Frequently Asked Questions
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is opening its Waiting List to receive applications for the Section 8 Program. The Section 8 Program is a rental assistance program that helps very low income individuals and families afford safe and decent housing. After all applications are received and the open period closes, a lottery will be conducted to select applications to be placed on the Waiting List for the Section 8 program.
Applications for the Section 8 Waiting List lottery must be submitted online ONLY at hacla.hcvlist.org
and will not be available in paper form. Applications will not be available or accepted at any HACLA office.
If you require assistance completing an application because of a disability, language translation or need for a specific communication format, you may call (213) 205-5585 (local) or (888) 816-6955 (toll free) 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, every day during the open application period. Individuals with hearing or speech disabilities using TDD or TTY technology may call California Relay Services by dialing 7-1-1 for assistance.
Please note that there is no cost to submit an application, and no one will ask an applicant for any payment.
Before you begin the application process, please prepare the following:
- Your email address (to create an email account, go to gmail.com or yahoo.com or get help at your local library);
- The name of the head of household, his/her date of birth, current address and mailing, phone number, and social security number or alien registration number, if he/she has one.
- The name of the spouse/co-head of the household (if applicable), his/her date of birth, current address, phone number, and social security number or alien registration number, if he/she has one.
- The total number of people (including yourself) that will live in the household;
- Your household’s total annual income from all sources; and
- A paper and pen ready to write down the confirmation number of your submitted application for the lottery (you will also receive an email with this information).
Submission of a lottery application provides an opportunity for applicants to be selected for the Section 8 Waiting List. Submission of an application does not guarantee that the applicant will be selected for the Section 8 Waiting List.
Applicants who require assistance in completing an application because of a disability, or who require language translation or communication in an alternate format, can call the call center at (213) 205-5585 (local) or (888) 816-6955 (toll free) where staff are available to assist from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, every day during the application period. Applicants with hearing or speech disabilities using TDD or TTY technology may call California Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 for assistance.
- What is the Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher) Program?
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles' Section 8 Program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, provides eligible very low-income families ("Participants") housing rental assistance. Participants choose where they want to live, as long as the unit passes an inspection conducted by HACLA and the contract rent is approved by HACLA. HACLA pays a portion of the contract rent in the form of a housing assistance payment to the landlord on behalf of the Participant.
The Participant's Portion of the Rent is based on 30% of the household's monthly adjusted income, 10% of monthly adjusted income, or the monthly minimum rent requirement of $50, whichever is greater (unless the Participant is exempt from the minimum rent requirement of $50). The Housing Authority pays the rest of the contract rent to the landlord.
- When is HACLA opening its Section 8 Program Waiting List?
HACLA is opening a lottery for an opportunity to be placed on the Section 8 Program Waiting List starting Monday, October 16, 2017 at 6:00 AM until Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 5:00PM (Pacific Time). Applying early during the opening period does not increase your chance of being selected for the Section 8 Waiting List.
Applications for the lottery will be available online only through hacla.hcvlist.org
and may be submitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any smartphone, mobile device, or computer with Internet access during the opening period.
- Who can apply for the Section 8 Waiting List?
Anyone who is 18 years of age or older, or who is an emancipated minor in accordance with California law, may apply for the program. The family’s household income must be below the current very low income limit for Los Angeles County, listed below.
Los Angeles County HCV Program 50% Very Low Income Limits – Fiscal Year 2017
|Persons in Family|
In addition, Federal rules require that 75% of new admissions to the Section 8 Program each year must have income below the extremely low income limit, which is lower.
- What are the requirements for an applicant to be admitted into the Section 8 Program?
If selected for the Section 8 Waiting List, you must meet all HACLA Section 8 Program eligibility requirements. All information will be verified to determine eligibility at the time an applicant is scheduled for an interview.
- If I am already on a Waiting List, can I still apply?
If you are on the current HACLA Section 8 Waiting List, you do not need to reapply. The HACLA will schedule an interview for all applicants on the existing Waiting List before providing assistance to any applicant on the new Waiting List. Applications from the new Waiting List will not be merged with applications from the existing waiting list. The existing waiting list will be exhausted first, in early 2018.
