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Register Online

On July 1, 2015, the Housing Authority of the County of Riverside opened the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) waiting list. Registrations for all programs are accepted ONLINE. You can register by clicking on the appropriate link below. If you want to register or update your information on the waiting list for Public Housing, Mod Rehab or Project Based Housing, please click on the appropriate link below. Please note that you must have a valid social security number in order to complete the Online Registration forms below.

Register: Online Registration for Housing - in English

Register: Registracion para la Asistencia de Vivienda - en Español

If you do not have a social security number, you can complete the registration form here. If you have a social security number, you must use one of the two links above or your registration will not be added.

If you do not have internet access, please click the following link for more information: Computer Resource Listing 
You may also access a computer and apply online at the Housing Authority office located at 5555 Arlington Ave Riverside 92504 Monday - Friday from 8 am - 5 pm.


If you are disabled and need special accessibility features, please visit our informational page concerning accommodation.


Waiting List Preferences

The Housing Authority (HA) has implemented the following preferences for selecting names from the waiting list. In accordance with California State Law, at each level of preferences, veterans and/or active duty servicemen and their spouse or widow/er will have priority. The Housing Authority will release families to result in a lease up of:

  • For the Section 8 Program: 75% of the families will be at or below 30% of the median income (extremely low income), and 25% of the families will be between 30% and 50% of the median income (very low income).
  • For the Public Housing Program: 40% of the families will be at or below 30% of the median income (extremely low income), and 60% of the families will be between 30% and 80% of the median income (low income). The Public Housing Program may receive credit of excess admissions of extremely low income families to the Section 8 Program (up to regulatory amounts, if necessary to satisy the requirement).

The release will be in accordance with Federal Regulations. A family must meet both of the characteristics of a "Level of Preference". If the First Level of Preference releases do not satisfy the regulations regarding extremely low income families, releases will be done at the second Level of Preference and then to the Third Level of Preference until the 75% extremely low income requirement is met.

1)     County of Riverside Residency Preference, and
2)     Qualified veterans, or
3)     Families whose head of household or co-head is 75 years of age and older, or
4)     Families or Foster Care Youth referred to the HA by the Riverside County Public Child Welfare Agency(PCWA) for admission through the Family Unification Program (HUD designated special purpose vouchers), or
5)     Participants who have utilized a special rental assistance program for a 3 year term and no longer require supportive services, or
6)     Homeless families with children residing in shelters.
1)    County of Riverside Residency Preference, and
2)    Rent-burdened or homeless, and
3)    Working Families (see Working Families definition) with dependents or minors or Elderly families or Disabled families

To meet the Riverside Residency preference, a family must live or work in Riverside County.

To meet the Qualified Veteran preference, the following definitions apply:

VETERAN (Qualified):  A person who has a DD-214 or equivalent showing the branch of service, length of service and characterization of service in accordance to California Military and Veterans Code Section 980

For a widow/widower of a Veteran to be qualified for the Veterans preference, the registrant must supply the birth certificates, marriage certificate and death certificate.

VETERAN FAMILY: Veteran family means a veteran who is a single person or a family in which the head of household, or the spouse of the head of household, is a veteran.

To be considered a family 75 years of age and older for the purpose of meeting the waiting list preference, the head of household, or co-head, must be 75 years age or older.

To meet the Rent Burdened preference, a family must be paying more than 30% of family income for rent.  In order to be given the preference of rent burdened, a family must provide evidence that is verifiable.

To be considered an Elderly family for the purpose of meeting the waiting list preference the head of household or spouse/co-head must be 62 years of age or older.

 To be considered a Working family with minor or dependent children for the purpose of meeting the waiting list preference the head of household and/or spouse/co-head must be working at least 32 hours per week at California minimum wage or higher for the last 60 days, or receiving Unemployment, State Disability or Workman's Compensation in lieu of earnings provided that the person was employed and working at least 32 hours per week at California minimum wage for 60 days prior to receiving Unemployment, State Disability or Workman's Compensation.

