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Move With Your Voucher

Households that receive help with their rent through the federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance program can move with their rental assistance to any rental unit anywhere in the United States.

The process of moving into the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) jurisdiction, which is the City of San Diego (City), is known as “porting in.”

Moving from the City to a location outside of the City is known as “porting out.”

Rental assistance recipients who are thinking about moving should consider:

  • If a participant is in the first year of his or her lease, the move may not be approved.
  • A new landlord can ask for up to two months’ rent for a security deposit.
  • A new landlord can ask for the full rent for the first month at move-in.
  • A participant may need to pay to hook up utilities like water and electricity.

If a rental assistance recipient would like to move from their current unit, the first step is to submit to his or her assigned Housing Assistant a request to move. He or she also must submit a notice to move to the landlord, as well as provide a copy to SDHC.

The Housing Assistant will review whether or not the participant is eligible to move according to SDHC’s policies. If necessary, the Housing Assistant also will request additional information to begin the move process. The rental assistance recipient will be required to submit any pending verification, including a copy of the notice to vacate that was submitted to the landlord to provide appropriate notice of the intent to move.

To qualify to move with their rental assistance either within the City or outside of the City, the rental assistance recipient:

  • Must have been a rental assistance participant for at least 12 months
  • Cannot have moved within that 12-month period
  • Must not be in violation of any program rules
  • Must not have any outstanding payments owed to SDHC

Path to Success Initiative

SDHC’s Path to Success initiative modified the method SDHC uses to determine how much a household pays toward rent.

Under Path to Success, SDHC identifies families as able to work (Work-Able) or Elderly/Disabled.

Work-Able families are households with at least one adult who is under 55, not disabled, and not a full-time student ages 18-23.

Work-Able families may only move to another jurisdiction with their rental assistance if they request and receive an exception.

Exceptions include:

  • Employment opportunities;
  • Post-secondary education;
  • Safety reasons;
  • A medical/disability need; or
  • Other exceptions determined on a case-by-case basis.

This policy does not affect Elderly/Disabled households, in which all adults are disabled, 55 years or older, and/or a full-time student ages 18 to 23.

For a printable version the step-by-step guide to moving with your voucher that is described below, CLICK HERE.

Step 1: Getting Started

– Call your Leasing Housing Assistant at least one month before you plan to give your written 30-day notice to your current landlord.

– Your Leasing Housing Assistant will explain the move process to you and send to you a Move Packet if you are ready to move.


Step 2: Returning Your Move Packet

– Your Move Packet has a lot of important information for you to provide and return to SDHC.

– Your rental assistance housing voucher is included in the Move Packet. IMPORTANT: Your voucher has an expiration date – if you don’t find another rental unit before the voucher expires, you could lose your voucher.

– If your Move Packet is not thoroughly complete and the verifications are not included, your move will be delayed.

– The checklist in the Move Packet will help you remember all that is needed.


Step 3: Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) Packet  

- If all the required information was provided to SDHC, you will receive a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) Packet with paperwork that must be reviewed and completed by you and your NEW landlord.

- Complete all the information requested in the RFTA Packet.

- Return the RFTA Packet to SDHC, either by dropping it off at the lobby, or mailing it to:

San Diego Housing Commission
1122 Broadway, Suite 300
San Diego, CA  92101

- Remember to put your Leasing Housing Assistant's name or ID number on the envelope.

- After SDHC receives the RFTA Packet, your Leasing Housing Assistant will review the information.

- If approved, the RFTA Packet will be forwarded to SDHC’s Inspections Department to schedule an inspection of the new unit.

Step 4: Inspection & Final Contract

- The SDHC Inspections Department will call your new landlord to schedule an inspection.

- If the inspection passes and the requested rent is approved and determined reasonable, the Leasing Housing Assistant will begin finalizing and sending contracts to your new landlord.

- Your new landlord will receive the final contracts after the unit passes inspection and SDHC can verify that you've moved out of the previous unit and into the new unit.

- The Leasing Housing Assistant will finalize your rent portion and send you and your landlord a Rent Portion letter.

- Once both you and your new landlord sign and submit the final contracts, the Leasing Housing Assistant will process the move and initiate the landlord’s first payment.

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