Social Issues

Tell me about the Fair Housing Program

State and Federal Fair Housing laws prohibit discrimination in the sale or rental of housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, familial status (children under the age of 18), disability, sexual preference, source of income, or any arbitrary status.
If a housing provider refuses to rent or sell a home, offers unequal terms, quotes different prices, or applies different policies based on the protected classes, he or she is violating federal law. Additionally, state law prohibits unequal treatment based on marital status, ancestry, age or any other arbitrary class discrimination.

A landlord may take into consideration income, credit rating or any other pertinent information that directly relates to a prospective tenant’s ability and willingness to pay rent. However, perspective tenants have the right to request and receive a reason why when they are denied housing and may file a private civil lawsuit anytime within two years of an alleged discrimination incident. Complaints may be filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing at (800) 884-1684 and with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at (800) 347-3739 or online at

The City of Oceanside contracts with North County Lifeline, a non-profit organization, to counsel property owners, managers, tenants and homebuyers on fair housing related issues. They can also advise you of landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities, including repair issues and to mediate with your landlord on your behalf. If you think you are a victim of a housing related discrimination incident or would like more information about fair housing, please call North County Lifeline at (760) 842-6226 or email or visit them online at You may also contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s fair housing hotline at (800) 424-8590.

Tell me about the first time home buyer program

The City of Oceanside administers the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) and CalHome Programs for First Time Homebuyers.  For more information, click on the links below.
Mortgage Credit Certificate Program
CalHome Program

I am a landlord interested in renting a property through the Section 8 program.

The Oceanside Housing Authority currently assists more than 1,600 seniors, persons with disabilities and families with the Section 8 (also known as Housing Choice Voucher) rental assistance  program.  More than 600 property owners partner with the Housing Authority to provide safe and affordable housing to our participants.  Please click here for more information.  We look forward to working with you!

I have a Section 8 voucher and want to transfer my assistance to Oceanside.

Transfer Procedures (Also known as Portability)
This section is for families who receive their vouchers through one housing agency and wish to transfer their voucher to another housing agency. Unfortunately, we cannot accept a transfer to our jurisdiction unless we receive a portability packet from the initial housing agency. The initial housing agency should mail or fax the portability packet to our agency at the following address: City of Oceanside Housing and Neighborhood Services, Attn: Portability, 300 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, California 92054. Fax (760) 757-9076. Processing time is 14-30 days. It is important that the family have sufficient resources, including a place to stay and available funds to pay for temporary housing and other expenses, to carry them through the processing period. Sorry, but we do not have emergency assistance. Since the policies and procedures of the receiving housing agency apply, some of the policies a transferring family should be aware of include:

§  We research criminal history of all incoming transfers and will not process the transfer if anyone in the household has engaged in certain criminal activities, including violent and drug-related criminal offenses
§  We may reduce the voucher size
§  Our payment standards may be lower
§  For an admission at the initial housing agency, the family income may exceed our income limits, and the family may be ineligible for assistance at our agency

There are six housing agencies in San Diego County. We do not serve the following cities, and if you want to move to those cities, you must contact them directly:

1.     San Diego County Housing Authority, includes the unincorporated areas of the county and the cities of Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista, at (858) 694-4831

2.     Encinitas Housing Authority, including Cardiff, at (760) 633-2723

3.     Carlsbad Housing Authority at (760) 434-2810

4.     National City Housing Authority at (619) 336-4263

5.     San Diego Housing Commission, including San Ysidro, at (619) 231-9400

If you are moving outside of San Diego County and do not know the address for the Housing Authority in the area you are moving to, this link may help you:
It will be necessary to provide the following information at your interview:

1.     Current proof of income (pay stubs, award letter for Social Security benefits, Unemployment, Child Support, CalWorks, etc.)
2.     Current proof of any asset (all pages of current bank statements, trust funds, life insurance, etc.)
3.     Birth certificates and social security cards for all household members
4.     Picture identification for all adults
5.     Legal immigration documents for all household members (if applicable)

The interview/briefing is very important. You will need to attend and provide all the necessary verifications requested before we can approve you for assistance. We require all household members 18 years or older to attend the interview and show their picture identifications. We cannot process the transfer until the family attends the interview. Failure to attend the interview may be grounds for denial/termination of assistance. After the interview, we will issue a voucher and a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form. We must receive the RFTA on or before the date the voucher expires. We cannot process the RFTA until the family passes the criminal history verification, and the unit selected must be rent-reasonable and affordable. After we approve the RFTA, we will schedule an inspection. Assistance will begin only after the unit passes an inspection, and the landlord enters into a lease with the family and signs our Housing Assistance Payment Contract.

I am interested in finding affordable housing in Oceanside

There are several sources of affordable housing in Oceanside.  First, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program provides rental assistance to seniors, persons with disabilities and families.  For more information about Section 8, click here (link to affordable housing page).  For a list of other senior and workforce affordable  housing, please click here

Tell me about the City’s Rehabilitation programs.

The City provides assistance for homeowners, as well as mobile home owners leasing spaces. Please click here for more information.

What emergency services are available for food, housing and utilities?

The Countywide directory of emergency services is available by dialing 211 or via website 211 San

I need information about tenants’ rights.

The State of California publishes the California Tenants GuidebookThe following agencies also provide assistance to tenants.   
North County Lifeline provides mediation and arbitration, legal advice and fair housing services.
The Legal Aid Society of San Diego provides legal services to low-income individuals. 
Additional resources can be found on the Tenants Legal Center of San Diego website.