Eligibility for Section 8 in California

Interested parties might wonder, "What are the requirements for Section 8?" And, "Do I qualify for Section 8 housing here in California?" These are fair questions, and it is encouraged that individuals determine their Section 8 eligibility before taking on the rigorous application process. The list of requested documentation alone is extensive. Likewise, completing the form accurately requires a keen understanding of the application process. To learn more about Section 8 eligibility, read on for the following topics:

  • California Section 8 eligibility requirements
  • What are the qualifications for low income housing in California?
  • What do I need to apply for Section 8 in California?

California Section 8 Eligibility Requirements

What are the requirements for Section 8? The main factors that decide Section 8 eligibility in California are income, household composition, and state-designated requirements. Of the three, income is perhaps the most important qualifier. In the state of California, an applicant must fall below a minimum of 75 percent of their area's median income to be eligible for Section 8. An applicant will be in even better standing for Section 8 eligibility if they fall into the very-low income standard, which is any household that makes below 50 percent of the median income for their area. However, simply being below the median income level for an area does not in itself guarantee that an applicant will be accepted into the Section 8 program.

Section 8 eligibility gives preference to households and individuals that are considered very low income, or households and individuals that include someone with a disability, elderly, or with young children. Approximately 75 percent of vouchers in California are disbursed to applicants who fall into these groups. Any household that falls into one or more of these categories stands a very high chance of receiving a Section 8 voucher. There are also Section 8 eligibility requirements that concern individuals with a criminal record. Applicants who have criminal records may be denied Section 8 eligibility depending on the severity of their criminal history. In the event that a member of the applicant's household has a criminal record, the applicant may still be penalized. However, if that household member leaves the household, then the applicant will be safe to continue the Section 8 eligibility process without penalty. Types of crimes that guarantee Section 8 ineligibility are registered sex offenders and distributors of methamphetamine.

Aside from income, an applicant must meet other Section 8 eligibility requirements set forth by the Housing Authority, namely being a resident of the state and having a relatively clean background in terms of payment of bills. If an applicant has recently moved to California, they must prove that he or she met the Section 8 eligibility requirements in their previous state of residence. Negative rental history is also a reason to fail Section 8 eligibility requirements. All applicants must be current on their rental payments and show no past failures to pay rent or evictions in their rental history.

What are the qualifications for low income housing in California?

Do I qualify for Section 8? Meeting the requirements for Section 8 eligibility in CA is not a simple task. Certain paperwork is required before an individual can even get an application. Documentation is the most important part of the eligibility process, as the Housing Authority requires complete accuracy. If an applicant does not provide the appropriate forms of documentation, he or she will automatically be denied eligibility in California. For Section 8 eligibility, an applicant should have the following documents on hand, at a minimum:

  • A listing of other government benefits
  • Current transcripts (if applicable)
  • Social Security cards for everyone living in the home
  • Proof of residency in the county (utility bill, or letter from a shelter)
  • Pay stubs and tax returns (three months' worth if applicable)
  • A listing of current debts and assets

Other documentation provided should be given not only for the applicant, but for every member of the applicant's household. Examples of Section 8 eligibility documentation like this are:

  • Personal Identification
  • Social Security cards
  • Official birth certificates

Failure to provide these documents for everyone in the household may result in a rejection from the Section 8 program.

What do I need to apply for Section 8 in California?

Section 8 eligibility will differ from county to county in the state of California. It is recommended that individuals contact their local housing authority to inquire about what they need in order to apply for low income housing in their county. Certain counties are more affluent than others, making their requirements for Section 8 eligibility a little easier to meet because the median income tends to be higher. Likewise, certain housing authority agencies might require additional information to supplement the above mentioned forms of documentation, so it is a good idea to check in advance. If an applicant has determined that he or she does meet all the requirements for Section 8 eligibility, they can obtain an application from their closest housing authority. When applying, it is recommended to already have all of the necessary documentation on hand to make the process easier.


What is Section 8?

The Section 8 program was created by the federal government to assist low-income individuals and families with finding affordable private housing. To learn how you can become a member of this assistance program, download our helpful guide today. Beneficiaries of the program have a percentage of their rent covered by the government via housing subsidies, which are administered on a local level by public housing agencies or PHAs directly to landlords. Section 8 members are allowed to choose apartments, townhouses or even modest homes in this program, but the landlord must accept government subsidies in order for the provided housing vouchers to be used. Learn more about how you can qualify for housing assistance and discover the steps to file an application by clicking here.


How much will my housing subsidy be?

As a Section 8 beneficiary, you will pay the difference between your landlord’s rent amount and how much your housing subsidy covers. To find out how you can get a housing subsidy, download our guide now. If you are accepted into the Section 8 program, your public housing agency will calculate the maximum assistance you can receive. Your maximum housing assistance will either be the total rent of your apartment/home minus 30 percent of your adjusted monthly income or it will be the payment standard less 30 percent of your adjusted monthly income, whichever amount is lower. To find out how Section 8 can benefit you today, click here.