Santa Clara County Executive Director Katherine Harasz (from left) and Supervisor Cindy Chavez (right) present the Family Homecoming Award to Albert and Mary Rocha of Gilroy.
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The Santa Clara County Housing Authority honored two Gilroy landlords for their work in housing very low-income families.

Albert and Mary Rocha received the Family Homecoming Award during a Feb. 27 ceremony, which was presented to the landlords serving the most number of families under the Housing Choice Voucher Program’s Family Unification Program in Santa Clara County.

The Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program is the Housing Authority’s largest rental assistance program with more than 14,000 participants. 

The Rochas rent out 29 units throughout Gilroy with Section 8 program assistance.

“We get along well with our tenants,” Albert Rocha said. “When someone has a problem, we always try to work with them the best we can. Sometimes that can mean waiting for their portion of the rent or deposit to come from a nonprofit providing emergency rental assistance. Or helping them find furniture because they’ve been homeless. We’ve helped our tenants with move-in because they don’t have the money to rent a U-Haul. Sure, there are always ups and downs and risks no matter who you rent to. But if I can help someone get off the street and into a house, it’s worth it.”

As husband-and-wife landlords, the Rochas do all the work themselves, from repairs to remodels.

“St. Joseph’s Family Center and the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center have clients who need a place to live, and they’ll call me,” Albert Rocha said. “I’ll help them if I can.”

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