Housing Choice Voucher Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have emergency assistance?
No, the Housing Authority does not have emergency assistance. The agency provides long-term affordable rental housing. However, the Management Offices can provide emergency assistance referrals to you.

What is the difference between Section 8 and Managed Units?
The Section 8, or Housing Choice Voucher Program, assists participants by paying private landlords a portion of the total rent. Qualified participants may transfer their rental assistance to other areas of the country. Managed Units are specific developments owned and/or managed by the Housing Authority.

How long is the wait? Where am I on the waiting list?
The Housing Authority does not provide your position on the waiting list because it may change frequently. You may move up on the list as people are taken off of it and you may move down on the list if applicants with preferences apply. In addition, the Housing Authority may skip over others to reach you or skip over you to reach other applicants in order to comply with income-targeting regulations. The wait ranges from about 9 months to 3 years.

What is a preference?
A preference means the family is not placed at the bottom of the waiting list, but is placed at the top behind preference holders who applied earlier. Applicants who are veterans of the U.S. Military receive a preference on the waiting list in accordance with California law. Individuals/families displaced by governmental action, and families whose head and/or spouse are elderly or disabled are also given a preference.

What is income targeting?
Unless a waiver is granted by HUD, during each fiscal year, at least 75% of families admitted to the Housing Choice Voucher Program must have incomes that do not exceed 30% of area median income (for details, see Income Limits). The Housing Authority must skip over families on the waiting list if necessary to maintain the required admission percentage.

How old do I have to be to get housing?
You must be 18 or older or be legally considered emancipated.

I have a disability that requires me to use a wheelchair. Are there any accessible apartments for rent?
Yes. To assist in your search the Housing Authority's Landlord Referral List indicates those landlords who have accessible housing.
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