For the first time in four years, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB) will re-open applications for Section 8 affordable housing vouchers. Local landlords are key to the success of the program and are invited to a Sept. 26 luncheon to learn about new incentives for participating.

On Oct. 1, HACSB will re-open online applications for its Section 8 program, which assists working and low-income families, the elderly and the disabled afford decent, safe housing in the private market. HACSB directly pays landlords a housing subsidy on behalf of the participating residents.

HACSB has introduced a number of new incentives for landlords to take part in the program, which will be discussed noon-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Grace Village Apartments, 3869 State St., Santa Barbara.

Local landlord Richard Moerler has been taking part in HACSB’s Section 8 program since 1972.

“The average Section 8 tenant is really grateful to be in the program,” said Moerler. “I’ve always found the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara staff to be helpful and available to help me resolve any problems.”

Due to his positive experience with the program, today 41 of Moerler’s rental units are available to Section 8 tenants.

“Many landlords have concerns about opening their properties to Section 8 vouchers,” said Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara President & CEO Rob Fredericks. “We have a long history of working together with property owners, community organizations and tenants to keep this vital program working smoothly for everyone.

“We hope you will join us Sept. 26 to learn more about the process, and to hear directly from other property owners about their experience with the program.”

New incentives available to participating landlords include:

» Vacancy loss payments for landlords leasing to a HACSB Section 8 tenant in a unit being vacated by another HACSB Section 8 participant.

» Signing bonus of $500 for new landlords (has not signed up a new Section 8 participant since January 2015 at a particular property/complex) leasing up a Section 8 participant with a city issued voucher.

» Referral bonus — $100 to an individual referring a new landlord who successfully executes a Housing Assistance Payment contract, by leasing a unit to a participant on HACSB’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

» Previous incentives that remain available to landlords and Section 8 residents include damage protection reimbursement of up to $2,000 for unpaid unit damages; owner requested inspections initiated by health and safety concerns; online portal providing landlords and managers with access to Housing Assistance Payment records; Security Deposit Loans; Family Service Agency Supportive Services Referrals and more.

HACSB is committed to providing low-income households with the tools needed to succeed and become self-sufficient to the greatest extent possible as well as providing its participating property owners and managers with the necessary information and customer service for a successful Section 8 tenancy.

Landlords can contact Janice Rodriguez, 805-897-1046 or for more information.

Tenant applications for Section 8 will be available at Oct. 1.

The luncheon is free to participating landlords or landlords interesting in learning more about participating in the program by renting their units to voucher holders; attendees must RSVP to Rodriguez.

For more about The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, visit

— Angel Pacheco for Housing Authority for city of Santa Barbara.