The Section 8 program is financed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide rent subsidies in the form of housing assistance payments (HAP) to private Landlords on behalf of extremely low, very low-income individuals/families, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities.

For CY2015, HACLA paid more than $465 Million to private Landlords on behalf of more than 45,000 participating families. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the Landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. When a family selects a housing unit, and the HACLA approves the unit and lease, the family signs a lease with the Landlord for at least one year.

The role of the more than 14,000 private Landlords in the HACLA’s S8 program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The unit must pass the program's housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the Owner receives housing assistance payments.

If you are a current S8 Program Participant or Landlord, click Property Listings to access or list available units. 

The Section 8 Waiting List is closed until further notice.


Allowances for Tenant-Paid Utilities
Eligible families will be provided the monthly allowance when utilities are payable directly by the family to the utility company.

Manufactured Housing – Allowances for Tenant-Paid Utilities
Eligible families will be provided the monthly allowance when utilities are paid directly by the family to the utility company. Monthly deduction is allowed when the mobile home is sub-metered and the tenant is billed for utilities by the mobile home part management.
Note : Utility hook-up charges are paid by the owner.

Allowances for the Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP)
This allowance, which is $4 per month or $43 per year, applies to all rental properties with two or more dwelling units on the same lot. However, it does not apply to units in a condominium or a non-profit stock co-operative, units owned or operated by a government agency or authority or to mobile homes or mobile home parks.

Allowances for the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) Registration Fee
This allowance, which is $2 per month or $25 per year, applies to all Voucher tenants living in buildings built before October 1, 1978 where two (2) or more units are on a lot.

Utility Allowances Effective 12/1/2016

Single-Family Residential Housing Utility Allowances

Multi-Family Residential Housing Utility Allowances

The Section 8 Voucher Payment Standard is the most the Housing Authority can pay to help a family with rent. The family's voucher will show the number of bedrooms authorized by the Housing Authority, based on the number of persons in the family.

The Housing Authority establishes Voucher Payment Standards (VPS) based on the Fair Market Rents (FMR), which are established at least annually by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The VPS is the maximum subsidy the Housing Authority can provide toward the contract rent (rent plus utility allowance for utilities, stove or refrigerator paid or provided by the tenant). If the contract rent (rent plus utility allowance) is more than the VPS, the family must make up the difference out of its own pocket.

The Housing Authority must use the SMALLER of the number of bedrooms in the rental unit or the number of bedrooms on the voucher to determine the VPS. For example, if a family locates a two-bedroom unit with a three-bedroom voucher, the two-bedroom VPS must be used to calculate your tenant portion of the rent.

The following chart depicts the VPS for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA).

VOUCHER PAYMENT STANDARDS (VPS)
(eff. 11/1/16)
Bedroom Size Payment Standard
Mobile H. Space $739
SRO $776
0 $1,086
1 $1,314
2 $1,622
3 $2,099
4 $2,486
5 $2,858
6 $3,231

The VPS above are effective 11/1/16. The landlord's asking rent for the unit must be supported by comparable rents within the area. Regardless of the location, the rent for the unit can never be higher than the comparable rent determined by the HACLA/third party vendor regardless of the VPS.

There are no area exception rents at this time.

FAMILY SHARE REMINDER: At the starting date of the initial Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract for a unit (lease-in-place or otherwise) if the contract rent is higher than the appropriate VPS, the family share cannot be greater than 40% of the family's adjusted monthly income. This is a statutory and regulatory requirement. There are absolutely no exceptions and HUD headquarters (D.C.) cannot grant a waiver on this matter.

The Family Share is contract rent minus the HAP. [24 CFR 982.515(a)]

Q:How does the Housing Authority determine the number of bedrooms on my voucher?
A:The Housing Authority counts the number of persons in your family when determining unit size. The Housing Authority does not make distinctions based on sex and age of family members, nor the relationship of persons in the family. The Housing Authority applies this same criteria and standard to all families.

Q:How many bedrooms will I qualify for?
A:The Housing Authority has set the following Occupancy Standards for family and unit size:

Number of Family Members Bedrooms
1-2 1
3-4 2
5-6 3
7-8 4
9-10 5
11-12 6
Q: What if I need an extra bedroom?
A: The Housing Authority can only approve an additional bedroom as a reasonable accommodation.

Q: Can I select an apartment that is larger or smaller than the one determined by the Housing Authority?
A: Yes, provided it does not violate the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Housing Quality Standards (HQS) space requirement. HUD's HQS space requirement allows two persons per room. The Housing Authority must always use the smaller of the voucher bedroom size or the actual unit size to determine the subsidy. Example: You have a 2-Bedroom Voucher. You have selected a 3-Bedroom unit. The 2-Bedroom Voucher Payment Standard (VPS) will be used to calculate your tenant portion of the rent.

Q: If my family size increases, will the Housing Authority subsidize a larger apartment?
A: Each year the Housing Authority will review the unit size assigned to your family. If your current unit size is too small, the Housing Authority may give you a new Voucher.

