Learn About Section 8 Housing in California

Section 8 housing in California is a government funded program that aims to help low-income families find low income housing. The housing authority will administer a voucher which will pay a subsidy to the homeowner while the family is responsible for paying a smaller portion of the rent. The California Public Housing Authority (PHA) receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and is responsible for distributing housing vouchers to local residents. Anyone who meets Section 8 requirements can apply for low income house rentals. More information on Section 8 housing can be found below in the following topics:

  • Section 8 eligibility in California
  • How to apply for Section 8 housing in California
  • Information about Section 8 waiting lists in California
  • Section 8 denials in California

Learn About Section 8 Requirements in California

What are the requirements for Section 8 in California? Section 8 eligibility in California is based on three main areas: income, citizenship status, and household demographics. Income is the most important deciding factor out of the three, but qualifying on income alone does not guarantee acceptance into the Section 8 housing program. Aside from these three categories, there are a few other things to be aware of when filling out an application. Any criminal history and reports from former landlords should also be noted in the Section 8 application.

What are the qualifications for low income housing? The main qualification for Section 8 is income level. The qualify for Section 8, the combined household income must be below 80 percent of their area’s median income, which can vary depending on the area. Households earning less than 50 percent of the area’s median income fall into the very-low income bracket. Approximately seventy-five percent of all vouchers in California are awarded to households in the very-low income bracket.

Section 8 applicants must also be registered as United States Citizens, or the equivalent, to qualify for the program. The disabled, pregnant women, households with young children or elderly members are considered for preferential housing. Applicants with a criminal record are judged on a case-by-case basis. Registered lifetime sex offenders are ineligible for Section 8 housing benefits.

“What do I need to apply for Section 8 housing” is perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions by potential applicants. Every member of the household is required to submit several supporting documents. Required documentation includes birth certificates, current contact information, social security numbers, proof of household income in the form of bank statements or pay stubs and any criminal history reports. Section 8 applicants will also be asked to submit previous rental history and evidence of enrollment in other government assistance programs, if applicable.

Many potential applicants wonder, “Do I qualify for Section 8 housing?” Before applying for Section 8, applicants should familiarize themselves with the program requirements and evaluate their current situation to see if their household will qualify for aid. Potential applicants must also make sure they have the required documentation for all members of the household.

Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in California

Once an applicant is approved for Section 8 housing, the verification process will officially begin. To register for Section 8 housing program benefits, applicants should first get in contact with the nearest HUD office for specific information on the forms that must be filled out and sent in. Section 8 applicants can fill out an online application for low income housing. The online process is quite easy and there are step-by-step instructions to help guide the applicant through the application process. Another way to fill out the application is visit the HUD office and fill out a paper form. If an applicant wants to learn how to sign up for section 8, there are representatives available to help guide him or her through the process. Once the HUD Section 8 application has been filled out and submitted, an applicant should receive information that their application was either denied or approved within two weeks’ time. If the applicant has not received any correspondence within that two-week time period, then he or she should check status for Section 8 application by getting in touch with the HUD office where the application was filed.

It is important for applicants with a disability to know how to apply for section 8 housing. Those with visual impairments can get a representative from the housing authority to help them. Knowing how to apply for section 8 housing also helps applicants avoid being rejected for submitting an incomplete application.

Most of the time, if the application is denied Section 8 benefits, the housing authorities will not allow that applicant to submit another application for at least one year. If an applicant is accepted into the program, then he or she will be put on the waiting list, unless a housing voucher is immediately available.

Learn About Section 8 Waiting Lists in California

Any information about Section 8 waiting lists can be answered by the local housing authorities since Section 8 housing program waiting lists are administered by them. This list contains all updated information about applicants who have receive vouchers and available vacant housing. Anyone wishing to check waiting list status for Section 8 should get into contact with the local housing authority and do so frequently to see if there are any new openings or changes on the application. It is possible for names to be taken off the low income housing waiting list should information become out of date.

When will the Section wait lists open? Waiting list openings are different for every county. Some wait lists are open all the time while some are closed as several years. The local housing authorities have the most up to date information about waiting list status. If an approved applicant looks at the Section 8 housing waiting list 2016 and does not see his or her name, then the applicant should contact the housing authority for more information.

Learn About Section 8 Denials in California

A Section 8 denial letter is sent to applicants who were denied Section 8 aid. What are the reasons for Section 8 denial? An applicant can be denied for several reasons that range from submitting an incomplete application to having a criminal record. The Section 8 denial letter will detail the specific reason for an applicant’s disqualification. Applicant who feel they were denied in error can file a Section 8 denial appeal. A local HUD agent can discuss how to appeal Section 8 denial with an applicant. During the appeal process, the application will be reevaluated by a new committee.

The most common Section 8 housing disqualifications are due to missing or incomplete application information. If this is the case, an applicant can visit the local housing authority to learn what to do if Section 8 application was denied. A HUD agent can help the applicant decide the best course of action and the following steps that should be taken.

Website:Local Offices

State: California

Contact Information

  • Office Name/Address

    San Francisco Regional Office

    1 Sansome Street, Suite 1200

    San Francisco, CA 94104

    Los Angeles Field Office

    611 West Sixth Street

    Suite 801

    Los Angeles, CA 90017

    Santa Ana Field Office

    Santa Ana Federal Building

    34 Civic Center Plaza

    Room 7015

    Santa Ana, CA 92701-4003

  • Manager


    Regional Administrator


    Field Office Director


    Acting Field Office Director

  • Phone/Fax

    (415) 489-6400


    (415) 489-6419


    (213) 894-8000


    (213) 894-8110


    (714) 796-5577


    (202) 485-5705


  • Region/Regional Office

     Region IX

    San Francisco CA

    Region IX

    San Francisco CA

    Region IX

    San Francisco CA