What is Portability?

Freedom of choice is a hallmark of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. In general, HUD regulations impose few restrictions on where families may live or move with HCV program assistance.

The process by which a family obtains a voucher from one PHA and uses it to lease a unit in the jurisdiction of another PHA is known as portability. The first PHA is called the initial PHA. The second is called the receiving PHA.

Within the limitations of the regulations a participant family or an applicant family that has been issued a voucher has the right to use tenant-based voucher assistance to lease a unit anywhere in the United States providing that the unit is located within the jurisdiction of a PHA administering a tenant-based voucher program [24 CFR 982.353(b)]

The receiving PHA has the option of (1) administering the family’s voucher for the initial PHA or (2) absorbing the family into its own program. Under the first option, the receiving PHA bills the initial PHA for the family’s housing assistance payments and the fees for administering the family’s voucher. Under the second option, the receiving PHA pays for the family’s assistance out of its own program funds, and the initial PHA has no further relationship with the family.

Port Out Process

Portability Move Out (Port Out) is when an eligible family moves from HACSB’s jurisdiction to another city or county.

If you wish to Port Out, you must contact your Housing Case Manager in writing to advise of the request.

  • Your Case Manager will determine if you are eligible.
  • Participants must be eligible to receive a Voucher to move.
  • If eligible, your paperwork will be mailed or faxed to the new housing agency.
  • Once your paperwork is sent to the new agency, you must follow all their policies and rules.

Port In Process*

Portability Move In (Port In) is when an eligible family moves from another city or county into HACSB’s jurisdiction.

Families wising to port in to the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara may contact:

Tiffany Morten

If you wish to Port In to HACSB, you must contact your current housing agency.

  • Your current housing agency determines if you are eligible to move to the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.
  • Once your portability paperwork is received, you will be contacted for an intake appointment.
  • After your paperwork is processed, you will be invited to a briefing appointment where you will receive your Voucher.

*NOTE: HACSB is currently only billing for incoming portability.