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Housing Authority of the County of Merced

405 U Street
Merced, Merced County, California 95341

Housing Authority of the County of Merced is a Public Housing Agency that participates in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), Public Housing, Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), and Section 8 Project-Based Voucher (PBV) programs. As of September 29th, 2020, Housing Authority of the County of Merced has 2 waiting lists that are open now or opening soon.

The Project-Based Voucher Waiting List is open indefinitely. The Public Housing Waiting List is open indefinitely.

Housing Authority of the County of Merced serves Merced County.

Waiting List Statuses
Waiting ListStatus
Project-Based Voucher Open Until Further Notice
Public Housing Open Until Further Notice
Merced County, California Housing Choice Voucher Closed

Open Housing Authority of the County of Merced Waiting Lists

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, some waiting list openings may be postponed until further notice. Visit the housing authority's website for the latest on its current operations, if one is available. If there is no information online, contact the housing authority directly. Due to a high volume of calls and modified office hours in most areas, it may take days or weeks to get a response.

Housing Authority of the County of Merced Website: http://www.merced-pha.com/.

Housing Authority of the County of Merced Phone: (209) 386-4139.

COVID-19 Update: Affordable Housing Online has confirmed that these waiting lists are still open. As of March 30, 2020, the website says:

"the Housing Authority of the County of Merced (Authority) will close all administrative offices to the public until further notice."

More information can be found here.

Open Until Further Notice: Project-Based Voucher Waiting List

How To Apply to the Project-Based Voucher Waiting List

The Housing Authority of the County of Merced (HACM) waiting list for Section 8 Project-Based Voucher apartments is currently open. Applications are being accepted since at least March, 2020, until further notice.

To apply during the opening period, complete the online application here.

For more information, visit the HACM website.

Reasonable Accommodation

Applicants who need help completing the application due to disability can make a reasonable accommodation request to the housing authority via (209) 722-3501.

IMPORTANT: This is not the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Section 8 Project-Based Voucher tenants are required to live in a specific apartment community or scattered site. After one year of occupancy, a Project-Based Voucher tenant may request to be placed on a waiting list to receive the next available Housing Choice Voucher or similar tenant-based rental assistance.

Last Updated on 03/31/2020.

Open Until Further Notice: Public Housing Waiting List

How To Apply to the Public Housing Waiting List

The Housing Authority of the County of Merced (HACM) waiting list for Public Housing apartments is currently open. Applications are being accepted since at least March, 2020, until further notice.

To apply during the opening period, complete the online application here.

For more information, visit the HACM website.

Reasonable Accommodation

Applicants who need help completing the application due to disability can make a reasonable accommodation request to the housing authority via (209) 722-3501.

Next Steps

Learn more about what happens after the application is submitted.

Last Updated on 03/31/2020.

Other Housing Authority of the County of Merced Waiting Lists

Closed: Merced County, California Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List

How To Apply to the Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List

The Housing Authority of the County of Merced (HACM) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is currently closed. Applications were last accepted from March 24, 2020, until April 3, 2020. There is no notice of when this waiting list will reopen.

To apply during the opening period, applicants were required to complete the online application.

This waiting list had the following preferences:

  • Active Agriculture - Midway only: Families who apply for housing at the Midway Complex, a Project Based and USDA Rural Development Site, and who earn at least $5,752.50 per year from agricultural employment and who meet the following definition: ACTIVE farm labor households. “Agricultural employment” means employed in the cultivation and tillage of the soil; the production, cultivation, growing and harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodities; the raising of livestock, bees, furbearing animals, or poultry; dairying, forestry, and lumbering operations: and any work on a farm as incident to or in conjunction with such farming operations, including the delivery and preparation of commodities for market or storage. “Agricultural household” means an agricultural worker or workers and other persons who reside or will reside with an agricultural worker in an assisted unit.
  • Elderly or Disabled Person: An elderly preference applies if the head, spouse or co-head is a person who is age 62 or older. A disabled person preference applies if the head, spouse or co-head receives Social Security or Supplemental Security benefits or otherwise meets the definition of disabled as defined under Section 223 of the Social Security Act.
  • Involuntarily Displaced: Families who have been displaced due to a locally declared disaster, state declared disaster, federally declared disaster or other national emergency. It will also be given to those families that are involuntarily displaced by HACM action (emergency relocation, extensive rehabilitation and insufficient funding or other local disasters) as approved by Executive Director.
  • Mainstream - Voucher Only: A person 18 years of age or older and less than 62 years, who is a family composed of one or more non-elderly persons with disabilities, which may include additional members who are not non-elderly persons with disabilities who are: • Transitioning out of institutional and other segregated settings • At risk of institutionalization • At risk of experiencing homelessness or homeless.
  • Other Agriculture - Midway only: Families who apply for housing at the Midway Complex, a Project Based and USDA Rural Development Site, and who earn at least $5,752.50 per year from agricultural employment and who meet the following definition: OTHER. Retired or disabled domestic farm laborer households – active in the farm labor market at the time of retirement or disability OUTSIDE of the local area.
  • Residency: Families who live, work, or have been hired to work within Merced County and /or residents. Applicants who are working or who have been notified that they are hired to work in a residency preference area must be treated as residents of the residency preference area.
  • Retired.Disabled Agriculture - Midway only: Families who apply for housing at the Midway Complex, a Project Based and USDA Rural Development Site, and who earn at least $5,752.50 per year from agricultural employment and who meet the following definition: RETIRED or disabled domestic farm laborer households – who were active IN the local farm labor market at the time of retirement or disability.
  • Veteran: Current members of the military, veterans, or surviving spouses of veterans may qualify for this preference. Applicants must provide proof of honorable discharge. If discharge is less than honorable, applicant must provide proof of eligibility to receive veteran benefits.

