Section 8 Information

Section 8: Rental Assistance Program

The Section 8 program is a federally funded program that assists low income households obtain affordable, decent, safe, and sanitary housing. The assistance is in the form of a rental voucher which is issued to an eligible household. The program makes monthly housing assistance payments to the property owner who leases the rental unit to the assisted household.

The assistance payments make up the difference between what the household can afford and the approved rent for the unit. Assisted households must pay 30% of their adjusted income for rent. All units leased with Section 8 must meet federal housing quality standards and be inspected annually. The Housing Division currently assists approximately 600 families annually.

For general questions regarding the Section 8 Program feel free to call:

(323) 357-5825

Monday - Thursday, 7 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wait List

The section 8 waiting list for the South Gate Housing Choice Voucher Program is currently closed.  Housing Division is not accepting applications.

Participant Information

Program Rules

As a participant in the Section 8 Program, you have a responsibility to both the landlord and the Housing Authority. You must comply with the terms of the lease. Including making timely payment of rent and utilities listed as your responsibility. You must use the unit as your principle residence and cannot sublease it or allow unauthorized people to reside in the property. All information you supply to the South Gate Housing Authority (SGHA) must be true and complete. The responsibilities for participants of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher can be found in the Family Obligations(PDF, 159KB). It is important to understand that any violations of the above obligations could result in the termination of your Section 8 Housing Voucher assistance and/or denial of future assistance.

Locating a Unit

If you are interested in searching for a new unit, you may come the SGHA office and check our vacancy listing for available units. The vacancy listing includes units willing to participate in the rental assistance program. It is required that you bring your voucher to be granted authorization to view the vacancy listings. There is no guarantee that these units are suitable for your household. Please keep in mind; you are not restricted to the units on this list. You may also look for units on your own. It is required for all units to pass inspection. Inspections are conducted by a city inspector. It is highly recommended not to move in prior to the unit passing inspection; you are responsible for the entire rent until the unit passes inspection. You may refer to the List of Commonly Failed Items(PDF, 89KB)  as a requirement guideline. If the unit fails the inspection, all dialed items must be corrected before the subsidy begins.

If you are living in a house or apartment built before 1979 and you have children living with you under the age of 7, you should know about the hazard of lead-based paint. Lead Based Paint Information(PDF, 658KB)  is available for your review.

Participant Responsibility for Reporting Changes

Report changed to income or household composition in writing within 14 days of the change using the Self Certification of Income Status and Family Composition(PDF, 264KB) form. Complete the form and return to the SGHA.

Landlord Information

The Section 8 program provides assistance to low-income families in the private rental market, allowing property owners to rent to participating tenants. Assisted families choose a unit from the private rental market. Rental assistance makes market rate housing affordable. Program participants normally pay no more than 40% of monthly-adjusted income towards rent and utilities. The Housing Assistance Payment subsidizes the balance of the rent to the property owner. If you are interested in listing a rental unit, please fill out a Vacancy Listing(PDF, 118KB)  and submit to the South Gate Housing Authority (SGHA) office. All units must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection before the subsidy can start. A HUD Inspection Checklist(PDF, 707KB) is available for you to use to prepare your unit for inspection. For detailed information on inspection standards, review A Good Place to Live(PDF, 354KB) published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Effective April 1, 2015,landlords will be required to enroll in direct deposit for all housing assistance payments. If you have not yet done so, please complete a Direct Deposit Form(PDF, 57KB) and return it to the SGHA office for processing.

Rent Increases

The South Gate Housing Authority requires owners who participate in the Section 8 Program to submit a 60 day notice beginning the 1st of the month for all rent increases. Upon receipt of the request to increase the rent the SGHA will determine whether that request is reasonable and a letter will be sent out in reference to that request.

Fair Housing and Disability: Reasonable Accommodations

This video was designed to inform housing providers of their rights and responsibilities under state and federal housing laws. Problems may arise when rental property owners/residents managers do not understand their obligation to make changes in rules and policies in order to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities. The SGHA make every effort to reduce housing discrimination in all areas of housing. To obtain other fair housing information, please go to Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website provides tips for renters and landlords.

Need information about your legal rights? The California Department of Consumer Affairs has a Guide to Residential Tenants' and Landlords' Rights and Responsibilities.

Transferring Out of the Area


One of the most popular features of the Housing Voucher program is its portability. That means you can move anywhere in the country that has a voucher program and take your assistance with you. The first step in any move is contacting your Housing Specialist. Contact the South Gate Housing Authority to set up an appointment. The move process may take 30 to 60 days, so think ahead. To be eligible to transfer (port) your Housing Choice Voucher to another Housing Authority, you need to meet certain requirements.
We must receive your notice to vacate and intent to transfer out of the area in order to being the portability process.
Here are some important things you should know if you decide to transfer (port) your Housing Choice Voucher to another Housing Authority.

  • We must receive your notice to vacate and intent to transfer out of the area in order to begin the portability process.
  • It is recommended that you give a 60-day notice to move from your present unit, instead of a 30-day notice, to allow additional time for the processing of your transfer.
  • You need to complete the term of your lease.
  • You need to give proper notice to your landlord. You cannot break your lease.
  • If you owe money or if it is found that you or a family member has engaged in criminal activities you will not be allowed ti keep your voucher when you move.

