numbers of bedrooms. SAFMRs are based on each zip code within the San Antonio area. Due to the large number of zip codes in San Antonio, SAHA has created 10 groupings of zip codes. SAHA then uses the SAFMRs to determine payment standard amounts for the VASH and Mainstream programs.

For more information, please click here to view an FAQ page or click here to view HUD’s website and SAFMR informational materials.

What is the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program?

SAHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) offers the opportunity for low-income families to choose affordable rental housing within Bexar County. The program grants families the ability to obtain housing outside areas of high poverty concentrations, offering families a chance for a better quality of life. The HCV program is unique in that it provides tenant-based assistance rather than unit-based assistance, allowing the family to move without losing assistance.

How do applicants qualify?

Applicants are determined eligible based on their annual income. SAHA serves three different types of low-income families: low-income, very low-income, and extremely low-income.

Low-income families are families whose annual income does not go above 80 percent of the median income for the area. Very low-income families are families whose annual income does not go above 50 percent of the median income for the area. Extremely low-income families are families whose annual income does not go above 30 percent of the median income for the area. The median income for Bexar County is $66,800.

To determine if the family is income-eligible, SAHA compares the annual income of the family to the income limit for the family’s size. The chart below illustrates the income limits adjusted for family size. 



FY2017 Income Limit Area


No. of Persons

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Extremely Low
30% Income
Limits 

$14,050

$16,460

$20,780

$25,100

$29,420

$33,740

$38,060

$42,380

Very Low
50% Income Limits

$23,400

$26,750

$30,100

$33,400

$36,100

$38,750

$41,450

$44,100

Low
80% Income
Limits

$37,450

$42,800

$48,150

$53,450

$57,750

$62,050

$66,300

$70,600

For more information on how SAHA calculates rent portions, please go to the Housing Assistance Payments

How does the HCV Program Work?

  1. After completing the application, the applicant is placed on the waiting list. Due to limited funding and voucher availability, applicants should expect to remain on the waiting list for approximately three to five years.
  2. When the applicant’s name comes up on the waiting list, he or she will attend an appointment to determine eligibility for the program. 
  3. Once the applicant is determined eligible, he or she will be given a voucher and required to locate a unit.
  4. Once the family has located a unit, they must submit all required documents for approval and the unit must pass an initial inspection.
  5. If the unit passes inspection and the owner and family settle on terms of the lease, SAHA will begin making housing assistance payments.
  6. The family will stay in the program as long as they fulfill their obligations, provide all necessary information to SAHA, and ensure their units are up to housing quality standards.

For more information on the application process, including access to the application, please go to the Application Process page.

Who Participates in the HCV Program?

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Develop regulations, handbooks, notices and other guidance to communicate HCV housing program legislation passed by Congress
  • Distribute HCV program funds to SAHA
  • Provide technical assistance to SAHA in interpreting HCV program requirements
  • Monitor SAHA’s compliance with HCV program requirements and SAHA’s performance

San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA)
SAHA’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Establish local policies
  • Maintain waiting list and review applications to determine whether applicants are eligible for the program
  • Issue vouchers to selected families
  • Conduct outreach to owners
  • Approve the rental unit, owner and tenancy
  • Make housing assistance payments to owner in a timely manner
  • Ensure that families and their rental units continue to qualify under the program
  • Ensure that owners and families comply with program rules
  • Comply with all fair housing and equal opportunity requirements, HUD regulations and requirements, the Annual Contributions Contract, HUD-approved applications for funding, SAHA’s Administrative Plan, and other federal, state and local laws

Owner of Rental Unit
The owner’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Screen families who apply for tenancy
  • Comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Payments contract
  • Comply with all applicable fair housing laws
  • Maintain the housing unit by making necessary repairs in a timely manner
  • Collect rent due from the assisted family

Family Participating in the HCV Program
The family’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Provide SAHA with complete and accurate information
  • Make best efforts to find a place to live that qualifies for the program
  • Attend all appointments scheduled by SAHA
  • Allow SAHA to inspect the unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice
  • Take responsibility for care of the housing unit
  • Comply with the terms of the lease with the owner
  • Comply with the family obligations of the voucher
  • Do not commit serious or repeated violations of the lease
  • Do not engage in drug-related or violent criminal activity
  • Notify SAHA and the owner before moving or terminating the lease
  • Use the assisted unit only for residence
  • Promptly notify SAHA of any changes in family composition
  • Do not commit fraud, bribery, or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with any housing program

For more information on family responsibilities, please visit the Family Obligations page.