To be considered a "Disabled family" for the purpose of meeting the waiting list preference the head of household or spouse/co-head must meet HUD's definition of disability.

The wait to have your name selected from the Section 8 waiting list cannot be anticipated at this time.  It will be selected if you meet the above preferences, meet the income limits listed below, and you are registered on the Section 8 waiting list. Names within each preference are selected based on the date and time of registration.  

The wait for Public Housing may be shorter, depending upon vacancies. The public housing program has the same preferences with additional requirements for credit and landlord references.

If you need affordable housing while you wait for assistance, please see our Affordable Housing page. If you need emergency assistance please see our resources page.

*Remember that it is the registrant's responsibility to keep the waiting list information current at all times. If you fail to report a new address, your registration will be cancelled. If you fail to respond to mailings or if mail is returned to the Housing Authority as undeliverable, your registration will be cancelled. Registrants on the waiting list may use the following link to access the online change reporting page at:

There are also a limited number of registrants selected that meet the qualifications for an Extraordinary Local Preference.  In order to be selected for this preference, special events must have occurred.  Events such as displacement by government action (like having to move so a freeway can be built) or witness protection program through the District Attorney's office. To be considered for this preference, directors from the agencies involved must request and certify the need.

This program has limited funding and we are not able to help all that register for assistance. If you do not meet all of the above preferences, the wait for assistance will be quite long.

For a flow chart of how Section 8 works there is a pdf file available here
*If you do not have an Adobe Acrobat reader, you can download the reader free at Adobe

If you have questions about your registration, you can call 351-0700 ext 7301. Please leave a detailed message with your name and social security number so that research may be done prior to a return phone call. If you have applied and did not receive a confirmation letter, please submit another registration.

To qualify for housing assistance, a family's income must be equal to or less than the income amount established by HUD. See above for the split between those under 30 percent of the median and those between 30 and 50 percent of the median.


For current income limits click here.

In addition to income requirements, families must provide proof of legal residence in the United States, any Social Security number to which they have been assigned and must sign consent forms to verify the income and assets that they have reported. The Housing Authority will check on the criminal record of adult family members and check to see if any member is required to register as a sexual offender. Families that have a member or members who have engaged in violent criminal activity or drug related criminal activity are, in most cases, not eligible for housing assistance. Families with members that are required to register as sexual offenders are not eligible for public housing or the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Please see our participant obligations and the Zero Tolerance Policy page for more information.

Renting to Relatives under Section 8 is prohibited. The regulation, 24 CFR 982.306 (d) now reads "The HA must not approve a unit if the owner is the parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother of any member of the family unless the HA determines that approving the unit would provide reasonable accommodation for a family member who is a person with disabilities." The regulation effective date is June 17, 1998. The owner is prohibited from living in the assisted unit.

Facts and Reminders.

The subsidy standards used by the Housing Authority in determining the number of bedrooms each family is authorized is as follows. A bedroom is authorized for the head of household and spouse or partner. If there is no spouse or partner, the head of household is authorized one bedroom alone. For each two additional persons another bedroom is authorized. In the case of a family with an odd number of family members in addition to the head and spouse, an additional bedroom is authorized. This policy is in keeping with Federal Regulations that require the Housing Authority to designate standards that provide for the smallest number of bedrooms needed to house a family without overcrowding. Please see the Code of Federal Regulations 24 Part 982.402 (1). Families that are moving or who have had a recent change in the family composition may have a change in the number of bedrooms that they are authorized on the Voucher. All families drawn from the waiting list will be issued Vouchers based on these subsidy standards. Families with Vouchers will be reviewed at annual re-examination time and the current voucher payment standards must be applied.

Here is the procedure for the way names are drawn from the waiting list for Section 8 assistance. When your name is reached on the waiting list, you must provide proof that you meet the preferences above. If those items are provided, you will need to complete an eligibility questionnaire and provide additional documentation. If all eligibility requirements are met, you will need to attend a group meeting to receive your voucher and additional information on how the program works. If you do not meet any of the preferences explained above your registration will be returned.

If you want more information on the Public Housing Reform Act, there is a Summary Page in this site.


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