Open Section 8 Waitlists In California

This is a list of all the open section 8 waitlists open in California. Once a waitlist is open in your area, you can apply to join it. If you qualify, you’ll be added to your local waitlist to obtain housing assistance. Make sure to keep a copy of all your documents throughout the application process. 

LocationStatusStatus Update
Anaheim Housing AuthorityOPENJune 3rd, 2020
Redding Housing AuthorityOPENAugust 9th, 2019
Humboldt CountyOPENJuly 26th, 2018
San Diego County and CityOPENJuly 10th, 2018
National CityOPENJuly 17, 2017
EncinitasOPENApril 17th, 2018
San Mateo CountyOPENMarch 20th, 2019
Tulare CountyOPENNovember 16th, 2018
City of Santa PaulaOPENApril 12th, 2018
Plumas County Housing AuthorityOPENJune 28th, 2018
Kings CountyOPENSeptember 20th, 2018
Housing Authority of the County of RiversideOPENJune 28th, 2018
Chronic Homelessness/ Involuntary Displaced OPENMarch 20th, 2019
Santa Ana, VeteranOPENJuly 2nd, 2018
Ventura OPENApril 24th, 2018
Butte and Glenn CountyOPENMay 6th, 2021
Placer County OPENJuly 1st, 2021

What section 8 waitlists are open in California?

At the moment there is 17 section 8 waitlists open in the state of California. On this page you’ll see all the current open waitlists and when they were updated. To apply to a waitlist, you’ll have to reach out to your local housing authority office. You can view our income limits tool to see your income limit for different counties. Some local offices keep their waitlists open all the time while others are only open for a short period of time. The only requirement in the house choice voucher program guidebook is that they have enough people on the waitlist to give out vouchers as soon as possible. It also is important they don’t have so many people on the waitlist that the wait for housing assistance is unattainable. 

Can I apply to a waitlist for a different county?

You can apply for assistance anywhere in the country and most big cities have more than 65 local housing authority offices. It’s important to note that a county can throw out your application if there are duplicates so remember to apply to each waitlist once. You can take a look to see if you qualify in your current county and surrounding counties. 

Are my chances better if I apply as soon as it opens?

Benefits are not distributed on a first come first serve basis. Families are prioritized in the program based on need. People who need housing assistance as soon as possible are considered first. Each office is completely different and someone might verify your income once you’ve hit the top of the waitlist and some might verify before even adding you to the waitlist. 

We also recommend looking into public housing waitlists as well since they can be shorter in some areas. You’ll also have to maintain a good tenant history with no evictions on your record.  

How can I apply? 

Please reach out to your local housing authority office and they’ll be able to go over the application process. It’s really important to speak to someone since there are a lot of different parts to the application and you don’t want to jeopardize your chances. Your local office should provide you with a link to fill out an application and should either get an email or letter confirming you’re on the waitlist. Keep a record of all documents since the waitlist can exceed 4+ years at times. 

How long are section 8 waitlists?

Each city is different but you could be on the waitlist for anywhere from 2-10+ years. In a study done by Kevin Williams, Ph.D., he estimates Fresno’s waitlist is about 4-5 years while San Francisco is 3-8 years depending on which income level a family hits. Santa Cruz is about a 6-year wait. He also states that these offices try to keep their waitlists artificially low to prevent giving families false hope but the acceptance rates are still relatively low.