Since 1974, the Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, has helped low-income residents afford housing. Under the program, voucher recipients receive subsidized housing on the private market. Program funds come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are administered by local agencies that make direct rent payments to participating landlords. To qualify for the program, recipients must earn no more than 80 percent of their area’s median income. However, because the program is limited, most preferred recipients make only 30% of the median income. Nationwide, more than 2 million households receive these vouchers.

Section 8 in Multnomah County

Here in Multnomah County, Home Forward administers the Section 8 program. For landlords, the relationship with their voucher recipient tenants is the same as traditional tenants. The only difference is that landlords receive a portion of their rent payments each month directly from Home Forward. Tenants pay the remaining part. According to Home Forward’s reports, 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.”

Portland and Multnomah county landlords have seen several critical changes to housing laws since the start of the year. Those changes include the statewide rent control law, new regulations governing security depositsrenter relocation assistance requirements, and, more recently, a ban on residential evictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Home Forward has added another rule local property owners need to keep in mind. The organization recently announced that it would not accept rent increases that would be effective January 1st, 2021, through December 31st, 2021. This new rule only affects owners that have investment properties in Portland or Multnomah County with tenants who receive housing vouchers.

Next Steps for Investment Owners

Multnomah County investment owners should be aware of this announcement and plan accordingly. While annual rent increases are typically small, they help owners keep up with the broader rental market, while also avoiding more substantial rent increases down the road. This change may have a more significant impact on investment buyers, considering buying larger, multi-family properties. For this group, the inability to increase rent for an entire calendar year may negatively impact a project’s profitability.

Have More Questions? We’re Here to Help

During the lease signing process, Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew discloses when a tenant is a part of the housing voucher program. However, if you’re unsure if this new rule affects you, please feel free to call our office to verify. In addition, if you have concerns about how this new rule will impact your investment property, we’d be happy to discuss those as well. Please call (503) 430-8006.

If you’re an investment owner searching for a reliable partner to manage your rental, we can help. Our team has decades of experience guiding owners through the complicated world of rental ownership. From screening new tenants to monthly rent collection to ongoing property maintenance, we handle it all. Your rental property can become a true turnkey operation where you sit back and enjoy the benefits of passive income. To learn more, contact Darla Andrew directly at (503) 515-3170 or by filling out the contact page on our website.

The last few months have shown how fast the rental market can change. With the help of the pros at Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew, you’ll always stay one step ahead.