Landlord Incentive Program

Landlord Incentive Program

Elk Grove's Landlord Incentive Program offers generous benefits to property owners that rent to households experiencing homelessness and/or those participating in the Housing Choice Voucher program. Participating property owners could qualify for: 

  • Cash bonuses of up to $3,000
  • Security deposit payment 
  • No loss bonus (payment of rent for up to 45 days to cover the time it takes to move in a qualified tenant) – Housing Choice Voucher tenants only 
  • Referral bonus of $500 for property managers or real estate agents

Landlord Incentive Program Flyer

Incentives

Landlord Bonuses
  • Landlord Bonus: Homeless – $3,000 for property owners who rent to households experiencing homelessness in Elk Grove
    or
  • Landlord Bonus: New to HCV– $2,000 for Elk Grove property owners who rent to Housing Choice Voucher households who have not participated in the HCV program in the previous two years.
    or
  • Landlord Bonus: HCV – $500 for Elk Grove property owners who rent to Housing Choice Voucher households
Plus No-loss Bonus
  • No-loss bonus: payment of prorated rent from the day a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) is submitted to the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) to the day the tenant moves in, up to 45 days. This incentive may only be claimed by property owners who rent to a Housing Choice Voucher participant.
Plus Security Deposit Payment

The City will pay for the tenant’s security deposit at a maximum equal to one month’s rent. If the property owner normally charges two times the contract rent for a security deposit, the City will pay half of that value provided the tenant pays the other half.

Plus Property Management Incentives

Referral cash bonus: $500 for property managers or real estate agents who refer participating property owners.

Eligibility

Property Owner Requirements 

Property owners must meet the following conditions: 

  • Must have legal title to the property being rented. 
  • Sign at least a 12-month lease with a qualified tenant at an approved rent level. 
  • If renting to Housing Choice Voucher participant, willing to abide by the rules and regulations of the HCV Program administered by SHRA. 

Unit Requirements 

Many types of units are eligible, including single-family homes, apartments, townhomes, and condos. Properties must: 

  • Be located within the City of Elk Grove. *Special exceptions may apply to cover certain households renting outside Elk Grove, see FAQ.
  • Be offered for rent at or below the applicable SHRA payment standard based on the unit's size, location, and amenities. View SHRA's payment standards. *Exceptions to this standard may be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • In certain cases, pass a preliminary inspection by a City representative to ensure the property is in adequate condition. 

Subsidized housing units, such as tax credit-financed affordable housing, are not eligible. 

Qualified Tenants 

Qualified Tenants are households who are low-income and either have an active HCV voucher issued by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency or are experiencing homelessness within Elk Grove.

Frequently Asked Questions for Landlords

Do I choose my own tenant or does the City?

You choose your own tenant. The City can refer tenants qualified for this program to you, but ultimately you are in charge of selection. You set your own standards and conduct your usual background check process.

I see the City program will pay the tenant's security deposit. What about first and last month's rent? What about pet deposits?

Tenants are responsible for paying first and last month’s rent, as well as any applicable pet deposits, though the City has several nonprofit partners that may assist with this. If you collect last month’s rent, that amount is applied to the cap on security deposits under State law, and the City program will not pay a security deposit. If you normally charge a double security deposit, the City will pay half of that value – one month’s rent worth – provided the tenant pays the other half.

How much can I charge in rent?
Eligible units must be offered at or below the applicable payment standards determined by SHRA, which are based on the unit's size, location (zip code), and amenities. SHRA adjusts its payment standards annually; view current payment standards. *Exceptions to this standard may be made on a case-by-case basis.
I own a property outside of Elk Grove, can I participate in the Program and claim incentives?

Possibly! The City can approve property owners anywhere in Sacramento County when they rent to households who are experiencing homelessness in Elk Grove. Contact us to find out more.

Who can I contact with questions?
Do not hesitate to contact Jack Barnes, Landlord Incentive Program Specialist, at jbarnes@elkgrovecity.org or by phone at (916) 478-2242. 
How do I apply?

