The 2023 budget for the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency notes that it “strives to maintain a leasing level of 98-100%” for the more than 13,000 housing choice vouchers it administers annually.
Actual lease-up rates for this program — which helps low-income renters and used to be known as Section 8 housing assistance — are markedly lower.
An official for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides vouchers to SHRA to be distributed locally for thousands of area residents, said on background that of the 13,178 vouchers Sacramento was eligible to issue, 86.5 percent were leased up.
This means only around 11,000 of SHRA’s housing choice vouchers were currently in use. The official said that SHRA had 900 vouchers it was eligible to issue, but hadn’t issued and that the organization issued about 1,100 vouchers that weren’t in use. HUD subsequently provided, via email, data from its Voucher Management System showing that as of January 31, SHRA had issued 1,028 vouchers to people who were “out searching.”
Issues with housing choice vouchers go beyond SHRA or even the Sacramento region. The HUD official said SHRA’s leasing rate was in-line with other parts of the country.