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Getting Started with Section 8
We want to make it simple and easy for landlords to participate in the Home Forward Section 8 program.
Home Forward is not able to directly recommend voucher-holders to your vacancies, but we do have some options for you. You can list available units on HousingConnections.org and also with Home Forward: see our Free Vacancy Listings page.
If a tenant approaches you about accepting a Section 8 rent assistance voucher, there are four steps to follow.
Step 1: Screen the tenant to ensure you are making a good selection.
Step 2: Tenants with our Section 8 vouchers will have a form to fill out called Request for Tenancy Approval. You should complete the landlord section of the form, along with the Disclosure of Lead-based Paint form. When the tenant submits both completed, signed forms to our office, we will contact you to schedule an inspection. You may submit the forms on behalf of the tenant, if you wish.
Step 3: We will inspect the unit to ensure that it meets HUD’s Housing Quality Standards. Home Forward requests that the landlord be present at the initial inspection. The utilities must be on and the unit must be ready for occupancy. The inspector will discuss any repairs that may be necessary with you.
Step 4: After your unit passes inspection, and the amount of rent you are charging has been approved, you and the tenant enter into an initial lease. When all of the final, signed documents have been received, we release payment to the landlord within two weeks and at the first of the month after that.
About Your Lease Agreement
- Landlords use their own lease agreement and the same screening criteria that apply to any other applicants and tenants.
- The lease should not be signed and dated until after Home Forward approval.
- If you have a 12 month lease, it may not total 365 days. Home Forward will determine the exact dates of the lease; all leases will end on the last day of the month prior to the start month (i.e. starts 11/03/14 - ends 10/31/15).
Home Forward has dedicated staff to provide assistance directly to landlords. If you have any questions, just call our Landlord Services Team at (503) 802-8333, option 5.
House Bill 2639
In June 2014, a new Oregon law went into effect that requires landlords to accept applications from prospective tenants who are receiving Section 8 and other forms of rent assistance. We urge landlords who have questions about the requirement to contact a landlord association, such as Multifamily NW. Home Forward is part of a coalition of landlord associations, tenant advocates, and attorneys who have developed a FAQ as part of a larger education effort on the new law.