FAQs

 
  1. What is the difference between Public housing and Section 8?
  2. Does the housing authority offer emergency assistance?
  3. Does the housing authority offer homeless services?
  4. How long will I have to wait before I am called for an apartment?
  5. Why is there such a long wait for apartments?
  6. Do I have to be a citizen of the United States to be eligible for public housing or Section 8?
  7. How long will my application remain active?
  8. How much will my rent be?
  9. Is there a minimum age requirement when applying for housing assistance?
  10. Is there a minimum income requirement to qualify for housing assistance?
  11. Is there a maximum income that would make me ineligible for housing assistance?
  12. Can I apply for a specific public housing development?  
  13. How can I find out about the status of my application?
  14. What should I do if I change my address, reported income and family size after I submit an application?
  15. What should I do if I miss my interview appointment?

 

What is the difference between Public Housing and Section 8?

Public Housing: Under the public housing program the HACLA is the owner-landlord of the property. You can apply to rent units at those locations below the market rate, subject to your income limits. 

Section 8: Section 8 is a voucher program that lets you find your own unit to rent anywhere in the City of Los Angeles. In Section 8, the landlord must agree to participate in the program and sign a contract with the Housing Authority. The rental unit or house must pass a Housing Authority inspection, and the Housing Authority must approve the rent charged by the landlord as a reasonable rent.

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Does the Housing Authority offer emergency assistance?

Currently there is not enough funding from the federal government to offer emergency housing. All applicants are treated equally.  After you apply, you get a place on the waiting list, generally according to the date and time you applied. When your name comes up, you will be notified by mail and be interviewed to determine your eligibility. For emergency housing contact Info-Line http://www.infoline-la.org/Index.asp

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Does the housing authority offer homeless services?

The Housing Authority does not offer homeless services directly to individuals. However, other agencies do.  Please call INFO LINE at 1-800-339-6993 or TTY 1-800-660-4026 for referrals or visit the Housing and Urban Development website at www.hud.gov for more assistance.

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How long will I have to wait before I am called for an apartment?

Your wait time depends on your place on the waiting list and the availability of units and funding and any special needs you may have and whether you qualify for any preferences. Generally, the waiting list for public housing is shorter than the Section 8 waiting list (except for individuals who qualify for Section 8 Special Programs).

Public Housing: The wait list for public housing is dependent upon available vacancies for each bedroom size and your family admission preference.

Section 8: For Section 8, the wait list is dependent upon funding and the availability of vouchers.

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Why is there such a long wait for apartments?

Both programs are federally funded – cuts in the federal budget impede the ability of HACLA to meet the current high need for providing affordable housing.

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Do I have to be a citizen of the United States to be eligible for public housing or Section 8?

Currently families are eligible for both programs as long as at least 1 family member has residency status. “Mixed” families – those with members without legal status will not receive the full subsidy. Their rental payments will be pro-rated based upon the number of family members with legal status.

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How long will my application remain active?

Public Housing: There is no application expiration date but you will be offered up to 3 units at randomly chosen sites. If you refuse all 3 offers, your name will be dropped from the waiting list.

Section 8:  The Housing Authority will keep your application active until you are contacted for an interview. However, once you are on the waiting list it is YOUR responsibility to keep the Housing Authority aware of any change of address. If you move and do not give us a change of address, you will be removed from the waiting list. If your name comes up and we find that you are not eligible for assistance, your name is removed from the list and you must submit a new application. If you have already applied for Section 8 and want to know your status on the waiting list, call (213) 252-1215, or (213) 252-1216.

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How much will my rent be?

Section 8: Families will generally pay at least 30% of their monthly adjusted income toward rent, not to exceed 40% of monthly adjusted income in the first year of the lease. Your portion also depends on the rent of the unit you choose.  If your rent is higher than the maximum subsidy the Housing Authority can pay, you have to pay the difference out of your own pocket. However, you are not allowed to rent a unit that requires you to pay more than 40% of your adjusted monthly income toward rent. If the rent is too high, you have to find another unit.

Public Housing: As with Section 8, your rent is based upon your reported verified income. Generally your rent will be 30% of your adjusted monthly income.

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Is there a minimum age requirement when applying for housing assistance?

For both the Public Housing and Section 8 programs, the head of household must be at least 18 years old to apply, unless he/she is a legally emancipated minor.

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Is there a minimum income requirement to qualify for housing assistance?

Public Housing: There is no minimum income requirement for public housing, however, you need to establish that you are capable of paying your portion of the rent if admitted.

Section 8: There is no minimum income requirement. However all families are expected to pay a minimum gross monthly rent of $50.00.

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Is there a maximum income that would make me ineligible for housing assistance?

Yes, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) establishes the annual income limits to be eligible to apply for public housing and Section 8. The income levels are updated every year. Refer to our “Public Housing” and “Section 8 Housing” sections for their respective income limit information. Please note that the regulations are different for families already receiving housing assistance.

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Can I apply for a specific public housing development?  

You cannot apply for a specific public housing development. When you apply and are approved for assistance your name is placed on a waiting list and you will be offered the first available unit at any of our developments.

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How can I find out about the status of my application?

Public Housing: To check the status of your Public Housing application call (213) 353-1000

Section 8: To check on your Section 8 Application call (213) 252-1215, or (213) 252-1216 or write to: Section 8 Application Processing Operations, 2500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90057. Include your name, Social Security number, date of birth, current address & address used when you first applied.

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What should I do if I change my address, reported income and family size after I submit an application?

Public Housing: Call (213) 353-1000 to report changes.

Section 8: If you have already applied and need to report a change of address, or if you have any other changes or questions, please submit them in writing to:

Section 8 Registrations
Housing Authority City of Los Angeles, Foy Station,
P.O. Box 17965-0965,
Los Angeles, California 90017-0965

You can also fax the information to (213) 252-1218. Please include your name, address (old and new address if you are changing your address), social security number and date of birth. 

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What should I do if I miss my interview appointment?

As a courtesy to all other applicants and to ensure efficiency at HACLA whenever possible you need to contact the phone number listed on your appointment letter and reschedule your appointment.

Public Housing: If you miss your appointment, you may contact the Applications Center at (213) 353-1000 and we will try to accommodate you. However, the next available appointment may be at a much later date.

Section 8: If you miss your appointment, call (213) 252-2612 or (213) 252-2747. 

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