Owner Benefits Program

Partnering with OHA has its Benefits

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program in the City of Oakland has been impacted by a dramatically escalating rental market and very limited inventory. In response to market conditions, OHA implemented the Owner Benefits Program.

The HCV (Section 8) program has some incredible new benefits for property owners, and joining the program is a simple process that can help prevent homelessness and ensure that Oakland remains economically diverse.  

The goals of the Owner Benefits Program are:
  1. to support existing owners & recruit new owners to the Section 8 program; 
  2. to increase the number of units available for families to rent within the City of Oakland; 
  3. to increase the lease-up success rates for vouchers issued; and 
  4. to increase the overall voucher utilization rate for the Authority.

The four initiatives of the Owner Benefits Program are:

Signing Bonus (New Landlord Incentive Payment) 
Property owners who sign a new contract with OHA allowing a Section 8 family to move into one of their available units, will receive a signing bonus of $500.00. This is for new owners who have not contracted with us since March 2015. With over 145 families searching right now for housing in Oakland, you can make a difference.

Re-rent Bonus (Vacancy Loss Payment)
When an existing Section 8 property owner re-rents a unit to a new Section 8 tenant within 180 calendar days of the previous Section 8 tenant vacating that unit, OHA will pay up to two months of rental assistance.  The Re-Rent Bonus process is convenient and hassle-free. If eligible, owners will receive the Re-Rent Bonus within 30 days of leasing the unit to a new Section 8 participant.

Example:
  • On March 20, the Curry family, who had been renting a 2-bedroom unit with HAP of $1,500, moved out. 
  • On April 15, the Thompson family, moved into the same unit.
  • Since the new Section 8 tenant moved in within 180 days of the previous Section 8 tenant vacating, the owner qualifies for a Re-Rent Bonus. Remember, the owner has already received the full HAP of $1500.00 for the month of March. It is OHA’s policy not to recoup HAP in the month the HCV tenant vacates the unit.   
Vacancy Payment Amount Calculation:       
  • Previous tenant HAP amount: $1,500             
  • Number of days the unit was vacant (From April 1 to April 14): 14        
  • Vacancy HAP Amount ($1,500 /30 days X 14): $700.00           

Inspect now, rent later (Prequalifying Unit Inspections) 
Federal Regulations require all Section 8 units be inspected before we can pay any housing assistance. However, this does not need to slow you down. To move quickly through OHA’s inspection and leasing procedure, a new or existing landlord can have the unit inspected even before you have a prospective Section 8 resident. You can schedule an inspection at a convenient time, and once the unit passes, you are ready to go. The inspection will be good for 90 days, giving you time to find a Section 8 participant who passes your standard screening process. This streamlined service ensures you receive your first rent check on time because there is no need to wait for any further inspections after the tenant moves in.

Owner Recognition Program 
OHA recognizes long-term owners (5 years or more) who have 5 or more units on the program, and who maintain at least one unit on a biennial inspection schedule. These recognized owners receive awards and special designations to highlight their status as long-term providers of quality rental units.