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 $4,500
  • Double security deposit
  • No loss bonus (payment of rent for up to 60 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

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Incentives


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.


Claims Forms

Submit completed claims forms to [email protected]


Guidelines

Review the Landlord Incentive Program Guidelines


Frequently Asked Questions

Landlord Frequently Asked Questions

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 pay one month's rent as a security deposit. If you do not collect last month's rent from the tenant, the City will pay twice the standard security deposit on the unit.
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.
How does the unit holding agreement work?
If you're interested in considering qualified tenants for your rental, you can enter into a unit holding agreement with the City. The unit holding agreement says the City will pay the rent on your unit while you are considering qualified tenants, up to 60 days. During this timeframe, you agree to consider only qualified tenants referred to you by the City. Don't worry, there are many to choose from! If you end up renting your unit to a non-qualified tenant during the 60 days, you forfeit any City payment.

Unit holding agreements are completely optional, and you can definitely participate without one.
How long will it take to get my unit occupied?
It depends. If you are renting to an HCV participant, the time frame will be contingent on how long SHRA takes to inspect and approve your unit. If you sign a unit holding agreement with the City, it will depend on how long you take to find a qualified tenant.

But worry not  – the assurance incentives exist to compensate you for rent you may have otherwise collected in this timeframe.
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 [email protected] or by phone at (916) 478-2242. 
How do I apply?
This flowchart (link coming soon) displays the steps involved in participating in the Landlord Incentive Program and making claims.

For property owners who already have a specific HCV voucher-holding rental candidate in mind, they can collect incentives after they have moved the Qualified Tenant in (so long as the RFTA was approved by SHRA after January 24, 2022) and can inform City staff of their intent to participate at any point before that.

For property owners without a specific rental candidate already in mind, they can fill out a Unit Holding Agreement Interest Form here (link coming soon) and expect to hear back from City staff within five business days about next steps.
I am already renting to an HCV tenant; can I claim any incentives?
No, the Program is only for property owners who rent units to qualified tenants on or after January 24, 2022. Lease extensions for tenants already living in units do not count as a 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 [email protected].

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.
What is the referral bonus?
The property management/real estate agent referral bonus is a $500 cash bonus available to property managers and real estate agents who connect property owners to the City's Program. The referral bonus is available when a property owner referred by a property management or real estate professional rents their first unit under the City program.

Tenant Frequently Asked Questions

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 [email protected] 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?
Once the City has verified that you are a qualified tenant, 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. We advise coordinating with the City before talking with landlords about this program.

SHRA Links

Contact

Landlord Incentive Program Specialist

Jack Barnes
Email or (916) 478-2242

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