Upon receipt of your notice to vacate and your intent to transfer you must complete a Request for Portability.(PDF, 140KB)

If you are receiving your voucher for the first time the other Housing's income limits will apply, and you may bot be eligible for assistance at that location.

Always be conscious of your voucher's expiration date. You cannot receive assistance once your voucher expires. Please note, if other Housing Authority does not have enough time to process your voucher prior to its expiration, you may be denied assistance.

Keep in mind that some Housing Authorities are not accepting transfers to their area. It is very important to note, all Housing Authorities have different policies and procedures. You are responsible to abide by policies and procedures of the new Housing Authority. You may receive a reduction in the number of bedrooms allowed on your voucher, because the new Housing Authority may have different standards.

Please contact the Housing Authority to find out if it is accepting voucher transfers at this time, processing time, income limits, payment standards, availability of rental units, average rents, and other information that may affect your benefits.

You will need adequate resources to provide for your living expenses and move-in costs while your assistance is being processed. Assistance is never processed retroactively, so if you move into a unit before inspection and contract are completed, you are responsible for the full rent.

Port-In Procedures

This section is for families who receive their vouchers through one Housing Authority and wish to transfer their voucher to another Housing Authority. We are accepting and absorbing ports from other Housing Authorities. An incoming transfer takes approximately 45 to 60 days to process, once we receive the paperwork from the applicant's current housing agency.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept a transfer to our jurisdiction unless we receive a portability packet from the initial housing agency. Portability packets will not be accepted if faxed or hand carried by participant. The initial Housing Authority should mail the portability packet to the SGHA at the following address:

South Gate Housing Authority
Attn.: Portability
8650 California Avenue
South Gate, CA 90280

(323)563-9531 Tel.

Processing time if 45-60 days. It is important the family has sufficient resources, including a place to stay and available funds to pay for temporary housing and other expenses, to carry them through the processing period. Sorry, but we do not have funding for emergency assistance.

Since the policies and procedures of the receiving Housing Authority apply, some of the policies transferring policies and procedures to be aware of include:

  • Reduction of voucher size
  • Lowering of payment standards
  • For an admission at the Initial Housing Authority, the family income may exceed our income limits and they may be ineligible for assistance at our agency.

Once we receive a portability packet, we will send the family an appointment letter requesting documentation and a new certification packet. The certification packet includes the following:

  1. Appointment letter (informing family when their appointment is and confirmation that we have received the portability packet).
  2. Personal Declaration and Authorization to Release.

Please make sure all paperwork in the certification packet is complete prior to coming in for your appointment. The following documents are requested in order to expedite your portability:

  1. Current proof of income (pay stubs, award letter for Social Security benefits, Unemployment, Child Support, CalWorks, etc.).
  2. Current (dated within 30 days of scheduled appointment) proof of any asset (all pages of current bank statements, trust funds, life insurance, etc.).
  3. Birth Certificates and Social Security Cards for all household members
  4. Current picture identification for all adults in the household
  5. Legal immigration documents for all household members (if applicable)

The paperwork is very important. You will need to provide all the necessary verifications requested before we can approve you for assistance. Again, the approval process may take 45-60 days. Failure to provide your paperwork may result in delay and/or termination of your rental assistance.

After the paperwork is reviewed, we will issue a voucher and a Request for Tenancy Approval packet (the RTA). We must receive the RTA on or before the date your voucher expires. We cannot process an RTA that is missing information. Once we receive a completed RTA along with the required documents listed on the RTA we can begin processing it.

After we approve the RTA, we will schedule an inspection. Assistance will begin only after the unit passes an inspection, we authorize move-in, a lease agreement is executed, and the landlord signs a Housing Assistance Payment Contract.

Finding a unit is your responsibility. For a list of available units please come into our office and view our vacancy listing. You may also look for units on your own.

Foreclosure Act of 2009

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009

On May 20, 2009 the President signed into law the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act which requires that new owners, who take possession of property through foreclosure, must take such possession subject to any existing Section 8 leases and Housing Assistance Payment contracts attached to that property. Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher holders have new rights regarding eviction from units that have been foreclosed upon.

The new owner or corporation, who own residential property as a result of foreclosure, must follow these rules:

  • Section 8 tenants who have a lease for a fixed term, such as one year, and the lease has not yet expired, have a right to remain in the unit and cannot be evicted (except for good cause actions that apply to any lease) until the end of the lease term.
  • If a tenant's lease ends in less than 90 days the new owner may not evict the tenant without giving a minimum of 90 days notice.
  • The new owner wanting the property vacant is not a good cause (legal reasons) for terminating tenancy or evicting.
    • There is one exception to the rule that a tenant may not be evicted during the term of lease: if the new owner who acquired the property at foreclosure wants to occupy the unit as his or her primary residence, that owner may provide a 90 day notice to the tenant to vacate the home even if the tenant's lease extends longer than 90 days.

If you happen to be in this situation and a new owner tells you that you must leave, offers you money to leave, or gives you a notice of eviction, you should contact the SGHA as soon as possible to tell us what is happening and give us a copy of any notice. Above all, please remember that you must pay your rent to the new owner the same as you would to the previous owner.

Annual Public Housing Agency (PHA) Plan

The annual PHA plan is available for public review here(PDF, 258KB).

Section 8 Forms & Handouts

The following is a list of different forms, flyers, brochures, booklets, and pamphlets available at the South Gate Housing Authority (SGHA):