Section 8 HCV Payment Standards

Rental Assistance Options

Voucher Payment Standard

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher

Effective October 1, 2018, the Housing Authority of the County of San Diego (HACSD) began using a new method to calculate the amount of money we will pay toward rent for each family in our Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.

Formerly, the payment standard that the HACSD used to determine the maximum amount of rental assistance for each family participating in the HCV program was based on rent estimates for the entire metropolitan area. This approach often meant that families with HCVs could not afford to rent in neighborhoods with high rents. Going forward, the new payment standards used to determine the maximum subsidy for a rental unit is based on rent estimates for each zip code located within our jurisdiction.  The use of multiple payment standards will allow us to provide rental assistance at levels that more accurately reflect the rents charged in individual neighborhoods.

The new approach to payment standards using the localized rent in each zip code is called a Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR).  SAFMR payment standards are required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the San Diego metropolitan area.

Families receiving Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher assistance benefit from a certain amount of money each month to help pay their rent and utilities. The amount of money is different for each family and depends upon the family size, income, and bedroom size.

The Voucher Payment Standard is the maximum amount of assistance allowed; it is not the maximum rent that can be charged by landlords. The payment standard is the maximum amount a family can receive, but the monthly assistance for each family may be different. Rents remain subject to rent reasonableness determinations.


SAFMRs do not apply to other non-Section 8 HCV rental assistance programs. Those programs will continue to use the area wide Fair Market Rent as the payment standard.


Need help searching for a unit? Have questions on how the new SAFMRs will impact your family? Come to HACSD for a Tenant Meeting for additional information. Meetings are held at 3989 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123:

  • October 26, 2018, 10:00-11:00 AM
  • November 16, 2018, 10:00-11:00 AM
  • December 18, 2018 11:00 AM-12:00 PM


Have additional questions on the HCV Program or on SAFMRs?  Landlord Meetings have been scheduled to answer your questions.   Meetings are held at 3989 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123:

  • October 30, 2018, 10:00- 11:00 AM
  • November 29, 2018, 10:00- 11:00 AM
  • December 28, 2018 10:30 AM-11:30 AM


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