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California Section 8 Program

California Section 8 Program is meant for low-income families finding it difficult to rent a quality housing unit anywhere in the state. The rental assistance is provided through federal housing assistance programs, such as Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), public housing and Moderate Rehabilitation Program. Most of these programs offer a housing assistance voucher that can be attached to a particular tenant or a specified building. For example, the HCV program offers you a tenant-based voucher that you use anywhere in California or even outside the state to get rental assistance from federal agencies.

Most of the Section 8 programs in California receive funds from agencies like US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). These organizations, however, do not grant these funds directly to the families requiring rental assistance under a Section 8 program. The funds are, in fact, made available to local public agencies and housing authorities to help them administer various rental assistance programs in their respective areas. These PHAs are also allowed to determine eligibility criteria and set other guidelines as per the requirements of the people living in their respective jurisdictions.

Section 8 Program in California

As stated in the preceding paragraphs, a Section 8 program in California can be attached to either a tenant or a rental unit. The tenant-based program allows you to rent a house in your preferable location within the jurisdiction of the housing authority that has issued you the voucher for at least one year. After the completion of first year, you are free to move to any other location in the US while still availing the benefits of Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. This kind of flexibility is not possible with a project-based voucher. You can receive the rental assistance as long as you live in the apartment to which your Section 8 voucher is attached. In case of relocation the voucher will be given to the next tenant that comes to live in your apartment.

Income limits and family composition are the two most important criteria for applying for a section 8 program in California. For most cities, income limits are kept below 50 percent of the area median incomes and preferences are given to families having children or headed by seniors or disabled persons.

You will have to check individual websites of housing authorities to get a complete understanding of what is required for you to qualify for a Section 8 housing assistance program administered by each of them in California. You will also have to check whether or not the PHA is accepting Section 8 application at present.

Application can also be submitted online. For example, if you are a resident of San Diego, you can apply to the County of San Diego by visiting its website and completing the online application form. Alternatively you can get a print-out of the application, complete it and mail at the address supplied there. For further assistance, you can call at (858) 694-4801.

For more information regarding any aspect of California Section 8 Program, visit the website of HUD and HCD.

HUD Website:

HCD Website:
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