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California Section 8

California Section 8 refers to the housing assistance programs run by local housing authorities with the fund made available by HUD. Such federally-assisted housing programs are helpful for low-income individuals and families in finding decent homes for rent along with assistance in rental payments. There could be tenant-based voucher programs or those restricted to a certain specified housing unit and usually known as project-based housing assistance programs.

California Section 8 Housing

With a tenant-based housing voucher you have freedom to choose an apartment, townhome or a dwelling unit of your preference within the jurisdiction of the HA issuing the voucher. Moreover, you can take along your section 8 housing voucher along with you when you make a move to other places with the freedom to use it for another rental accommodation at a new location.

The residents of public housing units which are managed by a housing authority cannot change their homes during the period of the section 8 program and if they choose to do so their vouchers will no longer be valid for other locations. The housing authority will be your de-facto landlord and you will have to act as per the rules of the lease agreement between you and the HA.

California Section 8 Housing Eligibility

Only those having the total annual income less than the median household income for the area they are willing to live are eligible to apply for a Section 8 housing assistance program in California. The income limits are set by HUD, which takes into consideration all those having incomes less than 80 percent of the median income. By law, it is mandatory for a public housing authority to reserve 75 percent of housing choice vouchers for families whose household incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the median income for a particular area. Income limits may vary depending on the area you prefer to live in California.

Apart from the gross annual income, a housing authority considers other factors also to determine the eligibility of a candidate applying for CA section 8 housing assistance. An applicant must be a US citizen or in case of an immigrant, he/she must satisfy the eligibility standard set by the local HA.

In certain cases, it may also become necessary for an applicant to qualify as elderly, a family or an individual with a disability. The qualifications and other eligibility parameters may vary for different housing authorities in California.

How to Apply for Section 8 California

To apply for Section 8 California, you need to go to the housing authority of your area. Alternatively, you can also contact a local Field Office of HUD to get eligibility and other information as well as to initiate of process of section 8 housing application. A written application containing information pertaining to the gross household income, family composition, current & previous landlords and employers etc must be submitted to your local HA. You may also have to present some documents in support of certain points made in your application. The officials may visit your present home to interview family members and verify your suitability as a section 8 tenant in California.

Once the application process is over, the result of successful applicants is published in the form of a waiting list, which is fairly large and may list thousands of names. Some are provided with instant assistance while most others are put on a waiting list. Once you make it to this list, it is certain that the HA will contact you some day. Preferences are given to the families with the greatest housing requirements. If your selection is made for a public housing then you have to sign a lease with the HA and deposit a security amount. Under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, a selected family is free to choose a single-family home, apartment or a townhouse in the private rental market anywhere in the US provided the family were living within the jurisdiction of the PHA at the time of application.

California Section 8 Laws

It is mandatory for the tenants as well as the landlords participating in California Section 8 housing programs to abide by the clauses of the lease agreement in letter and spirit. According to the laws, the beneficiaries must be the individuals and families finding it difficult to seek a rental accommodation all by their own means. To ensure this, the eligibility criteria for each participating tenants is reviewed annually and necessary changes are made in the housing subsidies and other benefits offered to them.

You must notify the HA regarding any changes in family composition, household income and also if you want to relocate to some other places owing to a change in job location or some other reasons. If you fail to do this promptly, you might find yourself indulged in what it is now common known as California Section 8 Fraud. There is a separate section 8 fraud investigation department that gets into action if an attempt is made to hide some facts regarding your eligibility and income status. On the other hand, if you are a victim of section 8 discrimination, you can approach HUD and make a complaint there.

To get a detailed description of California Section 8 and also to get answers for your queries, you can contact a local HUD office or call (800) 955-2232.

Here is the official address of HUD:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
Phone: (202) 708-1112
TTY: (202) 708-1455
 
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