Santa Monica Housing Office - Porting

"Portability" in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program refers to the process through which a household can transfer or "port" their rental subsidy to a different jurisdiction.

Under Section 8, participants have a right to lease a unit anywhere in the United States, provided that the unit is located within the jurisdiction of a public housing agency (PHA) administering a tenant-based voucher program. It is up to the PHA that first issued the voucher (the initial PHA) to approve the participant’s request to move. Federal regulations and PHA policy determine whether a family qualifies.

Please contact the PHA that issued your voucher if you are interested in porting to Santa Monica. Here is a list of contact information for various PHAs in Los Angeles County.

Portability procedures for porting to the Santa Monica Housing Authority (SMHA)

  1. Contact your initial PHA and request that your portability packet be sent to SMHA. The initial PHA may email the portability packet to or fax it to (310) 264-7757.

You can expect to hear from SMHA two to three weeks after your initial PHA confirms that they sent the paperwork. If you do not hear from SMHA after three weeks, please contact SMHA's office at (310) 458-8743 to confirm that your information has been received.

  1. You will be given an appointment for a briefing when it has been confirmed that your portability packet has been received. All household members age 18 and over must come to the appointment. You must bring originals of the following items for all household members to your briefing appointment:
    1. Current valid photo identification (age 18 and over only)
    2. Birth certificates
    3. Documentation of social security numbers
    4. Documentation of citizenship or eligible immigration status
    5. Documentation of participation in earned income disallowance benefit (age 18 and over only)
    6. Most recent bank statement for ALL bank accounts of ALL household members
    7. Paystubs for last three pay periods (age 18 and over only)
    8. Federal income tax returns (age 18 and over only)
  1. Criminal background verification will be processed for all household members 18 and over.
  1. SMHA will determine the appropriate voucher size by assigning one bedroom for each two persons within the household. Please note that this may mean that the bedroom size of your voucher may be decreased. Click here to see the current SMHA payment standard.
  1. An inspection will be scheduled within 15 days after the Request for Tenancy is approved. You will be notified by PHA staff of the outcome of the inspection. A Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) and other relevant documents will be issued at the briefing. The original RTA must be submitted in-person, or by mail.

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