Black and white sketch of Alameda Housing Authority's main office 

WelcomeMike Pucci, Executive Director of the Alameda Housing Authority

Welcome to the Housing Authority of the City of Alameda's web site. Our goal is to provide you with information about the Housing Authority that will inform and assist you.


Michael Pucci, Executive Director
Alameda Housing Authority

DID YOU KNOW.....?

The Housing Authority of the City of Alameda is proud of its mission and accomplishments.  In partnership with the entire community, the Housing Authority advocates and provides quality, affordable safe housing, encourages self-sufficiency, and strengthens community inclusiveness and diversity in housing.  As we approach Housing America Month, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight our accomplishments and share some insights into the important work we do.

The Housing Authority administers the federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) to provide rental assistance payments to property owners on behalf of eligible families and individuals (participants) to bridge the gap between high market rent levels and participants’ limited incomes.   This program serves over 1600 families and individuals in Alameda and provides millions in federal dollars annually to Alameda rental property owners.   

The hallmarks of the HCV Program are choice and self-determination.  Eligible families choose the rental housing that meets their needs and, with stable housing as a foundation, can work to achieve health, education, and career goals.  Local property owners operate rental housing properties following their own business practices, and benefit from a reliable revenue stream and free annual property inspections.   

When an eligible participating family is selected as a tenant by an Alameda rental property owner, a three-way relationship is established.  Like the three sides of a triangle, these relationships are guided by a variety of documents and regulations that identify each party’s rights and responsibilities under the law.  

·        The initial eligibility, briefing, and annual re-examination process between the Housing Authority and the participant outlines the program rules and family obligations to remain a participant and to receive rental assistance in housing that meets their needs.  

·        The tenant selection process by the private or non-profit owner and the lease between the property owner and the tenant are guided by local and state law.  These laws guide the landlord-tenant relationship for assisted families just as they would for non-assisted families.  

·        To make rental assistance payments to the property owner and ensure that assisted units meet basic safety and quality standards, the property owner and Housing Authority enter into a Housing Assistance Payments contract.  The Housing Authority is in a contractual relationship to provide rental assistance; it does not co-administer privately-owned rental properties.

In each of these three relationships, each party has certain responsibilities and rights, as well as different roles to play when problems arise.  The Housing Authority responds to complaints and concerns raised by landlords, residents, and the public.  Some issues can be addressed quickly, while others may be more complicated and take longer to resolve.   In some cases it requires the cooperation of the landlord, neighbors, the assisted resident, and the Housing Authority to resolve neighborhood problems.  Because many problems are a matter of lease violations, and the Housing Authority is not a party to the lease between the landlord and the resident, the Housing Authority may not always know the outcome of a particular problem.  If the Housing Authority stops hearing complaints, it is assumed that the matter has been successfully addressed.

In our official capacity, the Housing Authority also is charged with safeguarding client confidentiality and due process rights.  This can sometimes have the appearance that the Housing Authority is not actively or rapidly addressing concerns.  If criminal activities are suspected, or local civil laws may be violated, the Housing Authority – indeed any concerned party – can bring the matter to the attention of the police.   As with any resident if a property owner determines that a program participant has violated the lease or rental agreement, the property owner retains the right to enforce the lease, up to and including court-ordered eviction.  If this happens, or when the Housing Authority determines that a participant is violating program regulations, the Housing Authority can, and does, terminate assistance, but this process can take time. 

In order to minimize negative impacts from possible “bad actors,” the Housing Authority employees a variety of preventative and proactive measures, including:

·        Having criminal background checks completed through the Alameda Police Department for all adults in families new to the rental assistance programs, or new to Alameda through portability. 

·        Two Alameda Police Department officers are assigned to work directly with the Housing Authority and its managed housing properties and are able to help address concerns regarding HCVP participants when needed.  As a result of this, and the pride that residents take in their complexes, the incidence of crime in Housing Authority-owned and managed properties is lower than in the City of Alameda as a whole. 

·        The Housing Authority has worked with its community partners to address neighborhood concerns associated with the former Islander Hotel by investing in the purchase and rehabilitation of this property to create quality, affordable housing in the downtown area.

During these times when every public dollar is precious, the Housing Authority works hard to ensure that program resources are used appropriately so that as many people as possible can be served; therefore, the Housing Authority takes program abuse very seriously.  The Housing Authority also knows that the vast majority of program participants – low-income working families, seniors, and persons with disabilities on fixed incomes – take their responsibilities as tenants, program beneficiaries, and community members, very seriously as well.   By ensuring that our neighbors in need have safe, decent, affordable housing, providing associated programs to help address economic and self-sufficiency goals, and serving as the conduit for millions of federal dollars to the local economy, the Housing Authority plays an important role in strengthening our community.