California Section 8 Application Process

Section 8 of the Housing Act 1937 in California, is a government, specifically the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), funded an financial support plan for families or individuals by means of paying half sum to property-owners or 75% to those who will not reach 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI), formalized in 2008. It is a subsidize government rental. Section 8 depends helps poor individuals, single mothers, people living paycheck to paycheck and others a chance get the help they need paying for housing. For these people, having the government pay 75 percent or 100 percent of their housing is the difference between life and death.


Requirements For Section 8 Applicants In California

Section 8 application is free of charge. However, before government grants the housing privilege to candidates, just like any other foundation or government programs, there are requirements that must be fulfilled. Take steps to make sure you meet all of the requirements.  Take note that requirements may vary from one place to another.

Here are some general requirements: (1) Legitimate U.S. Citizen (2) Revenues should not go beyond 50% of Area Median Income (AMI), minimum. Take note that for if a family member is over 18 years old and is working, it is included to the total AMI of the household (3) Number of people inside the household (4) Age status of each household member, applicant must be at least 18 years of age (5) Clean police record- no record of drug use, theft, or gambling  and (6) Target house  cannot be owned by any close family member.

Section 8’s intention is to give help to those who cannot manage to pay for a new house or even rent a home themselves. That is the rationale why Public House Authority gets into detail of these requirements, to ensure the integrity, dependability, and reliability of the program.


Application Process For Section 8 In California

Upon guaranteeing that you met all requirements as a possible Section 8 voucher holder, interested applicants need to go to the nearest housing agency, which is Public Housing Authority (PHA), and fill up an application form. Contact information can be searched through the internet or local directories. Bear in mind that PHA is at all times on a first come first serve basis and dependent on the availability of vouchers.

PHA also schedules interview as part of the process. Given the condition that their listings are full, they will be putting you on their waiting list. Filling out an application form is not assurance that you will get section 8 help. Again, there are requirements that need to met and PHA studies each application to avoid housing fraud. There are also investigations made by PHA to ensure that you actually qualify for the program. This kind of application can really take a long time to complete. Days, weeks, months, even years, so patience is necessary.

While you are waiting, just continually follow up with PHA. While waiting, tenants can look for property owners that accept and understand Section 8 housing vouchers to avoid misunderstandings in the future. Do not settle with just one property try to find as many as you can, so you have some choice when your application finally comes through. Search through newspaper advertisements or even in the World Wide Web. Many properties accept housing vouchers.  Thus, tenants have the liberty to choose a house they want as long as it also passes the local housing authority set of rules and regulations.

 What Are The Section 8 Requirements For Landlords In California?

Likewise, there are also requirements for landlords. If the tenant finds a good landlord that accepts the housing vouchers, it does not end there. PHA looks into the house and check if it meets the entire guidelines of the housing office like having smoke detectors, bathroom fans,  and making sure the bathroom does not have a window inside the house. In addition, the house must be clean and safe just like any other house that a family  would want to live in.

Here are some of general requirements for owners: (1) Form coming from tenant (2) List of rents collected from the rental property (3) Government papers like TIN or SSN and last but not the least (4) Forms coming from Public Housing Authority (PHA) that needs to be properly filled out.  The contract typically has the minimum of length of 12 months. It may renew every year or every six months depending what both parties decide. Property owners too have the right to collect advance deposit about one month ahead. They shall receive no other payment except for the remaining rental monthly rent after the majority that PHA pays. Landlords must be ready for any inspection that will PHA will perform. They will directly receive the voucher every month that serves as payment for rent. Landlords should take pictures of the rental units before a tenant occupies it.  Some section 8 tenant sometimes destroy property and make false claims against the landlord just to delay payment of their portion of the rent.


Other Things To Consider

Tenants have the responsibility of payments for other utilities like water and electricity bill that in their names. These expenses may or may be included depending on the agreement before both parties signed the contract. They are obligated to take good care of the house, pay for any damage that they have caused and pay the remaining rent on time. Like the landlord, tenants should also take their own pictures of the rental unit before they move in.  This way, if you have a grievance against the landlord you will have proof in the form of pictures.  Take pictures of everything in the apartment and date the pictures.

Public Housing Authority is the  go to agency for Section 8 in different areas. They follow the rules and regulations as stated by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Paying or sending vouchers to property owners are performed by the housing office.

Once all documentation, investigation, and inspection is verified and completed and it shows that the applicant meets all the requirements, PHA will get in touch with the tenant. After that, PHA will issue a voucher to renter. Vouchers are valid up to four months or 120 days from the date issued.

Section 8 of California is a  great opportunity that the government offers to its people, especially to individuals who are deficient in monetary resources and who need an affordable place to live.  Section 8 targets to help low income families, senior citizens, the handicapped, single parents, and other people who may not be able to provide for themselves. People living paycheck to paycheck have a great deal of worries and section 8 of California helps at lease alleviate one. It gives these individuals to have someplace they can call home and somewhere they can be safe and lay their heads at night.


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