The San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) Path to Success initiative encourages Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance families to become more financially self-reliant.
Path to Success modified the method SDHC uses to determine the portion of the monthly rent that rental assistance families and public housing residents pay.
The new rent methodology was designed to motivate families to increase earnings.
In addition, Path to Success set minimum monthly rent payment amounts for participants who are identified as able to work (Work-Able).
There is no minimum monthly rent payment amount for Elderly/Disabled families, which are households in which all adult family members are 55 or older, disabled, or a full-time student ages 18 to 23.
Program Updates – Effective January 1, 2020
Important changes to SDHC’s federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance program will take effect in approximately one year—on January 1, 2020.
Rent Payment Amounts
Work-Able families pay either the minimum monthly rent payment amount or a predetermined amount of rent that is based on the family’s annual income, whichever is greater.
The minimum monthly rent payment amounts for Work-Able households will increase, beginning on January 1, 2020, to reflect increases in the California minimum wage.
SDHC initially implemented minimum monthly rent payment amounts for Work-Able households on July 1, 2013. The second phase of minimum monthly rent payment amounts was implemented two years later on July 1, 2015. The following minimum monthly rent payment amounts will take effect on January 1, 2020:
- Households with one Work-Able person will pay a minimum rent of $400 (up from $300); and
- Households with two or more Work-Able persons will pay a minimum rent of $650 (up from $500)
To allow Work-Able households to increase their income without being penalized and to encourage increasing earnings, adjusted annual income is separated into income ranges.
The lower edge of the range is used to calculate the family’s rent payment amount at 30 percent of the adjusted monthly income.
Household income was previously calculated starting with a range of $2,500. The income ranges will be increased to $5,000.
For example, the monthly rent payment amount for any family with adjusted annual income between $25,000 and $29,999 will be calculated using $25,000 as their income.
This allows Work-Able families to increase their income without being penalized or to allocate more of their money to other financial goals.
Path to Success is one of SDHC’s innovative Moving to Work (MTW) initiatives and was implemented on July 1, 2013.
The average annual income for Work-Able families increased 32 percent since Fiscal Year 2013, the last year before Path to Success was implemented.
SDHC guides Work-Able families to become more financially self-reliant through enrollment at the SDHC Achievement Academy, a learning and resource center and computer lab with programs that emphasize career planning, job skills and personal financial education. These programs are provided at no cost to rental assistance participants and public housing residents.
SDHC is one of only 39 public housing authorities in the nation, out of 3,400, to receive the MTW designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Under Path to Success, SDHC identifies families as Work-Able or Elderly/Disabled.
Work-Able families are households with at least one adult who is under 55, not disabled, and not a full-time student ages 18-23.
In Elderly/Disabled households, all adult family members are 55 or older, disabled, or a full-time student ages 18 to 23.
Moving Under Path to Success
Work-Able families may only move to another jurisdiction and retain their Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance if they request and receive an exception, such as:
- Employment opportunities;
- Safety reasons;
- A medical/disability need; or
- Other exceptions determined on a case-by-case basis.
This policy does not affect Elderly/Disabled families.
Read more about moving with your voucher.