Sometimes, owners have confusion about the Section 8 program and what it can mean for their rental properties. We’re trying to clear up some of that confusion today by discussing Section 8 and the two different types of housing programs that may apply to your property.
Section 8 Programs: Voucher Program
There are two different types of Section 8 programs that we discuss when we’re talking about rental property. The first one is a Section 8 voucher. In this program, an individual resident will qualify for a housing voucher from the Section 8 housing department that administers the program. So, they can use that voucher at any rental property that accepts it.
As a single-family rental property owner, you can agree to accept these Section 8 housing vouchers. If you do, you will receive all or some of the rental payment directly from the housing department every month. Many rental property owners find this to be a good strategy in the Pittsburgh market because it’s guaranteed rent. You won’t have to chase down residents for late rent or missing payments. You know exactly where the money is coming from, and it’s a government agency.
While it’s true your rent is guaranteed, there are still some hoops to jump through when you accept Section 8 vouchers at your rental property. Your property will have to undergo different types of inspections. If there are any habitability issues, you’ll need to fix them right away, otherwise the voucher program will not approve you for participation. There might also be some delays with rent payments, especially if there’s a government shutdown.
There’s also a difference in market rental values sometimes. With a market rate property, you can set the rent wherever you want; as long as the market will bear what you’re asking, you’ll get the rental price you ask for. With a Section 8 voucher, you are limited to what the Section 8 program determines is the acceptable market rate for your property.
At Arbors Management, we have two different property management divisions; conventional and affordable. In our conventional division, we only rent out market rate homes. We do not accept Section 8 housing vouchers.
Section 8 Programs: Project-Based
Project-based Section 8 is a little bit different. In this case, the housing voucher is with the property and not with the person. So, the property receives the funding instead of the resident. You and your employees will have to coordinate with the housing department, find and qualify residents, and then stay focused on keeping that particular property compliant with and participating in the Section 8 program.
While Arbors Management does not handle homes that accept Section 8 vouchers, we do work with project-based Section 8 properties. So, if you have one, we can talk about managing that property for you.
Section 8 can be confusing, especially if you’re not dealing with the program on a daily basis. We’d be happy to help you, either with a Section 8 property or with anything pertaining to Pittsburgh property management. Please contact us at Arbors Management.