In 1967, the Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA) was established by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors as an independent quasi-governmental nonprofit agency and charged with administering federal rental assistance programs for the unincorporated County and all cities in the County with the exception of San Jose.  In 1976, the City of San Jose contracted with the SCCHA to administer the City of San Jose Housing Authority. Both agencies have been administered together since that time.

The City of Santa Clara established a separate housing authority in 2011, though it does not administer rental assistance programs.

50th Anniversary

The Housing Authority had only nine employees and 300 vouchers when the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors took action to create the new agency in 1967.  Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, the Housing Authority now is one of the largest in the nation, with over 140 staff, more than 17,000 Section 8 vouchers, and over 2,500 housing units.   In celebration of its anniversary, the Housing Authority has changed its name from the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara (HACSC) to the streamlined Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA).  More than 80% of the households served by SCCHA fall into the extremely low-income category, or families and individuals who earn 30% of median income or below.

SCCHA released a video in honor of its 50th Anniversary.  View the video here.

Moving to Work

In 2008, Congress designated SCCHA a Moving to Work (MTW) agency.  MTW is a demonstration program that exempts housing authorities from many federal rules and provides them with the flexibility to design new strategies for implementing programs.  Key to MTW is “moving to work,” providing residents more opportunities to secure employment and become self-sufficient.  SCCHA is one of 39 housing authorities throughout the nation that carries the MTA designation.

Section 8 Vouchers

SCCHA administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides eligible households with a voucher to secure housing in the general housing market.  Unlike the old Section 8 program where the assistance went directly to the landlord, the Housing Choice Voucher program provides participants with the ability to choose where they want to live and to move without losing their housing assistance.

Payment Standards

The SCHHA establishes payment standards for the Section 8 Voucher Program and determines the value of each voucher based on the amount generally required to rent a moderately-priced unit in the County.  The payment standard indicates the amount of housing assistance a family will receive, but doesn’t limit the amount a landlord may charge or the family may pay. Here is the current voucher payment standard per unit size.

Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA) Payment Standards Effective January 1, 2021
Number of BedroomsPayment Amount
Single Room Occupancy (SRO)$1,577
1 Bedroom$2,415
2 Bedrooms$2,920
3 Bedrooms$3,814
4 Bedrooms$4,336
5 Bedrooms$4,986
6 Bedrooms$5,648
7 Bedrooms$6,287
8 Bedrooms$6,937

Source: Santa Clara County Housing Authority based in HUD Fair Market Rent

Additional Resources