Housing Authority Announces New Section 8 Incentives for Landlords and Property Owners

Source: Housing Authority of Santa Barbara

Local landlords recently got a preview of the suite of all-new and ongoing incentives to participate in the Section 8 affordable housing program through the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB). Attendees of the Sept. 25 informational luncheon also heard from participating landlords and tenants about their experience with the Section 8 voucher program.

For the first time in four years, HACSB re-opened applications for Section 8 affordable housing vouchers. HACSB directly pays landlords a housing subsidy on behalf of the participating residents. Local landlords are key to the success of the program and many attended the informational luncheon at Grace Village Apartments on upper State Street.  

“We’re here to ask you to open up any extra units in your apartment complexes or homes and to consider our Section 8 voucher holders,” said Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara Executive Director & CEO Rob Fredericks. “We have about 100 voucher holders out on the street now looking for places to live, and there aren’t 100 vacancies. There are low-income seniors on social security, working families and people who are disabled and need supportive services. These are people we need to help.”

On Oct. 1, HACSB re-opened online applications for its Section 8 program, which assists low-income working families, the elderly and the disabled afford decent, safe housing in the private market.

Among the many residents who have found success through the Section 8 program is James Coronado, a local father of six and teacher. Describing himself as part of a working family, Coronado said with some extra pushes from HACSB staff, he recently earned a master’s degree and has gone onto become a homeowner.

“I’m living proof that the program does work,” said Coronado.

New incentives available to participating landlords include:

Vacancy loss payments for landlords leasing to a HACSB Section 8 tenant in a unit being vacated by another HACSB Section 8 participant. 

Signing bonus of $500 for new landlords (has not signed up a new Section 8 participant since January 2015 at a particular property/complex) leasing up a Section 8 participant with a city issued voucher.

Referral bonus – $100 to an individual referring a new landlord who successfully executes a Housing Assistance Payment contract, by leasing a unit to a participant on HACSB’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

Previous incentives that remain available to landlords and Section 8 residents include Damage Protection reimbursement of up to $2,000 for unpaid unit damages; owner requested inspections initiated by health & safety concerns; online portal providing landlords and managers with access to Housing Assistance Payment records; Security Deposit Loans; Family Service Agency Supportive Services Referrals and more.

Local landlord Richard Moerler has been taking part in HACSB’s Section 8 program since 1972.
“The average Section 8 tenant is really grateful to be in the program,” said Moerler. “I’ve always found the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara staff to be helpful and available to help me resolve any problems.”
Due to his positive experience with the program, today 41 of Moerler’s rental units are available to Section 8 tenants.

HACSB is committed to providing low-income households with the tools needed to succeed and become self-sufficient to the greatest extent possible as well as providing its participating property owners and managers with the necessary information and customer service for a successful Section 8 tenancy. Landlords can contact Jerry Morales at (805) 897-1049 or jrmorales@hacsb.org for more information.

Tenant applications for Section 8 will be available at https://hacsbwaitlist.org/landing Oct. 1. 

About The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara 
The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is a local public agency created for the purpose of providing safe, decent, and quality affordable housing and supportive services to eligible persons with limited incomes, through a variety of federal, state, local and private resources. Since 1969, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has developed and/or secured over 3,400 units of affordable rental housing for Santa Barbara through a variety of federal, state, local and private funding sources. Please visit the website at www.hacsb.org.


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  1. “Since 1969, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has developed and/or secured over 3,400 units of affordable rental housing for Santa Barbara through a variety of federal, state, local and private funding sources”
    That is 3,400 units that could be available as rentals on the market. That would cut the rental cost for everyone IF they were on the market instead of only the chosen few. It would also lower the taxes for taxpayers. The Housing Authority is bad news for all who work for a living in Santa Barbara.

  2. The Housing Authority is a big monster, like a corporate machine. They truly have no income and live on subsidies themselves. Where does there money come from? Grants and Federal Funding, some local and state money but they need to continue to grow just like Target. Its true across multiple agencies in this city/county because there is no money to support these organizations so they seek funding and grants for special projects to keep afloat. #maga

  3. …currently, 20% of all housing units in Santa Barbara are subsidized… What is the Housing Authorities goal, 25…? 30%…? This is becoming a very economically unhealthy town. The SBHA continues to destroy neighborhoods by placing recently released State Pen Felons, Drug and Alcohol abusers, “Chronic Homeless” (vargrants from around the Country) and others who can’t afford to live in SB, but are invited by the Housing Authority to reside here… If you’re “homeless” long enough, they WILL get you housing here.

