How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in California

If you’re wondering how to apply for section 8 housing in California, then you’re not alone. As you know, Section 8 is a government assistance program that is aimed at low-income families to provide them with affordable housing. Since this is a very popular assistance program, naturally the competition is fierce and can be quite difficult for some. However, learning about the system and the qualification selection will be a great help to see your chance of getting one.

The first thing you need to know is the Public Housing Authorities (PHA). The local PHA located in your state is the one office that administers the money provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). There are tens of these PHAs you can contact in the California State; you can use our reference section to search for the nearest PHA office available in your local area. For example, the PHA office in the Los Angeles County is located at 700W Main Street, Alhambra; with the contact number of (323) 890-7400. Information for offices in Alameda City to West Hollywood is available. People working there will explain to you whether they provide project-based or tenant-based programs.


Requirements for Section 8 Housing in California


There are several factors that are used to determine your eligibility. The general requirement is that you are a US citizen or an alien that has a good standing immigration status. You also need to prove that your earning is less than 50% than the median income for the city (quick fact: 3 out of 4 of the qualified applicants earn less than 30% of the median income). The PHA will also consider both of your family assets and composition.


First, you need to properly prepare the documents. You should ask for pay stubs from your employer and documents that indicate your current rent or mortgage information.

You also need to know which kind of assistance that you need. People wanting to have their own home should apply for property voucher, which can help them pay the mortgage. Meanwhile, people who need a renting assistance should apply for a tenant voucher.

Now that you have everything’s ready, you can use the PHA office list in our reference section and contact the one that is near you. It would be best if you can call them beforehand and ask if there’s an online application available.

Now here’s the hard part: waiting. As we have said earlier, the program is insanely popular. Many of the applicants have to wait for years before they get approval for the program. Just as you may have expected, the money from the HUD is not limitless.

That said, there are some PHAs that prioritize some families, depending on the condition. This is (again) determined by your application. Typically homeless, families that pay more than 50% of income for rent, families living in substandard houses etc are eligible for this prioritization.

Most importantly, you should NEVER commit fraud when you apply for this assistance. The HUD and PHA are pretty strict about this, and people committing fraud will lose all benefits and may have to face legal charges and prison.

As you can see, applying for Section 8 Housing in California follows similar steps just as in other states in the US.