Section 8 is a federally created and supported program operated by individual state Public Housing Agencies (PHA). You may know this as a “Housing Authority.” After you apply and are deemed qualified: you will be placed on a list for a voucher. It may take months or years to obtain a voucher, depending on your area. You can apply to several housing authorities though.
In Los Angeles there are CITY Section 8 vouchers and COUNTY vouchers. SOmetimes the individual (you) gets the voucher, sometimes the building or individual unit is vouchered and a qualifying tenant must be found to rent it.
This is copied from HUD.GOV:
Question 1: How can I get into HUD housing?
Answer: HUD doesn’t actually own rental housing. We do provide funding to support several rental assistance programs. Read all about them in our “Renter’s Kit“.
Question 2: I’m a senior citizen on a fixed income, how can HUD help me keep my home, find low-cost housing, or assisted living?
Question 3: How can I apply for Section 8?
Answer: To apply for public housing or Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers, you will need to visit your local public housing authority. Many have long waiting lists, so you may want to apply at more than one public housing authority.
Question 4: I have a Section 8 voucher, and I’m moving to another city. Can I take my voucher with me?
Answer: Yes, that is possible. But you’ll need to contact both your current and your future public housing authority to work out the details.
Question 5: Where can I find someone who will let me use my voucher to rent a place to live?
Answer: Your public housing authority should have a list of landlords who are willing to take Housing Choice vouchers.
Question 6: I’d like to rent my home to a Section 8 tenant. How can I do that?
Answer: You’ll need to contact your local public housing agency to find out how to rent to Section 8 tenants in your area.
Question 7: Are there other agencies that offer rental assistance?
Answer: Yes. In rural communities, the Department of Agriculture provides rental assistance programs, home improvement and repair loans and grants, and self-help housing loans to low income individuals and families. To apply, visit the Rural Housing Service website or contact your local Rural Development office (check the Federal Government section of your telephone book).
Question 8: I’m a senior citizen on a fixed income, how can HUD help me keep my home, find low-cost housing, or assisted living?
Answer: We have lots of information about living choices for senior citizens. HUD-approved housing counseling housing counseling agencies can help you think through your options. Contact one near you.
Question 9: I have a physical disability. What kind of housing help does HUD offer?
Answer: Read about housing choices for people with disabilities, including information on subsidized apartments and independent living centers. You also may want to contact one of the HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in your area.