Section 8 Rental Assistance Programs

Current Section 8 Participants -- Our current Newsletter is available along with other important information and forms. 

The Housing Authority of the County of San Diego has programs for low-income households to help them pay their rent. A portion of the rent is paid on behalf of the families directly to their landlords. For a list landlords and units willing to participate in the rental assistance programs, go to our Available Units page. Be aware that families are not restricted to the units on this list. You may also look for units on your own.  If you are looking for a unit to accommodate the needs of a person with disabilities, the Housing Authority is committed to provide services and resources to help you.  The  National Accessible Housing Clearing House and have information on accessible units.  The Housing Authority is neither affiliated with, nor endorses the National Accessible Housing Clearing House or   

In order to qualify for the programs, you must live in certain areas of the county, and you must place your name on our waiting list. The wait may be 8-10 years or more, depending on our funding levels. Unfortunately, we don't have emergency assistance available. These programs are:

HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM - Eligible families selected off our waiting list can choose a unit in any area we serve that an owner is willing to join the program. The family must pay at least 30% of their adjusted monthly income for rent and utilities. The Housing Authority pays the rest to the landlord, as long as the total rent and utilities are at or below a certain amount, called a payment standard. If the rent is too high the unit may not be eligible for assistance.  Click here to see a more in-depth description of the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Eligible Households  -- Highest priority goes to applicants who live or work in the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority of the County of San Diego and are at least one of the following:

  • Families with dependent children.
  • Working Applicants- (Must have worked at least 32 + hours per week for the previous 12 months. Applicants may combine job training or an academic program as part of the previous 12-month requirement. Applicants receiving Unemployment, Disability, or Workman's Compensation Benefits will be considered qualifying under the preference if those benefits were the result 12 continuous months of employment at 32 + hours per week up to the start of the above referenced benefits.)
  • Elderly families (head of household or spouse is 62 years of age or older).
  • Disabled families (head of household or spouse is disabled).
  • Veterans or surviving spouses of veterans (other than dishonorable discharge)

Eligible Units - The unit the family selects must meet certain standards. We will inspect the unit before any assistance is paid, and at least once a year as long as assistance is being paid. The unit must always be in decent, safe, and sanitary condition. Please see the unit checklist for inspection items.

Program Rules - The rights and responsibilities for participants of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher can be found in the Family Handbook.

MODERATE REHABILITATION PROGRAM - This program offers privately owned rental units in East County for low-income families.  There are approximately 135 of these units.  If a unit becomes available, applicants are selected off our waiting list and referred to the landlord for screening and selection.  If the landlord determines a family suitable, we will then determine if the family is eligible for participation in the program.  Finally, the eligible family moves into the unit and pays a portion of the rent based on income, while we pay the remainder of the rent.  The family's eligibility for continued participation is reviewed annually.

Eligibility - You may be eligible for the above programs if you live or work in an unincorporated area of San Diego County, or in Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, or Vista. If you live outside of these areas, there are five other Housing Authorities in San Diego County.  Contact the one in the city where you live.

Income - Your total gross annual income must be at or below 50% of the San Diego County Area Median Income (AMI).

If you meet the above requirements and wish to apply for rental assistance, you may submit an application online at If you require specific accommodation to complete the application, please contact our office at (858) 694-4801 or (877) 478-LIST.   


The Housing Authority of the County of San Diego (HACSD) takes all allegations of fraud, misconduct and abuse seriously. If you suspect that Section 8 Program rules are being violated, you are urged to report your concerns to the HACSD Program Review Unit at (858) 694-4832 or via e-mail at  All information is kept confidential.