File photo

As greater numbers of individuals and families struggle with unemployment and the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the City of Santa Monica will open online applications for its Section 8 and Below Market Housing (BMH) programs beginning Friday, May 1, at 8 a.m.

This is an opportunity for Santa Monica residents and workers at varying income levels – from extremely low income to incomes as high as $94,700 for single households and higher for bigger families. You do not have to be experiencing a financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 to apply, but the City’s Housing Division recognizes that this comes at a particularly important moment as more and more people are vulnerable to economic hardship.

“While we are in a public health emergency like nothing we’ve seen, we are still in a deep housing and affordability crisis that is only compounded by the pandemic,” said Barbara Collins, Housing Manager. “We hope the many people who need housing take advantage of the waitlist opening, now more than ever. This is a rolling process, so there’s no cut off on applying unlike previous application periods.”

Applications will be available in English and Spanish and will only be accepted online at Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis but documents to support income and city priorities will need to be downloaded with the application.

The Housing Division is available to help walk applicants through the process, particularly those who require reasonable accommodation or language assistance. To get support, leave a message at (310) 458-2232 after the applications open May 1. If you know someone who could take advantage of the program, but does not have access to a computer, the City encourages you to help by providing support on the phone or in other ways that enable physical distancing.

The Section 8 program provides rental subsidies to low-income families to help pay rent. The Below Market Housing program offers housing opportunities for a range of households at varying incomes.

For more information on the waitlist, housing programs and to apply visit

As part of the COVID-19 local emergency, the City has put a temporary moratorium on evictions to protect residential and commercial tenants. For more information on that, visit

Constance Farrell, Santa Monica Public Information Officer

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.