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Payment Standards

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Renting a House or Apartment

What amount of rent do I qualify for?

The amount of rent you qualify for is determined by your income. You are not allowed to rent a unit that requires you to pay more than 40% of your adjusted monthly income toward rent.

What is the 40% rule?

Families will generally pay at least 30% of their monthly adjusted income toward rent, not to exceed 40% of monthly adjusted income in the first term of the lease. Your portion also depends on the rent of the unit you choose. If your rent is higher than the maximum subsidy the Housing Authority can pay, you have to pay the difference out of your own pocket. However, you are not allowed to rent a unit that requires you to pay more than 40% of your adjusted monthly income toward rent. If the rent is too high, you have to find another unit.

What is the payment standard?

The Payment Standard is used to calculate the housing assistance payment for a family. In accordance with HUD regulations, and at the VHA/SCHA’s discretion, the Voucher Payment Standard amount is set by the VHA/SCHA between 90 percent and 110 percent of the HUD published Fair Market Rent (FMR). This is considered the basic range.


  VHA Updated 1/1/2020                                                                                SCHA Updated 1/1/2020                                                           

 VHA Payment Standard                                                                                SCHA Payment Standard

0 Bdrm $1012                                                                                            0 Bdrm $1012

1 Bdrm $1196                                                                                            1 Bdrm $1196

2 Bdrm $1475                                                                                            2 Bdrm $1475

3 Bdrm $2146                                                                                            3 Bdrm $2146

4 Bdrm $2597                                                                                            4 Bdrm $2597

5 Bdrm $2987                                                                                            5 Bdrm $2987

6 Bdrm $3376                                                                                            6 Bdrm $3376


To receive rent assistance under the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program, families whose annual income does not exceed the following, as of April 24, 2019, are eligible:

Family of:

One (1)


Five (5)


Two (2)


Six (6)


Three (3)


Seven (7)


Four (4)


Eight (8)







What is the utility allowance?

The utility allowance is intended to cover the cost of utilities not included in the rent. The allowance is based on the typical cost of utilities and services paid by energy-conservative households that occupy housing of similar size and type in the same locality. Allowances are not based on an individual family's actual energy consumption. The VHA/SCHA will not provide any allowance for non-essential utility costs, such as costs of phone, cable or satellite television. See current Utility Allowance Schedule under Vacaville Housing Authority or Solano County Housing Authority.

What do I do with the RFTA?

Interested property owners must complete the Request For Tenancy Approval (RFTA) for a person that has a current (valid) Housing Choice Voucher. The RFTA is given to voucher holders to present to the owner. The RFTA must be signed by both the owner and the voucher holder. The VHA/SCHA will review the proposed lease and the RFTA documents to determine whether or not the unit is approvable.

When can I move in?

Once you find a new unit, you will be given the following forms to complete: Request for Lease Approval; Tenancy Addendum; Condition and Inventory Report; and Lead Based Paint Form. Complete all the forms listed above and return them to the VHA/SCHA, along with a copy of your proposed lease. The VHA/SCHA has up to 15 days to review and approve or deny all leases. Once the lease is approved, the VHA/SCHA will contact both you and the landlord to schedule an inspection. Housing Assistance Payments cannot begin until the unit is inspected and approved by the VHA/SCHA. Remember, the terms of your prior lease may require you to stay until a certain date. If you decide to move before that date, your landlord must agree in writing. If you move without doing this, you could lose your assistance and be sued for monthly rent until the lease runs out or until another tenant is found.

Can I rent from relatives?

You cannot rent a unit owned by the parent(s), child(ren), grandparent(s), grandchild(ren), sister(s), brother(s), of any household member. The Housing Authority may approve the unit if it will provide a reasonable accommodation for a disabled family member.

What if I have a disability & need an accommodation?

Under applicable law, the Housing Authority provides “Reasonable Accommodation” to applicants and/or participants with disabilities. A “Reasonable Accommodation” is a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice or service that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have equal access to the programs and services. The request for the accommodation must be reasonable and not an administrative or financial burden or alter the fundamental nature of the Section 8 program. If you or any member of your household have a verifiable disability and you need a reasonable accommodation, you may request it in writing at any time. All requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and mitigating factors are taken into consideration. The accommodation must be for a person with a disability.

What is a Lease versus a Rental Agreement?

A Rental Agreement establishes a tenancy for a short period of time, usually one month. A month-to-month rental agreement is automatically renewed each month unless the landlord or the tenant gives the other the proper amount of notice (typically 30 days) and terminates the agreement. The landlord may increase the rent, change other terms of the tenancy, or terminate the lease with appropriate notice.

A Lease obligates both the landlord and the tenant for a set period of time, usually one year. The landlord can't raise the rent or change other terms until the lease runs out, unless the lease itself provides for modifications or the tenant agrees in writing to the changes. In addition, the landlord usually can't ask the tenant to move out or win an eviction lawsuit unless the tenant fails to pay the rent or violates another important term of the lease or state or local law. At the end of the lease term, the landlord can either decline to renew it or negotiate to sign a new Lease or Rental Agreement.