24 OCTOBER 2018 • WWW.AAGLA.ORG Member Update The Housing Choice Voucher Program (commonly known as Section 8) is a federally funded program providing monthly rental assistance to over two million low-income households renting units in the private market. The rental assistance is provided through a local housing authority. Myths about the Section 8 program continue to prevent Section 8 participants from finding housing providers willing to rent to them. Below is a list of common misconceptions about the program to help you make a more informed decision about whether to give a Section 8 tenant a chance. Myth: Section 8 tenants are problem tenants. Fact: Most Section 8 tenants live in the same place over a long period of time (7-8 years on average). You should screen a Section 8 tenant the same way you screen all other tenants. By conducting thorough and consistent screening, you are less likely to end up with a problem tenant, Section 8 or otherwise. Myth: If you accept one Section 8 tenant, then all your units must be rented to Section 8 tenants. Fact: If you own multiple units, you may choose to have one or more of your units occupied by Section 8 tenants. Just because you accept one Section 8 tenant does not mean that you have to rent your next available unit to a Section 8 tenant. If a Section 8 tenant moves out, you are not required to rent the vacant unit to another Section 8 tenant. Myth: The housing provider is responsible for a lot of paperwork. MYTHS VS. FACTS: What Housing Providers Should Know About Section 8 By California Association of Housing Authorities Fact: Most of the paperwork the housing provider is required to complete is at the beginning of a new lease. This paperwork includes the Request for Tenancy Approval form, W-9 form, Lead Warning Statement and Lease Agreement. The Housing Authority will assist with completion of these documents if needed. From time to time, the housing provider will receive letters, amending the rent portions, inspection reports, newsletters, and other program materials. The housing provider does not need to complete these forms. Myth: You cannot evict a Section 8 tenant. Fact: If a Section 8 tenant has violated your lease agreement, you may evict the tenant in accordance with State and local laws. Please note that if you want a tenant to move after the initial term of the lease, but do not want to state the cause for the termination of tenancy, then you must give the Section 8 tenant a 90-day written notice of termination. When a notice without cause is issued, the Housing Authority will provide the tenant with a new voucher to relocate. Please note that a notice without cause may not be acceptable if a unit is subject to rent control. Myth: The Housing Authority has very tough inspection requirements. Fact: The Housing Authority inspects the unit before a contract is signed with the landlord and annually or bi- annually thereafter. The Housing Authority checks the unit for any health and/or safety problems. The Section 8 inspection is not a code enforcement inspection. The Housing Authority checks the working order of smoke