If you have already applied for public housing or are living in a public housing, you can apply for the HACLA Section 8 Waiting List lottery.
- How can I apply for the Section 8 Waiting List?
You must submit an application online at hacla.hcvlist.org
during the Waiting List opening period from Monday, October 16, 2017 at 6:00 AM until Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 5:00PM (Pacific Time). The application - which requires your name, date of birth, current and mailing address, email address, household income, and number of household members - must be submitted online using a smartphone, mobile device, or computer with Internet access. Applicants must have a valid e-mail address to apply. If you do not have Internet access, you may submit the application online at locations throughout the City, such as your local public library, that offer free use of their computers. Click here
to find locations to access the Internet or set up and email account.
Applications for the lottery will NOT be provided or accepted at any HACLA location. Internet access is not available for submitting an application at any HACLA location.
If you require assistance in completing an application because of a disability, language translation or need for a specific communication format, you may call (213) 205-5585 (local) or (888) 816-6955 (toll free) 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, every day during the open application period. Individuals with hearing or speech disabilities using TDD or TTY technology may call California Relay Services by dialing 7-1-1 for assistance.
- What if I do not have an e-mail address?
There are many services that offer free e-mail accounts, such as gmail.com, yahoo.com, or hotmail.com. You can access these sites through any smartphone, mobile device or computer with Internet access. Click here
for list of internet access locations or help in setting up an email account.
- Why only accept applications online?
The online process allows each applicant to apply at any time and place that is convenient for them. It also eliminates the need for standing in line and makes the chance of getting selected fair for all applicants. Applicants must submit an application at any time that the Section 8 Waiting List lottery is open. Applying early in the opening period does not increase your chances of being placed on the Section 8 Waiting List.
- What if I do not have a computer?
Applications can be completed on any smartphone, mobile device, or computer with Internet access. Public computers are not available at HACLA offices, however, a number of public computers are available for your use at other locations. Click here
to find these locations.
- Do I have to be a US citizen or legal resident to apply?
Anyone can apply, but someone in your household must be a legal resident, even if the legal resident is a minor child. This will be verified if you are scheduled for an eligibility interview from the Section 8 Waiting List. This information is only used by the Housing Authority to verify your eligibility for housing assistance and level of benefits to be provided.
- What if I am homeless and do not have an address?
You will need to provide HACLA with an address for mailing purposes. Check with family and friends, churches, shelters, or other organizations to see if you may use their mailing address and if they will provide you with any mail you receive at that address. Or if possible, get a P.O. Box so you have the address ready when you apply.
- Does the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles have any Waiting List preferences?
A preference for housing assistance will be given to applicants who live, work, or have been hired to work within the City of Los Angeles, and to applicants who are veterans or have a household member who is a veteran of the US military, released from such military service under conditions other than dishonorable.
DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS
- How do I fill out the application?
Go to hacla.hcvlist.org to view a "How To Apply" video showing instructions for completing the application. Click on the "How To Apply" option which gives instructions for completing the application. The video is available in various languages.
- Is there a cost to submit an application for the Section 8 Waiting List lottery?
No. There is no cost to submit an application. HACLA will never ask for payment to submit an application. No one can guarantee you a place on the Section 8 Waiting List, improve your changes to be placed on the Section 8 Waiting List, or ensure that you will receive any HACLA benefits. Please do not provide personal information to anyone claiming he or she can help you in any of these ways.
- Can I use my smartphone to apply?
Yes, you are welcome to use any device with Internet access, including smartphones.
- Can someone else sign up for me?
Yes, if you are comfortable having someone provide your personal information. By hitting the submit button on the online application you are certifying that all the information being provided is true and complete.
- How many lottery applications may I submit?
Only one application per head of household can be submitted. Any duplicate submissions will be deleted.
- Does applying for the Section 8 Waiting List lottery mean I will receive a voucher?
