Home - Housing - Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
Housing Choice Voucher Program
What are housing choice vouchers? The housing choice voucher program (formerly called the Section 8 Program) is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The Housing Authority receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.
A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the Housing Authority.
A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the Housing Authority on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.
Am I eligible? Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the Housing Authority based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for Santa Barbara County as published by HUD (see income limits here).
By law, the Housing Authority must provide 75% of its vouchers to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30% of the area median income.
How do I apply? If you are interested in applying for a voucher, click here for the Housing Authority's online application.
If you are 62 years of age or older, please also visit our seniors page for more housing opportunities.
Information for Voucher Holders
The Housing Authority maintains a free listing service for landlords to list their vacancies. Voucher holders may search these available rental listings via the link below. Please note, the listing is not comprehensive and you may use your voucher with any landlord that accepts the Housing Choice Voucher, provided the unit meets the standards and requirements of the Housing Choice Voucher Program