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Understanding the Housing Choice Voucher Program

This page will provide a detailed overview of the Housing Authority of the City of Long Beach's (Housing Authority) Housing Choice Voucher Program, a vital initiative administered in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

In 1974, HUD introduced tenant-based rental assistance programs, designed to provide housing assistance subsidies to very low-income tenants. Among these initiatives, the Housing Authority of oversees the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly recognized as Section 8.

Application Process:
To apply for a Housing Choice Voucher, families must first apply to a waiting list. Once their name is reached, the Housing Authority meticulously reviews the household's qualifications, emphasizing residency, income, and criminal history. Upon approval, the program participant is issued a Housing Choice Voucher, enabling them to seek housing in privately-owned residences.

Residence Approval and Inspection:
Upon identifying a potential residence, the Housing Authority conducts a thorough inspection to ensure compliance with HUD's mandated minimum quality standards. Simultaneously, the Housing Authority assesses the reasonableness and affordability of the rent for the program participant.

Lease and Contract Execution:
Upon a successful inspection, the property owner and the program participant enter into a lease agreement. Concurrently, the Housing Authority establishes a contract with the property owner. Rental assistance payments are directly made to the owner by the Housing Authority, with payments expected on the first business day of each month.

First-Year Operations:
Typically, the Housing Authority's involvement is most intensive during the first year of the contract, ensuring a smooth transition into the program. This period involves thorough inspections, lease agreements, and payment processes to facilitate a seamless experience for both property owners and program participants.

Recertification Process:
Approximately nine months after the lease signing, the Housing Authority initiates the recertification process. This involves a comprehensive review of the household's qualifications, ensuring continued eligibility for the program. Additionally, the residence undergoes another inspection to maintain quality standards.

At the Housing Authority, our commitment is to guide and support you throughout your journey in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. If you have any questions or need further clarification, our team is here to assist you. We aim to provide clear, informative, and comprehensive information to enhance your experience with our programs.


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