Section 8 Features

Being a Section 8 landlord can give you the satisfaction of empowering low-income families to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing.

Program Overview

  • Families are awarded a Housing Choice Voucher, permitting them to find suitable housing of their choice from private market landlords who are interested in participating in the program.
  • Home Forward pays a set amount, directly to the landlord, and the renter pays the difference.
  • Other than expecting a portion of the rent regularly each month from Home Forward, you have the same type of renter-landlord relationship that you have with non-Section 8 renters.
  • The Section 8 program contributes over $50 million in rents into Multnomah County annually. Over 2,600 landlords and nearly 9,400 households currently participate.

Program Features for Landlords

  • You can earn market rate rents, and reasonable rent increases are allowed.
  • You may require reasonable security deposits and late fees.
  • You are able to effectively screen and select tenants — Home Forward can provide additional background information about prospective tenants’ rental history.
  • Strict renter responsibilities are defined in the lease addendum.
  • You will experience low tenant turnover; high tenant demand promotes full occupancy and longevity.
  • You have the discretion to not renew a tenant’s lease when the lease expires.
  • Home Forward conducts annual or biennial inspections of the apartment.
  • On-time direct-deposit payments from Home Forward increase your rent security.
  • You will receive guaranteed, on-time payment of rent when circumstances such as tenant job loss or family hardships occur.

Higher Rent Subsidies for Certain Areas of Multnomah County

  • Home Forward pays more towards a tenant's rent in areas of opportunity in our community with higher market rents.
  • The maximum subsidy we can provide is called a payment standard.  As of July 1, 2014 we are basing our payment standards on market rates within nine neighborhoods defined by zip codes.
  • As an example, the maximum subsidy for a two-bedroom apartment in outer southeast Portland is $832, while the subsidy for a two-bedroom apartment in downtown or northwest Portland is up to $1,087.
  • Payment standards do not restrict landlord rents.  Landlord rents have to be reasonable compared to rents for similar units in the same market area.
  • Go to the Landlord Forms page for the current payment standards.

Incentive for New Landlords

  • You earn a one-time $200 incentive when you rent to a voucher holder and haven't worked with us in the last 24 months.
  • You will receive the payment automatically when we receive your signed your agreement with us for that tenant.

Landlord Mitigation Fund

  • The State of Oregon provides a type of “insurance” policy for landlords who rent to Section 8 voucher holders as of July 1, 2014.
  • The program is administered by the Oregon Housing and Community Services department.  Click here to learn more about their Housing Choice Landlord Guarantee Program.

Expanded Boundaries

  • Home Forward and the Housing Authority of Clackamas County have a cooperative agreement that allows their Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) holders to choose to live in either Multnomah or Clackamas counties.   
  • Participants work with the housing authority that issues their voucher, regardless of where they live.
  • Home Forward inspects all of the units in Multnomah County and the Housing Authority of Clackamas County inspects the units in their county.  In addition, the agencies are working together closely to ensure the programs are being administered consistently.

Renter Responsibility

Home Forward has made responsibility part of our contract by including landlord and renter obligations. The obligations on the part of the renter are:

  • Pay the tenant share of the rent to the owner in a timely and consistent manner
  • Meet all the conditions of the lease
  • Pay a security deposit
  • Permit reasonable inspections by Home Forward and by the property owner
  • Give Home Forward notice of any change in income, household size, or intent to move as per HUD regulations
  • Cooperate with Home Forward’s review of income and avoid criminal activity

Housing Quality Standards

As part of our commitment to provide safe, sanitary, and affordable housing to our participants, we maintain certain Housing Quality Standards. When a Section 8 participant is interested in renting your unit, it must be inspected by Home Forward. Once you have agreed to accept a Section 8 subsidy, an inspector will contact you to make an appointment for inspection.

Items which will violate Housing Quality Standards include such things as: peeling or flaking paint, unsafe or rotted porches, windows that are cracked or broken, leaks, lack of proper ventilation of flue on hot water tank, weak or broken floor boards, extension cord outlets, exposed plumbing, missing electrical outlet covers or switch plates, and inoperable smoke detectors.

Working with Home Forward

Home Forward has dedicated staff to provide assistance directly to landlords.  Call our Landlord Services Team at (503) 802-8333, option 6.  Other resources include:

  • Landlord Trainings: These opportunities are scheduled periodically, covering things such as Oregon landlord/tenant law, Section 8 procedures, unit maintenance, lead-based paint issues, etc.
  • Compliance Investigator: To ensure a fair program for everyone, we actively investigate reports of program abuse. Call our fraud investigation hotline at (503) 802-8571.