Portability is the transfer process that enables Housing Choice Voucher holders to relocate and select housing anywhere in the United States. The Housing Authority works with other housing authorities in the portability process in order to further increase a participant’s residential choice and mobility and encourage social and economic integration. The Housing Authority briefs Section 8 applicants and participants on the benefits of portability. If a Housing Authority Section 8 chooses to move under portability, he/she must contact their assigned Advisor or Eligibility Interviewer.

You must use your Section 8 voucher to live in the HACLA's jurisdiction for at least one year. If you are not willing to live in Los Angeles for one year, your application will be withdrawn. Click here for a list of neighborhoods within HACLA's jurisdiction.

Outgoing Portability

Phil Dickerson,

Assistant Housing Manager

Telesha Thompson, Management Clerk

(213) 252-1282

(213) 252-2747

 

 Incoming Portability

Monique Wilkes,

Assistant Housing Manager

Syrunda Mack, Management Clerk

(213) 252-1266

(213) 252-2566

Section 8 assistance is available only to U.S. citizens, non-citizens with legal immigration status, and "mixed families" (families in which at least one, but not all members have eligible immigration status). Assistance to mixed families will be prorated. The same program rules and regulations for determining eligibility status for Section 8 rental assistance apply to everyone.

To be eligible, the household must be either a family or a single person whose income does not exceed the area limits as set by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD establishes annual income limits by family size as:

  • Extremely Low Income = Income does not exceed the higher of the federal poverty level or 30% of area median income
  • Very Low Income = 50% of area median income
  • Low Income = 80% of area median income.

HUD's income limits for the Los Angeles area are in the table below. Only families meeting Extremely Low and Very Low Income standards are eligible for Section 8 assistance. Low Income standards are used only when, under certain circumstances, owners convert from a project-based to a tenant-based program. Congress requires that 75% of new admissions to the tenant-based program and 40% of new admissions to the project-based programs be Extremely Low Income. The remaining new admissions may not exceed the Very Low Income limit.

FY 2017 Public Housing & Section 8 Income Limits (Effective 5/1/2017)

Number of Persons

Extremely Low Income
Very Low Income
50% of Median
Low Income
80% of Median
1
$18,950
$31,550
$50,500
2
$21,650
$36,050
$57,700
3
$24,350
$40,550
$64,900
4
$27,050
$45,050
$72,100
5
$29,250
$48,700
$77,900
6
$32,960
$52,300
$83,650
7
$37,140
$55,900
$89,450
8
$41,320
$59,500
$95,200

For Very Low Income and Low Income Families the eight-person limit is 132% of the four-person limit. For families with more than eight persons, for each person in excess of 8, add 8% of the four-person base to the eight person income limit, then round to the nearest $50. For example for the Very Low Income limit for a nine-person family would be 132% + 8% or 140% of the four-person base of $43,400 for a total amount of $60,760 [140% x 43,400 = $60,760 which rounds to $60,750].

The Section 8 Waiting List is closed until further notice.

The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is designed to help participant families identify and reach their educational and career goals by connecting them to services and resources in the community that can help them achieve economic self-sufficiency. Upon enrollment in the program, FSS families have access to job search assistance, referrals to available trainings, employment opportunities, and on-going case management services. The FSS Program gives participant families the opportunity to qualify for a special savings (escrow) account and also apply for the Section 8 Homeownership Program.

Currently closed for enrollment. 

For information, please call the FSS Program at (213) 252-4275, (213) 252-5351, (213) 252-2044 or (213) 252-2709.

In October, 2000 HUD rules changed, allowing housing authorities to assist Section 8 participants to become homeowners. Under the Homeownership program, a housing authority can choose to allow Section 8 participants to use their Vouchers to purchase a home. The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles began implementing the Homeownership Program in the year 2001.

Eligibility Requirements
A person / family must:
  1. Be a current HACLA Section 8 participant enrolled in HACLA's Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program who is in compliance with the contract of participation; or
  2. Be a current HACLA Section 8 participant, who is elderly or disabled as defined by 24 CFR 5.403(b); or
  3. Be an eligible applicant family certified as being displaced or about to be displaced by the action of a government agency which is operating under an agreement with HACLA; and
  4. Be a first-time homebuyer, as defined by HUD-with no ownership interest in a home over the past three (3) years; and
  5. Be a current Section 8 participant with HACLA’s Section 8 Program who has been in the unit for at least 12 months; and
  6. Be in compliance with the Section 8 program and in good standing with the landlord; and
  7. Not owe money to any housing authority; and .
  8. Have at least one adult household member continuously employed full-time for at least 1 year prior to applying to the Homeownership Program (If the head of household is elderly or disabled, this requirement may be waived); and (HCVP).
  9. Earn a minimum annual gross income of $21,840; and
  10. Have a middle FICO score of 620; and .
  11. Have at least 3 percent of the purchase price.

