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The Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo (HACSM) is using an online portal called Rent Café PHA at

HACSM is accepting pre-applications for the Moving To Work (MTW) program, a tenant-based rental subsidy (more commonly known as Housing Choice Voucher or Section 8). The program allows eligible families to rent housing in the private market by subsidizing a portion of each family’s monthly rent. To serve more families over time and to encourage client engagement with self-sufficiency activities, the MTW program has a five (5) year time limit. Program participants that are elderly or disabled may be considered for time limit extensions in accordance with HACSM’s hardship policy. Do not let the name of the program prevent you from applying – it is our primary wait list for the Section 8 tenant-based voucher program.

When you submit your pre-application, you will be placed in a pool of applicants for the MTW program. As voucher funding becomes available for the MTW program, names will be randomly selected from the pool of applicants using a computerized lottery process. Only one pre-application may be submitted at a time. If duplicate pre-applications are discovered, the additional submissions will be deactivated and it could affect your eligibility. The pre-application site will remain open until further notice.

No other wait lists are open at this time but please check back at this site for updated information regarding any future wait list openings.

For applicants, the following processes can be completed online:

  • Applying for open waiting lists
  • Viewing wait list statuses
  • Updating applicant information
  • Initial intake when selected for a wait list

*If you’re an applicant that applied for the online Moving To Work Pre-Application in our previous portal, and you do not already have a Rent Café PHA account with HACSM, you will need to create a new account in Rent Café PHA. Your credentials for the previous portal will not work in the new portal.

Coming soon - For program participants, the following processes can be completed online::

  • Recertifications for continued program eligibility
  • Reporting interim changes in income and/or household composition
  • Viewing unit inspection results
  • Viewing current caseworker contact information

Coming soon – For program landlords/owners, the following processes can be completed online:

  • Viewing tenant ledgers
  • Viewing unit inspection results
  • Requesting EFT/updates to EFT
  • Requesting changes to contact information