It was not known how applicants will be placed on the waiting list, weighed by order of preferences.

For more information, visit the HACM website.

Sources: This information was verified by the HACM, as of March 30, 2020.

Service Area

This waiting list is for rental assistance in Merced County, California.

Last Updated on 09/21/2020.

About Housing Authority of the County of Merced

More information about Housing Authority of the County of Merced can be found on its website at http://www.merced-pha.com/.

Representatives of Housing Authority of the County of Merced may be available by phone at (209) 386-4139. Unless otherwise noted above, applications will not be provided or accepted by phone.

HCV Portability Status

As of 09/29/2020, it is not known if Housing Authority of the County of Merced is either absorbing or billing Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher portability requests for porting in. Learn more about porting Housing Choice Vouchers to a new area here.


About the Housing Authority of the County of Merced Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

As of the HUDs most recent Voucher Management System report, Housing Authority of the County of Merced manages 2,366 active Housing Choice Vouchers.

The following is a summary of the types of vouchers managed and the monthly costs of each as of December 31st, 2019:

Standard Family Unification Ported Out VASH
Vouchers 2,249 20 24 73
Monthly Cost Per Voucher $577 $633 $763 $465
Monthly Cost $1,296,834 $12,667 $18,316 $33,912

Household Characteristics of Voucher Holders for Housing Authority of the County of Merced

Waiting List and Tenancy

According to the 2016 Q4 Picture of Subsidized Households database, the housing authority's voucher program has an annual turnover of 8% having issued approximately 344 vouchers in the past year. The average voucher holder has received housing benefits for 7 years and 9 months. According to the 2016 PSH database, persons who were issued a voucher in the preceding 12 months waited an average of 21 months on the waiting list1.

Income Characteristics

According to 2016 Q4 Picture of Subsidized Households data, the average voucher household contains 3.2 persons and has a household income of $14,182 per year. 93% of households were very low income (VLI) and 66% were extremely low income (ELI). 28% of households had wages as a major source of income, 21% of households had welfare (TANF, General Assistance or Public Assistance) as their primary source of income, and 48% of households had other income (Social Security, Disability or Pension) as their major source of income.

Heads of Household Characteristics

4% of households were headed by a person 24 years old or less, 61% were headed by a person 25 to 49 years old, 19% were headed by a person 51 to 60 years old, and 17% were headed by a person 62 years old or older. In addition, 1% of households were headed by a person 85 years old or older.

62% of households included children, 18% of which had two adults in the household. 52% of households with children have a female head of household. 79% of all households were headed by a female.

80% of all voucher households were headed by minorities with 19% of all heads of households being Black and 1% being Hispanic.

Of all households participating in the Housing Authority of the County of Merced Housing Choice Voucher program, 15% include at least one person with a disability. 26% of households with a head of household 61 years or less were headed by a person with a disability. 81% of households headed by someone 62 or older were headed by a person with a disability.

Bedroom Size and Overhousing

21% of voucher holders reside in a home with zero or 1 bedroom, 31% with 2 bedrooms and 47% with 3 or more bedrooms. 13% of voucher recipients are considered overhoused, meaning they occupy a rental unit larger than their family size requires.

Rent, Assistance, and Utility Allowances

The average monthly tenant contribution to rent by Housing Authority of the County of Merced voucher holders in 2016 was $392 and the average monthly HUD expenditure per voucher holder was $658. The average utility allowance across all voucher recipients is $127.



1. This Picture of Subsidized Households data field is the average wait time of those who received a voucher in the preceding 12 months. Due to special voucher programs like VASH, recent waiting list purges, or waiting list preferences the average wait time can vary significantly from one year to the next and it is entirely possible many current applicants on the waiting list have been waiting for assistance for far longer.


Public Housing Apartments Operated by Housing Authority of the County of Merced

Scattered Sites

736 Abby Cir
Los Banos, California

Gateway Homes

401 George Dr
Merced, California

Scattered Sites

1025 Cameo Ct
Atwater, California

Low Income Housing Managed by Housing Authority of the County of Merced

Witmer Columbia Place

1304 W 7th St
Los Angeles, California