No. An application only puts you in a group of applicants. HACLA will then use a lottery system and HACLA's waiting list preferences to select applicants for the Section 8 Waiting List of 20,000 applicants. Once those selected applicants come to the top of the Waiting List, they will be scheduled for an interview, at which time HACLA will determine if they are eligible to receive a voucher. This process can take several years.
- If my kids live with me and they are 18 years or older, do I have to include their annual income?
Yes. If your adult children will be included on your application, you must include their annual income as a part of the annual household income. If they are applying on their own, do not include their income.
- I was on the site and began to complete my application. I lost internet connection in the middle. Is my application complete?
If you did not complete the application, you will need to start over and complete an application. You will be provided with a confirmation number, which you should keep for your records, upon successfully completing an application. You will also receive an email at the email address that you provided in the application.
- What does the "Close Session" link mean?
For security, all applications will be "logged out" after 30 minutes of inactivity. If you do not complete the application before the session is logged out for inactivity, you will need to start the application over again.
If at any point you need to abandon your application to start over at a different time, you may click the "Close Session" link. This will not save your application and you will need to start from the beginning when you revisit the site.
- What happens after I submit the application?
You will receive a confirmation number upon successful completion. Please keep this number for your reference. You will also receive an email confirming that your application was successfully submitted.
Submitting an application does not guarantee a place on the Section 8 Waiting List. At the end of the application period, HACLA will use a random lottery system to select 20,000 applicants according to HACLA's Waiting List preferences.
By December 1, 2017, all applicants will receive an email at the email address used to submit the application to let them know if they were selected or not for the Section 8 Waiting List. Applicants may also check their status at hacla.hcvlist.org after this date. HACLA will not have information regarding your status prior to this date.
AFTER THE APPLICATION PROCESS
- How do I know my application was submitted?
You will receive a confirmation number upon successful completion. Please keep this number for reference.
- How do I check the status of my application?
The application process will close Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 5:00 PM Pacific Time. From all of the applications submitted, 20,000 will be randomly selected for placement on the list according to HACLA’s Section 8 Waiting List preferences. Starting December 1, 2017
, you will be able check the status of your application by visiting hacla.hcvlist.org
You will need the confirmation number to access the status of your application.
- If I do not get selected for the HACLA Section 8 Waiting List or I need immediate housing assistance, are there any housing resources available?
You may inquire about Section 8 or housing programs for other Housing Authorities through Affordable Housing Online here
. Many Housing Authorities may have waiting lists open. You may apply to as many waiting lists as you wish, however, you can only receive assistance from one Housing Authority.
The Housing Authority administers several Special Programs for homeless individuals and families (i.e. the VASH Program - vouchers for Veterans). These programs are separate from the Section 8 Waiting List and many of them are ongoing. You cannot apply directly to these programs. You would have to be referred to the Housing Authority through the Coordinated Entry System (CES). Click here
for additional information about CES.
For assistance and resources to assist transition age youth, please click here
or call (877) 694-5741.
HACLA is accepting applications for our Low-Rent Public Housing Program. The subsidy assistance is tied to the building. If you have any questions, please contact our Public Housing office at (213) 252-1020 or visit our website here
or for more information click here
. Please be advised that there may be a waiting list.
For other housing options, you may wish to view units in HACLA's Asset Management Housing Portfolio here
. The list can be found at www.hacla.org
under "Housing Programs" and then "Vacancies."
You may search for rental housing at Housing.LACounty.gov
, the Los Angeles County Housing Resource Center, that was created to help people list and find affordable, special-needs, accessible, and emergency housing within the County of Los Angeles. You may access their site here
- What is the average waiting time for an applicant to be scheduled for an eligibility interview?
As funding is available, HACLA will reach out to families who reached the top of the Section 8 Waiting List for eligibility determination for housing assistance. The waiting time to be scheduled for an interview could be up to 10 years.
- What if I did not submit an application before the lottery closes?
You will have to wait until the Section 8 Waiting List is open and accepting applications again. We cannot accept applications for the lottery after the Waiting List Lottery application process is closed.