LA's Section 8 housing lottery waitlist opens: How to apply

Los Angeles has officially opened its Section 8 Housing Waiting List Lottery. 

It's the first time in 5 years that applications are again being accepted for the program, which provides rental assistance to eligible individuals and families by paying a portion of their rent directly to private landlords.

"By reopening the Section 8 waiting list, we will present thousands of our neighbors with safe and stable housing opportunities," said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Applications will be accepted until Sunday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.  

At the end of the application period, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) will use a computer-randomized lottery to select up to 30,000 applicants for placement on the Section 8 Waiting List.

"Rental assistance programs like these fight against poverty and help reduce homelessness. Our goal, with the reopening of HACLA’s Section 8 Waiting List Lottery is to help thousands of families who are struggling financially to find stable housing," said Douglas Guthrie, HACLA President and CEO.

Here’s what you need to know.

Who can apply?

Applicants must fall into the federal "very low-income" category. For individual tenants, their annual income cannot be more than $41,700. The annual income threshold for a family of four is $59,550.  

Vouchers are only available to U.S. citizens, immigrants with legal authorization or families with "mixed status" with at least one household member that has legal immigration status.

For more information on eligibility requirements, tap or click here. 

How can I apply?

Interested families and individuals can apply online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, during the application period using a smartphone, mobile device, or computer with Internet access.  

No applications will be handed out or accepted in-person, by mail, email, or fax at any HACLA office. Applicants will be required to have a valid, working email address.

Free email accounts are widely available online, and free Internet access and email setup assistance is available at local Los Angeles City public libraries.

Applicants can visit to apply during the open application period and to find additional resources for partners providing application assistance.

What's the deadline?

People will be able to apply online starting at 6:00 a.m., Monday, October 17, 2022, through 5:00 p.m., Sunday, October 30, 2022 (Pacific Time).

Applications can be submitted at any time during the two-week application period. Submitting an application does not guarantee that you will be selected or given a housing voucher.

What are my chances like?

A preference for assistance will be given to applicants who live or work in the City of Los Angeles and to applicants who are veterans or have a household member who is a veteran, released from such military service under conditions other than dishonorable.

How do I know if I got on the list?

As funding is available, HACLA will contact applicants for program eligibility interviews.

An application does not guarantee a voucher.

When the city opened its Section 8 waiting list in 2017, more than 187,000 people submitted applications, with only 20,000 vouchers available. 

Those who are lucky enough to be selected for the rent assistance program will have 180 days to secure a housing unit. After the 6-month period, an unused voucher will be returned to the lottery so it can be given to someone else on the waiting list.

I have questions. Who can I call?

Applicants needing assistance in applying due to a disability can call (213) 523-SEC8 (7328) or (877) 621-SEC8 (7328) (toll-free), between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time every day during the application period.