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Low-Income Housing

People will often use the terms “HUD housing,” “low-income housing” or “public housing” to refer to a wide range of government housing programs that are actually quite different from one another in areas such as funding, management, tenant’s rights and administration and oversight.

What all of these HUD low-income housing programs (public housing, section 8, HUD-subsidized) have in common are:

Tenants rents are set at a percentage of their income (between 30-40%).

Programs serve “very and extremely-low income” households (average incomes are between $13,000-$18,000, SF ) and have “income eligibility guidelines” (you have to be low-income) that must be met in order to access units.

They are all governed by HUD regulations and are funded by the US Congress. Each of these HUD housing programs are covered by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 24, Part 5.

All programs must meet HUD’s “Housing Quality Standards (HQS), which ensures that units are habitable.

All of these programs are exempt from the San Francisco rent ordinance. The rent control laws do not apply. Each program has its own version of “just cause” eviction protections, however.

It is important to know the rules that apply for each specific program, since there are some important differences. Below is a very basic description of each of the key programs. To find out more about each one, click on the link provided.