Portability is the transfer process that enables eligible Housing Choice Voucher holders to relocate and select housing anywhere in the United States.

Porting In

If you are a current voucher holder and you are interested in porting into Kern County, you must request the Portability option from your current housing authority.  If found eligible to port, your housing authority must submit your port documents to: 

 Portability Department

Phone: (661)631-8500 x 1210
E-mail: portability@kernha.org
Fax: 661-631-1007


Housing Authority of the County of Kern
Attention: Portability Department
601 24th Street, FRNT
Bakersfield, CA 93301

 Upon receipt of your portability paperwork your initial housing authority will receive a Housing Authority letter of acknowledgment. 

*Please allow approximately 10-15 calendar days for us to receive all required documents and follow-up with your initial housing authority.

*Before visiting or contacting the Housing Authority, please allow the Portability Department to contact you via phone or mail.   


The Portability Briefing

Once the Housing Authority receives the appropriate documents from the initial housing authority, our staff will contact the voucher holder by phone to schedule a briefing.

The Head of Household must attend.  The Housing Authority voucher, Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) and processing documents will be issued during the briefing appointment. This process lasts approximately 2 1/2 hours.  You will be required to remain in the briefing for its entirety.  The head of household MUST be on time for the briefing. 

Be prepared to bring the following documents: 

  • Current valid photo identification
  • Birth certificates for all household members 18 years of age and older   
  • INS documents for non-citizens   
  • Social Security cards for all household members   

 Portability Background Check Requirements

The Authority will conduct criminal background checks on all portability family members age 18 and older in accordance with the Housing Authority policy.  In addition, household members 13 year of age and older will be screened for lifetime sex offender registration requirement.

Searching for a Home

Prior to searching for a home, voucher holders should review the Housing Authority’s payment standards.  The Housing Authority’s occupancy standard is based on two persons per bedroom, regardless of age or sex.   Knowing the payment standard will help guide your selection process.    

*Please keep in mind that you will be required to comply with the Housing Authority’s policies and procedures.  The Housing Authority’s policies will be reviewed in depth during your briefing appointment. 

Porting Out

If you are currently a voucher holder with the Housing Authority and would like to move to another jurisdiction, please contact your assigned Housing Specialist to determine if you are eligible to “port out.”  Your Housing Specialist will review your file and explain all of your tenant related requirements as it relates to porting out.

Once found eligible, the request to transfer your voucher to another housing authority must be submitted to the Housing Authority in writing using the Request To Port form. Please be sure to research where you want to move, this will help ensure that you obtain the correct information regarding the PHA that is responsible for that jurisdiction. 


NOTE: You will also be required to provide your current landlord with a Notice to Vacate your unit.  The Housing Authority will not process your port out request until we receive a copy of this notice.  The Housing Authority recommends giving your landlord a minimum of 60 days notice of vacating the current unit.