Housing Programs

Oakland Housing Authority offers affordable housing options and rent subsidies to clients who qualify through a variety of different programs. Potential residents are encouraged to apply for housing that meets the needs of their household when pre-applications are being accepted. Generally, applicants are selected through a lottery process and placed on Waiting Lists until housing is available for specific units based on family composition.

There are several types of housing offered by OHA:

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)--OHA subsidizes a portion of the rent that the tenant pays to a private landlord. OHA is not a party to the lease agreement, but does enter into a contract to make regular rent payments, while the tenant also pays a portion. Tenants who possess a Section 8 Voucher are able to locate a unit of their choice in a neighborhood of their choice, and are also allowed to move out of the city or state and continue using their Voucher after one year of continuous residence in Oakland (portability). The key to the Section 8 voucher Program is that the Voucher moves with the resident, and is not tied to any particular unit.

Project-based Hous​ing Voucher Program​--Tenants who reside in units using the Project-based Voucher Program have rent subsidized similarly to those using Section 8 Vouchers. However, the Voucher is tied to the unit, not the resident. Therefore, once the tenant moves they can no longer benefit from that Project-based Voucher. Residents of these units pay a portion of their rent and OHA also pays a portion to the property owner on behalf of the tenant.

Public Housing--OHA owns and operates a number of small and large apartment buildings throughout Oakland. In these Public Housing sites, residents are offered below market rate rent or rental subsidies. No vouchers are used in the Public Housing units and tenants generally do not move unless their are changes to their family composition.

Veterans Affairs S​upportive Housing​ (VASH) Program--America's Veterans may access the VASH program for subsidized rent and case management services. Homeless Vets must be referred by the Alameda County VA Medical Center.

Shelter Plus Ca​re--Through this program affordable housing and support services are​ offered to homeless people living on the street. To qualify for assistance, participants must be homeless and disabled by chronic alcohol or drug problems, serious mental illness, or AIDS and Related Disorders. In addition to receiving a rental subsidy, Shelter Plus Care participants receive support services through a network of local service agencies. Shelter Plus Care is run by the Alameda County Housing and Community Development Department in partnership with the Oakland, Alameda City, and Alameda County Housing Authorities. 

Foster Youth to Independence​ (FYI) --The Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative makes Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance available to Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in partnership with Public Child Welfare Agencies (PCWAs).  Under FYI, PHAs provide housing assistance on behalf of youth at least 18 years and not more than 24 years of who left foster care, or will leave foster care within 90 days, in accordance with a transition plan described in Section 475(5)(H) of the Social Security Act, and are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless.​​