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Oakland Section 8 Housing Resources

By: Susan Finch
November 4, 2020

Do you need rent assistance or a subsidized apartment? Affordable housing in Oakland could be within reach if you qualify for Section 8 housing.

The housing voucher program is fully funded by the federal government but managed by local state-run PHAs. These are also called public housing authorities. However, accepted applicants must meet specific criteria, including low-income thresholds.

Before you apply for Oakland Section 8 Housing, here’s what to know, how to apply, and what to expect during the process.

Oakland Section 8 Housing Eligibility

Low-income earners may be eligible to apply for Section 8 housing in Oakland and receive subsidized rent vouchers. Tenants are required to earn less than 50% of the median area income in the metro area to apply for the program.

However, your requirements could vary depending on the number of people in your household who are also receiving assistance. The best way to figure out if you’re eligible is to contact your local PHA office in Oakland. They can help to walk you through the requirements and any recent updates to the program.

Even if your income meets all of the thresholds for Section 8 housing, you could be ineligible for other reasons. Your citizen status could disqualify you from vouchers, although it is possible in some situations. Specific types of criminal history are also not allowed.

However, if you live in another city or state, you could still be eligible to apply for Section 8 housing in Oakland. If your plans are flexible, apply to several areas from your current location. That way, you can find out which one accepts you first and has the shortest waitlist.

How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Oakland

You may apply directly online for Section 8 housing in Oakland to speed along your process. Online applications are usually processed faster than other methods.

However, a local PHA representative in Oakland can help you with the application and help make sure everything is completed correctly. A simple mistake could mean you’re ineligible to apply for public housing again for an entire year.

Whichever application method you choose, keep your financial and legal documentation readily available. That includes previous tax returns, your Social Security card, and pay stubs. Any members in your household who are also applying for assistance will also need to submit appropriate documentation.

Housing Voucher Waitlists

Unfortunately, waitlists are the norm when it comes to actually receiving your Section 8 housing vouchers in Oakland. It’s also common for PHA offices to stop accepting applications in order to work through their backlog. You can find out if the Oakland Housing Authority is accepting applications here.

Some situations could move you along the waitlist faster than others. For example, PHAs will usually give preference to vulnerable populations like the elderly, pregnant women, the disabled, and those experiencing homelessness.

A doctor’s note that states your health is negatively impacted by your dwelling and could be helped by Section 8 housing may also help your case. Low-income earners with chronic respiratory illness may need a more appropriate and sanitary dwelling.

Local PHA representatives will work through their list. Each situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you’re in between apartments or move frequently, you must keep your contact information updated with the PHA at all times. The office will occasionally reach out to inquire if applicants want to remain on the waitlist.

A delay in response could keep you on the waitlist longer than necessary. And if the PHA doesn’t receive a response or is unable to locate you, they may purge you from their list altogether.

Section 8 Housing Vouchers

When you’re approved and eventually removed from the Section 8 waitlist, you still need to find an apartment or other dwelling that accepts the public housing vouchers.

Keep in mind that the rental market in Oakland is competitive. That can make it challenging to find Section 8 housing. You can find more information about locating an apartment at the HUD website.

Once you find a place to live, the landlord or apartment complex will receive the vouchers directly from the government. Tenants are required to make up the rest of the subsidized rent.

After you’ve moved into your new apartment, keep the local PHA updated about any financial changes. A new job or salary change could impact your voucher status. Failure to report these changes could mean losing your housing vouchers.

Where to Find Section 8 Housing in Oakland

If you’re not sure how to find public housing in Oakland or what to do next, visit the Oakland Housing Authority. You’ll also find more information about how to apply and local requirements.

Useful Resources

Are you ready to apply for Section 8 housing in Oakland? You can learn more about the program and whether or not they’re currently accepting applications by visiting the Oakland Housing Authority. You can also find more information about affordable housing in Oakland here.

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AUTHOR
Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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