In theory, Section 8 is a wonderful program. The idea is that the government subsidizes the rent for those who cannot afford the full rent amount.
So, why doesn’t it work? My answer is bad landlords. Over time there were bad landlords who took advantage of this government program and as a result the government had to put protections in place to ensure the landlords were not taking advantage of tenants and the government.
The government regulations involved with Section 8 put burdens on landlords that make the program less desirable from a business perspective for many landlords.
Here are a few of the regulations that are not appealing to landlords:
1) The Housing Authority may not set the vouchers at realistic fair market values.
2) It can take several weeks for the inspection in order to qualify for the program.
3) Tenant complaints can result in the program terminating the monthly rent, as opposed to the procedures set forth by California Law.
4) It may be difficult to exit the program if the landlord chooses to sell or move back into their property.
Over the years the Section 8 program has improved in some areas but there are barriers that still exist. I have heard rave reviews of the program from those that are well established with the program, but also horror stories from others.
Currently the acceptance of the Section 8 program is voluntary. Some tenant activist groups have been pushing legislators to require that landlords accept the program so sometime in the future you may have no choice but to start doing business with the government.