The Berkeley Housing Authority is accepting applications for Section 8 vouchers beginning today until July 26.

Access the application here in English, Spanish and Mandarin. Call BHA at (510) 981-5495 for other languages.

The applications are available online, and only one will be accepted per household. It’s a randomized system that will place applicants on a waitlist for 2,000 available vouchers, which are given to the housing authority by the federal government.

As of this June, there are 1,490 Section 8 households in Berkeley and this application process opens up a pipeline for additional residents to qualify for Section 8 and eventually be matched with available apartments.

The BHA emphasized that not everyone who applies will get a spot on the waitlist, which last opened in 2010. That waitlist has now been exhausted, so applications are once again available.

Eligibility varies by household size, but the head of the household must be at least 18 years old to apply. The Berkeley Housing Authority has provided a breakdown of allowable income limits in the application, which range from $50,000 for one person to $94,250 for a family of eight.

Income limits from the Berkeley Housing Authority Section 8 application.

Physical applications are also available for people who don’t have reliable internet access. You can pick them up between 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 1947 Center St., Berkeley. These applications are due back at the same address by 4 p.m. on July 26 (one hour earlier than the final deadline for digital applications, which are due by 5 p.m. on July 26) so they can be processed by BHA staff.  

Rachel Gonzales-Levine, acting executive director of the BHA, said there is high traffic for the online application, so the website may slow down at times. If applicants get a syntax error on their webpage, she advised that they restart their application.

 “The application literally takes 3-5 minutes to be completed, and is very user friendly online,” Gonzales-Levine said.

Free computer access is available at the following locations for residents who want to submit applications online:

Berkeley Public Libraries:

  • Main Library, 2090 Kittredge St., noon to 6 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday
  • West Branch, 1125 University Ave., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday 
  • South Branch, 1901 Russell St., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday

Berkeley Drop-in Center, 3234 Adeline St. Monday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday

Berkeley Youth Alternatives, 1255 Allston Way, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 19-21 and July 25-26

Center for Independent Living (for those with disabilities and seniors only) 3075 Adeline St., Suite 100. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 2-4 p.m.

Featured image credit: Photo: Peter Alfred Hess

This story has been updated with additional information from the Berkeley Housing Authority.

Supriya Yelimeli is a housing and homelessness reporter for Berkeleyside and joined the staff in May 2020 after contributing reporting since 2018 as a freelance writer. Yelimeli grew up in Fremont and...