About the Program
The Project Based Voucher (PBV) program is a rental assistance program where the assistance is attached to the unit, rather than to the family occupying the unit. With HUD’s permission, Housing Authorities may convert up to 20% of their Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) into Project Based Vouchers. The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz has taken the position that in most circumstances, the public interests are best served when low income families who receive rental assistance have the freedom of choice to lease a unit in their neighborhood of preference, rather than being limited to specific units. Therefore, the Housing Authority does not routinely project base the vouchers available under our annual contributions contract.
About the Projects
The Housing Authority currently has a total of 152 Project Based Vouchers located in 4 Apartment Complexes.
Existing Project Based Complexes
- El Centro:
- 1110 Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz CA
- 44 Project Based Units
- Designated for single person households age 60 or older
- Emerald Hill
- 101 Civic Center Drive Scotts Valley CA
- 8 Projects Based Units
- Jessie Street
- 314 Jessie Street Santa Cruz CA
- 4 Project Based Units
- San Andreas
- 295 San Andreas Road Watsonville CA
- 5 Project Based Units
- 15 West Lake Avenue Watsonville CA
- 52 Projects Based Units
- St. Stephens
- 2510 Soquel Avenue Santa Cruz CA
- 39 Projects Based Units
- Designated for low income senior at least 62 years of age
Potential Future Projects
- The Housing Authority has conditionally agreed to project base 11 units at Pippen Apartments in Watsonville. Of those 11 units, 6 units will be designated for disabled persons who would benefit from the supportive services offered on site.
- The Housing Authority has conditionally agreed to project base 28 units at Water Street Apartments in Santa Cruz.
- The Housing Authority has conditionally agreed to project base 48 units for low income seniors at Sunrise Senior Apartments in Hollister.
- The Housing Authority has conditionally agreed to project base 21 units at Sycamore Street Commons and La Playa Apartments in Santa Cruz.
Waiting List and Eligibility
In most cases, the Project Based Voucher (PBV) Program shares a waiting list with the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. However, some project based voucher sites may have site based waiting lists. Click here to view all waiting lists.
When a Project Based unit becomes available, the Housing Authority will send a letter to the top families on the Waiting List. The letter will instruct interested families to contact the owner directly. Families on the HCV waiting list who reject an offer of a PBV unit or who are rejected by the owner will not be penalized. They will retain the same position on the HCV waiting list that they would have had if they had not been offered PBV assistance. Families on a site based waiting list that are determined ineligible, decline the unit or fail to respond to a mailing will be cancelled from that site based waiting list.
The eligibility, screening, and criminal background policies under the HCV program also apply to the PBV program. The owner may apply their own admission standards to eligible families referred by the Housing Authority.
Special Program Rules
In most ways, the PBV program operates just like the HCV program, with households paying roughly one third of their income towards housing, and the Housing Authority paying the remainder of the rent directly to the landlord on the tenant’s behalf. However, there are some rules that differ slightly in the PBV program. The following are some of the key differences. This list is not comprehensive, and is only intended to highlight the biggest differences between the two programs.
- In the PBV program, tenants do not pay more than 30% of their income on housing. In the HCV program, tenants may pay between 30% and 40% of their income at the time of moving into a unit, and may pay even more if the landlord increases the rent.
- In the HCV program, assistance is tied to the family, and families can move to any eligible unit in the community at any time. In the PBV program, assistance is tied to the unit, so there are restrictions on moves. However, after one year of participation in the PBV program, households may transfer their assistance to another unit in the community, if they are in good standing and if there is a voucher available.
Information for Landlords Interested in Project Basing Units
The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz (“HACSC”) is currently accepting applications from property owners for project-based vouchers (“PBV”) under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV). Each year, the Housing Authority publishes an RPF in local newspapers of general circulation, including the Santa Cruz Sentinel and the Register Pajaronian. The RFP is also available here. Proposals for project based vouchers may be submitted at any time during the year. All proposals will be scored against the criteria established in the most recent RFP. If you would like to be contacted when the Housing Authority issues an RFP for Project Based Vouchers, please contact Mark Failor, Deputy Executive Director, at (831) 454-9455 Ext 223.
More information about the Project Based Voucher selection process is available in our Administrative Plan.