Participant's responsibilities Section 8 participants will be responsible for the down payment funds, choosing a lender and meeting the lender's requirements. However, the Housing Authority may reject the application if the lender or the loan does not meet standards. In addition to the Housing Authority's inspection, the Section 8 participant must arrange and pay for an independent inspection by a certified home inspector.

For information about the Homeownership Program, please call  213 252-2044 or 213 252-2709

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) has introduced a pilot program to assist families seeking re-unification with ex-offenders. The Pilot Re-Entry Program seeks to promote long-term family stability and to reduce recidivism. In partnership with several leading community-based organizations that work with ex-offenders in L.A., HACLA’s pilot program can allow families on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program to re-unite with formerly incarcerated family members not otherwise eligible for assistance. The pilot waives optional criminal background screening criteria that now prohibit an individual from joining or re-joining a household on the program, when the family and ex-offender agree to participate in the pilot and in supportive services that assist with re-entry.

Under Section 8 rules, assisted families must get permission before they can add new member to a household, except in the case of births,adoptions and fosterage, and each such new member must meet admission requirements. HACLA has tried to strike a fair balance in program admission rules, but every year we must deny family member applications due to their criminal records. Such denials of admission can split families. Some families attempt to circumvent restrictions by adding unauthorized members, which risks the family’s housing assistance altogether. Every year, we terminate families from the program for violation of these rules. This pilot program offers another option.

The pilot does not waive all kinds of criminal records. For example, we do not admit registered sex offenders, nor will we waive our rules for those with a history of domestic violence. We will screen all applicants,as we ordinarily do, for these and other grave or heinous offenses. We also apply all standard rules about the direct kin or legal relationship a person must have to join a Section 8 family.

The re-entry pilot does not offer amnesty for new offences - we will take action on new criminal activity. However, when mitigating circumstances warrant it, HACLA rules permit usto sever a culpable member who engaged in criminal activity from the household, rather than terminate assistance for the entire family. For families in the pilot program, HACLA will carefully review the circumstances and seek first to employ that provision, in the event of a re-offense. This policy provides assurance to families who participate in the pilot, while at the same time protects the integrity of the Section 8 program.

Our first concern is long-term housing stability for assisted families. Confidential, separate screening interviews help ensure that family participation in the program is well-considered and entirely voluntary. Families decide whether they want to participate, and whether a particular member is right for them. This pilot program simply allows an additional choice to families who want one.

If you would like to learn more about the pilot re-entry program,or to set up a confidential referral interview, please contact one of HACLA’s Section 8 Ombudspersons:

Christine McKinney, 213-252-5420 or christine.mckinney@hacla.org
Serina Cannon, 213-252-1613 or serina.cannon@hacla.org
Billye Fairley, 213-252-2668 or billye.fairley@hacla.org
Jose Gutierrez, 213-252-2596 or jose.gutierrez@hacla.org

The New Construction Program occurred began in 1974. Under this program, for-profit and non-profit housing developers were encouraged to construct new rental housing for low-income families. Again, like SRO and Moderate Rehabilitation Programs, Section 8 rental assistance did not provide funding for new rental construction. HUD's strategy of a guaranteed Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with a building's owner was used to leverage new construction financing. New Construction Program HAP contracts were written for terms of 20 to 40 years.

The rental subsidy in the New Construction Program is attached to the building as Project-Based Rental Assistance. As long as a tenant remains in the building during the term of the contract, he/she receives the rental subsidy.

(213) 252-4262
The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program was established in 1991 by the AIDS Housing Opportunities Act to provide support for housing assistance and services to low-income persons with HIV/AIDS and their families. HOPWA program strategy is to allow states and metropolitan areas that have a high incidence of AIDS cases to design long-term comprehensive strategies to meet the housing needs of persons with AIDS. HUD awards HOPWA funds to one government entity in each eligible metropolitan area. In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) is the coordinating agency administering HOPWA grant funds for all of Los Angeles City and County.

The Housing Authority serves on the Los Angeles County-wide HOPWA Advisory Committee (LACHAC) along with representatives from city and county government, health services, and AIDS advocates, to develop a coordinated plan using HOPWA grant funds for a variety of housing and supportive services.

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance

The HOPWA Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program, modeled on the Section 8 Voucher Program, provides long-term affordable housing choices for individuals and families living with HIV and AIDS. HOPWA applicants contact the Housing Authority via phone to apply for the program.

Currently closed for new applicants.

The Housing Authority also operates a Fast Track component, accepting applications directly from eligible households and referring applicants to contracted agencies for long-term service needs or immediate assistance, if necessary.

Project-Based Rental Assistance

The Housing Authority works with two non-profit housing providers, Hollywood Community Housing Corporation and West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, to provide affordable housing for 32 households.

Vanessa Smith 
HOPWA Program Administrative Assistant
(213) 252-4261

Content Last Updated: April 27, 2017