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Choice Communities Initiative

The San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) Choice Communities initiative, developed under SDHC’s federal designation as a Moving to Work public housing agency, provides families that receive rental assistance with more flexibility to choose to live in neighborhoods that offer more opportunities for transportation, schools, and employment.

To increase housing opportunities through this initiative and to assist as many low-income families as possible, SDHC updated the payment standards that are used to determine the amount of rental assistance each family receives.

SDHC divided City of San Diego ZIP Codes into three groups, each with its own payment standards:

  • Choice Communities
  • Enterprise Communities
  • Signature Communities

SDHC’s updated payment standards and communities were informed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Small Area Fair Market Rents.

Choice Communities Initiative Map
(Click for Choice Communities Map)

Payment Standards by Community

The payment standard is the maximum subsidy payment that the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher would pay for an apartment or rental house, minus the applicable tenant rent portion.

Families pay a predetermined amount of the rent, and SDHC pays the remainder of the rent, up to the applicable payment standard, directly to the landlord.

The payment standard is based on the number of bedrooms approved for the family’s size and the community to which the family moves.

If the total rent payment for an apartment or house is higher than the payment standard, the tenant is responsible for paying the difference, in addition to their predetermined portion of the rent.


Special Moving Assistance

Security Deposit Loans

Families moving to Choice or Enterprise Communities are eligible for no-interest security deposit loans up to the payment standards for the area for their voucher size.

Mobility Counseling

An SDHC mobility counselor assists with pre- and post-moving counseling, housing search assistance and guidance about neighborhood features for families moving to Choice or Enterprise Communities.

For additional information, contact the SDHC Mobility Counselor at (619) 578-7131 or

Choice Communities Fact Sheet

Choice Communities EHV Fact Sheet

Choice Communities VASH Vouchers Fact Sheet

Choice Communities Booklet

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