- The minimum documentation required for participation in the Program is a copy of the signed lease and a completed Claims Form, which is available on this webpage. You are encouraged to contact Landlord Incentive Program Specialist Jack Barnes at jbarnes@elkgrovecity.org or (916) 478-2242 at any point in the process for more tailored guidance.

I am already renting to an HCV tenant; can I claim any incentives?

No, the Program is only for new leases – lease extensions for tenants already living in units do not count as new rentals.

Do I have to work with SHRA?
Not necessarily. Coordination with the SHRA is only necessary when renting to tenants with Housing Choice Vouchers. If you rent to a tenant who does not have a Housing Choice Voucher, there is no reason to have a relationship with SHRA. 

It should be noted, though, that discrimination against HCV holders is illegal under State law, and there are several benefits to participating in the HCV program, including guaranteed rent payment by the federal government and lower vacancy rates/tenant stability. The majority of landlords who participate in the HCV program have a positive experience renting to voucher holders.
What if I have problems with SHRA?
SHRA has a dedicated landlord liaison who can assist with any issues experienced by property owners accepting Housing Choice Vouchers. The landlord liaison can be reached at (916) 449-6330 or aoverlie@shra.org

Elk Grove also has dedicated staff to implement the Landlord Incentive Program, and can coordinate with SHRA to resolve issues.
I have heard of Section 8, the Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV), and the Emergency Housing Voucher program (EHV). What is the difference between all of these? Do they all work for the Landlord Incentive Program?

Section 8 is now called the Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV), so they are the same thing and the names are often used interchangeably. The HCV program is administered by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA). Any rental applicant with an HCV voucher is automatically considered a Qualified Tenant for the City of Elk Grove’s Landlord Incentive Program, and by renting to them you would be eligible for the incentives.

The Emergency Housing Voucher program (EHV) is a different program administered by SHRA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EHV program is specifically aimed at housing people experiencing homelessness and pays even larger sums for rent than regular HCV vouchers. Rental applicants with EHV vouchers are not considered Qualified Tenants under the Landlord Incentive Program guidelines. However, SHRA has its own incentive program for the EHV program, about which you can find more information here.

Does my relationship with the City last for the duration of the tenancy?

No. Once a property owner has received their incentive payment, the City's involvement in the rental lease is over, and your landlord/tenant relationship will proceed as any other. At the end of the tenancy, any security deposit paid by the City is returned to the tenant. This provides an incentive for the tenant to maintain the property in good condition.

Are voucher holders bad tenants?
No. In fact, according to a study done by Urban Wire and Avail, the majority of landlords who rent to tenants with vouchers have a positive experience renting to them. Other benefits of participating in the HCV program include guaranteed rent payment by the federal government, lower vacancy rates, and more tenant stability.

Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants

I think I am eligible to be a qualified tenant, how can I confirm this?
If you have an active Housing Choice Voucher issued by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency and are looking for housing, you are eligible. 

If you do not have a Housing Choice Voucher but are experiencing homelessness, you may also qualify. Please reach out to Jack Barnes at jbarnes@elkgrovecity.org or (916) 478-2242 to explain your situation. If you do indeed meet the qualifications, the City will provide you with a letter verifying your qualified tenant status and explaining the incentives that landlords would be eligible for by renting to you.
What if I have bad credit or past evictions?

The City's Program is meant to increase access to existing rental housing for lower-income residents by providing a meaningful financial benefit to landlords who rent to people who might otherwise have difficulty finding housing. However, landlords still choose their own tenants and set their own standards for selecting tenants, including credit and criminal background checks.

How can I share information about these incentives with landlords whose units I am applying to rent?

- If the City has verified that you are experiencing homelessness in Elk Grove, City staff will provide you with a letter that you can include in your applications explaining that you have already been approved and describing the incentives available to landlords who rent to you. Otherwise, your voucher will serve as proof of your qualified status. You are encouraged to include a copy of the Landlord Incentive Program flyer.

Contact

Contact

Landlord Incentive Program Specialist

Jack Barnes
Email or (916) 478-2242