  4. Not sure about the 20% but add in the number of “historically significant”structures the city currently has labeled (2600 +/-) and the restrictive zoning and building costs and you have a large percentage of usable land permanently excluded from any improvements or development. And that doesnt even touch the NIMBY resistance seen on every single proposed project across the city. All these things add up to an ever decreasing percentage of available units and an ever increasing cost making it fundamentally impossible to offer anything close to what would be considered “affordable housing”.

  5. I lived next to Section 8 not too long ago. It was a literal meth house and parolee flop house plopped right in the middle of a family neighborhood. The landlord was a well respected local realtor who came out time and time again until finally starting eviction on the tenant when she found so many other people crashing there. The fun part of Section 8?…it’s nearly impossible to get someone out. It’s a 90 day eviction notice, then immediately stop paying their share and because most of it was never their money in the first place, they totally trash your home. Speaking with the owner after she had fully renovated the unit months later, she said her parents had the same exact experience and now neither will accept Section 8 any more. Landlords beware…there are many more people with jobs who will take responsibility for your property desperate for a chance to rent from you.

  6. I have a friend who has been renting houses to Section 8 for many years. His tenants have jobs in “service”, restaurants, that don’t pay enough for high rents. The people are thankful to have homes and treat their landlord like family.

  7. It’s not a “right” to live in Santa Barbara, Carmel, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, etc… I live in Santa Maria and commuted for years before I could afford a house in SB. Now we are house poor, but live in SB along with the Homeless in RV’s… I guess I should have just bought a Winnebago- Who knew…?

  8. So we the tax payers support the restaurant owner by subsidizing their workforce so they can pay these workers a lower wage? That’s backwards. We the people should not be subsidizing the owners profits because they do not want to pay their workers enough to live here. In other words: If the restaurant cant pay enough, or chooses to not pay enough to support the labor market they should not be in business. Or better yet, they alone should be paying the voucher for their labor, not us.

  9. This is funny. I mean, the country all over, companies, business owners pay what they can afford to pay (or choose to pay). And housing costs what it costs. The workers are squeezed in the middle and taxpayers pick up the tab.
    Doesn’t matter if it’s a restaurant with razor thin margins or Walmart. Of course, it’s worse here where housing costs are astronomical. But be well aware, it happens everywhere. Pay your cooks more, cost of food goes up, people stop going out to eat, restaurant goes under.

  10. Now that Tibor Karsai (the convicted serial rapist) has been released from oversight it is likely that he will now be living in some type of subsidized housing ala. Section 8. I’m sure that we are all looking forward to having him as a neighbor….

  11. I’m OK with subsidizing birth control and public education, public parks and other things that have a value for everyone. But “right” to live in this area, no. If that were the rule, when is it my “turn” in one of the lovely houses with full ocean views? Santa Barbara is an expensive place to live. Many other places, other cities, other counties, other states are more in line with lower income. If you can’t afford designer clothes, you wear what you can afford.

  12. what if the “run of the mill” clothes you bought last week, had the price raised 3 fold. You never intended to live outside your means, because you always bought cheap clothes. Now the cheap clothes arent cheap anymore, and your income has not increased to match? I get what your saying and agree, I fight for the mere chance to live in the city I was born and raised, and spent many years improving. only for out of town buyers/ investors to come in and reap the rewards of my work. who makes SB a nice place to live? the landlords or the supporting industries and workers in it that work to improve it daily. yet cant afford to live in the apartment then just made. People are beginning to forget what these laborers do, what skills they have. I dont know the fix, and honestly someone will get screwed somewhere in this. If we subsidize we lose funds for other projects, if we rent control then landlords are being forced to take losses. Someones gona get screwed no matter what

  13. But look at it this way: landlords here expect renters to subsidize their purchases. Many landlords buy with the express purpose of having someone else cover their entire mortgage by way of rent. How is that not also subsidization? Further, when did it become the “norm” for owners to expect their mortgages to be covered 100% – what happened to personal responsibility, with buyers living within their own means? Let’s take a look at ALL sides of entitlement, if you’re really asking the question.

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