The Housing Authority of the City and County of San Francisco (Authority) has been awarded 906 Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs). The Housing Authority is partnering with the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) to implement this program. This gives us an exciting opportunity to move more San Franciscans experiencing and facing homelessness into permanent housing.
The Emergency Housing Voucher program is referral-based. Referrals will come from HSH. You cannot apply for a voucher directly to the San Francisco Housing Authority.
What are Emergency Housing Vouchers?
EHVs are designed to lease units on the private market, and the Housing Authority will cover a portion of a voucher holder’s rent based on income. The program is referral-based, meaning you cannot apply for the EHV program with the Authority. HSH will be responsible for referring eligible families to the Housing Authority for the program.
Tenants who receive EHVs:
- Live in their own unit throughout the private rental market in San Francisco up to fair market rent. The voucher can be moved to a different county if needed after going through a standardized process with the Housing Authority.
- Typically pay 30% of their income on rent, with the rest covered by the Housing Authority through the voucher.
- Keep the voucher for as many years as needed, as long as the voucher holder is in compliance with HUD and Housing Authority regulations.
- Receive help searching for housing and paying for move-in costs, such as security deposits, and furniture (paid for by HSH and partners). Any unit rented with an EHV will be clean, safe for habitation, and ready for move in.
- Can receive voluntary ongoing supportive services related to housing, or connections to other resources, such as help communicating with a landlord or job search assistance (paid for by HSH and partners).
I need emergency housing tonight. Is this program for me?
These vouchers are called “emergency” vouchers because they are funded through the COVID-related American Rescue Plan. The vouchers are for long-term rental assistance, not emergency temporary assistance. It can take several months between application and move-in. If you are currently experiencing homelessness and are interested in accessing other resources in the Homelessness Response System, please visit our How to Get Services page.
Who is eligible for an EHV?
In San Francisco, EHV assistance is limited to families and individuals who are:
|At least ONE of the following:|
|Currently experiencing homelessness|
|At risk of experiencing homelessness|
|Recently homeless and at high risk of housing instability|
|Fleeing, or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking|
|And ALL of the following:|
|Do not have a conviction for producing methamphetamines in publicly funded housing|
|Are not subject to a lifetime sex offender status on a state registry|
|Have at least one household member who is a US citizen or eligible non-citizen (i.e. permanent resident, refugee, asylee, etc.). The citizen or eligible non-citizen does not have to be 18 or older. Only those with eligible citizenship of immigration status are subsidized. This will result in a higher (pro-rated) rent for the family based on eligible family members.|
In addition to these eligibility criteria set by HUD, San Francisco has identified goals to prioritize who the vouchers go to, due to the limited number available, and our efforts to distribute them equitably. Not everyone who is eligible for a voucher will have the opportunity to apply.
This is a referral-based program, meaning individuals cannot apply directly to the housing authority; instead, HSH identifies and refers applicants. HSH has developed community-informed local priorities that are aligned with our agency’s strategic framework and equity goals:
- Address racial inequities in homelessness caused by structural racism by connecting households who have been historically marginalized to vouchers through community-based referral partners.
- Reduce homelessness by targeting vouchers for people who are currently experiencing unsheltered homelessness.
- Decrease inflow into homelessness by targeting vouchers for people at an imminent risk of experiencing homelessness.
How can I get a voucher?
HSH had an online screener to identify eligible households experiencing homelessness, which was open from December 15th, 2021 to January 20th, 2022. The opportunity is now closed. Please visit our How to Get Services page for other resources that may be available through the Homelessness Response System.
Households who were invited to apply for an Emergency Housing Voucher through the online screener process were notified throughout the month of February, 2022. If you were not contacted by the end of February 2022, you were not selected for a voucher. No individual tracking is available.
More Information and Useful Links
- Program overview for interested applicants
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Watch a recording of the EHV Information Session – held Dec. 14, 2021
- View the slides from the EHV Information Session – held Dec. 14, 2021
- Program flyer for interested landlords
- San Francisco Housing Authority webpage
- HUD EHV program website
For other inquiries about the program, please contact HousingChoiceVouchers@sfgov.org