"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. The act of moving in or out of the boundaries of Long Beach is considered a "port."

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.

For questions about moving to or from Long Beach, participants can contact the Long Beach Housing Authority via email at HA-Ports@longbeach.gov or by phone at (562) 570-6404.

When using or requesting portability:

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your Housing Specialist or case worker.
  2. Obtain the phone number and address of the Housing Authority where you wish to live. Here is a list of Public Housing Authorities in the Los Angeles region. 
  3. Contact the Housing Authority where you wish to live. You must follow all the rules of that agency.
  4. You must request to port from the initial Housing Authority (the jurisdiction in which you currently reside) with the name, contact, address, and phone number of the receiving Housing Authority (the jurisdiction in which you wish you port). 
  5. Once approved, the initial Housing Authority will submit a port package to the receiving Housing Authority. 
  6. The receiving Housing Authority will contact you and issue a new voucher along with a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) packet.  
  7. You must locate a unit in the new area and get the new owner to sign the RFTA before your voucher expires.
  8. Your official Section 8 Eligibility paperwork, Voucher, RFTA, and all documents moving forward will then be forwarded to the new Agency for processing.
  9. If the Housing Authority of the City of Long Beach is currently assisting you, you must comply with all our requirements when you vacate your current unit, provide your owner and the Housing Authority the required written notice, pay your rent through the date you move, leave your unit in good, clean condition, and return the keys to the owner.  The inability to comply may delay your assistance in the new unit or cost you your voucher. 
To learn more about how portability works, you can check out this info sheet.