Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiated tenant-based rental assistance programs in 1974. Tenant-based rental assistance programs offer housing assistance subsidies to very low-income tenants. This provides these households the ability to rent a privately-owned residence. One of the many programs that HUD offers and that the Housing Authority of the City of Long Beach administers is the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as Section 8.
In order to apply for a Housing Choice Voucher, a very low-income household must first register its name on a waiting list. After the household's name is reached, HACLB reviews the household’s qualifications – including their residency, income, and criminal history. If approved, HACLB issues the program participant a Housing Choice Voucher and the household can then find a privately-owned residence to rent.
When the program participant finds a potential residence, HACLB inspects the residence to ensure that the property meets HUD's required minimum quality standards. HACLB also determines if the rent is reasonable and affordable to the program participant.
After passing inspection, the owner of the property enters into a lease with the program participant and HACLB enters into a contract with the owner. HACLB makes rental assistance payments directly to the owner; owners should expect payment on the first business day of each month.
Generally, HACLB's work is done for the first year of the contract. About 9 months after signing the lease, HACLB begins the recertification process. The household's qualifications are reviewed and the residence is inspected.