Landlord Handbook

If you rent to a Section 8 voucher holder or plan to, this section of the website is for you.

Being a Section 8 landlord helps low-income families  afford decent housing where they can feel safe.

Rockwood Landing

  • Families are awarded a Housing Choice Voucher, permitting them to find suitable housing of their choice from private market and non-profit landlords.

  • 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 annually contributes over $50 million in rents to Multnomah County. Over 2,600 landlords and nearly 9,400 households currently participate.
  • You can collect market rate rents, and apply reasonable rent increases.

  • You may require reasonable security deposits and late fees.

  • You are able to effectively screen and select tenants.  If known, Home Forward can provide information about prospective tenants’ current and prior addresses and their landlords information upon request.

  • Strict renter responsibilities are defined in the lease addendum.

  • You will experience low tenant turnover, as high tenant demand promotes full occupancy and longevity.

  • You have the discretion to not renew a tenant’s lease when it 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, even when the tenant experiences financial hardship such as job loss or catastrophic event.
  • Home Forward pays more towards a tenant’s rent in in areas with higher market rents, known as areas of opportunity .

  • The maximum subsidy we can provide is called a payment standard.  We base our payment standards on market rates within nine neighborhoods defined by zip codes. For 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 $1,114.

  • Payment standards do not restrict landlord rents.  Landlord rents have to be reasonable compared to rents for similar units in the same market area.
  • If you have not worked with Home Forward in the last 24 month, you will earn a one-time $200 incentive when you rent to a voucher-holder.

  • You will receive the payment automatically when we receive your signed agreement with us for that tenant.

Effective July 1, 2014, the State of Oregon provides a type of “insurance” policy for landlords who rent to Section 8 voucher holders called the Housing Choice Landlord Guarantee Program, administered by the Oregon Housing and Community Services department.

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

  • 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

  • Refrain from criminal activity
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.
Some violations of Housing Quality Standards include: 
  • peeling or flaking paint

  • unsafe or rotted porches

  • cracked or broken windows

  • leaks

  • improper flue ventilation on hot water tank

  • weak or broken floor boards

  • extension cord outlets

  • exposed plumbing

  • missing electrical outlet covers or switch plates

  • inoperable smoke detectors
Home Forward provides resources such as:
  • Periodic Landlord Trainings, covering topics like Oregon landlord/tenant law, Section 8 procedures, unit maintenance, lead-based paint issues, etc.

  • Compliance Investigation to ensure a fair program for everyone. We actively investigate reports of program abuse. If you have a reasonable assumption of program abuse, call our investigation hotline at (503) 802-8571.

We have a team dedicated to assisting you with this process and answering your questions:

Email landlordservices@homeforward.org or call 503.802.8333, option 5.