WHAT IS PUBLIC HOUSING?
Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered single family houses to highrise apartments for elderly families. There are approximately 1.2 million households living in public housing units, managed by some 3,300 HAs. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to local housing agencies (HAs) that manage the housing for low-income residents at rents they can afford. HUD furnishes technical and professional assistance in planning, developing and managing these developments.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
HAs use income limits developed by HUD. HUD sets the lower income limits at 80% and very low income limits at 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which you choose to live. Income limits vary from area to area so you may be eligible at one HA but not at another. The HA serving your community can provide you with the income levels for your area and family size, or you can also find the income limits here on the internet.
HOW DO I APPLY?
HOW DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS WORK?
(1) Names of all persons who would be living in the unit, their sex, date of birth, and relationship to the family head;
(2) Your present address and telephone number;
(3) Family characteristics (e.g., veteran) or circumstances (e.g., living in substandard housing) that might qualify the family for tenant selection preferences;
(4) Names and addresses of your current and previous landlords for information about your family’s suitability as a tenant;
(5) An estimate of your family’s anticipated income for the next twelve months and the sources of that income;
(6) The names and addresses of employers, banks, and any other information the HA would need to verify your income and deductions, and to verify the family composition; and
(7) The PHA also may visit you in your home to interview you and your family members to see how you manage the upkeep of you current home.
After obtaining this information, the HA representative should describe the public housing program and its requirements, and answer any questions you might have.
WILL I NEED TO PRODUCE ANY DOCUMENTATION?
WHEN WILL I BE NOTIFIED?
WILL I HAVE TO SIGN A LEASE?
ARE THERE ANY SELECTION PREFERENCES?
Each HA has the discretion to establish preferences to reflect needs in its own community. These preferences will be included in the HAs written policy manual. You should ask what preferences they honor so you will know whether you qualify for a preference.
HOW IS RENT DETERMINED?
The formula used in determining the TTP is the highest of the following, rounded to the nearest dollar:
(1) 30 percent of the monthly adjusted income. (Monthly Adjusted Income is annual income less deductions allowed by the regulations);
(2) 10 percent of monthly income;
(3) welfare rent, if applicable; or
(4) a $25 minimum rent or higher amount (up to $50) set by an HA.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE HA?
(1) On-going functions: (a) Assure compliance with leases. The lease must be signed by both parties; (b) Set other charges (e.g., security deposit, excess utility consumption, and damages to unit); (c) Perform periodic reexaminations of the family’s income at least once every 12 months; (d) Transfer families from one unit to another, in order to correct over/under crowding, repair or renovate a dwelling, or because of a resident’s request to be transferred; (e) Terminate leases when necessary; and (f) maintain the development in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition.
(2) Sometimes HAs provide other services, that might include such things as: homeownership opportunities for qualified families; employment training opportunities, and other special training and employment programs for residents; and support programs for the elderly.
HOW LONG CAN I STAY IN PUBLIC HOUSING?
If, at reexamination your family’s income is sufficient to obtain housing on the private market, the HA may determine whether your family should stay in public housing. You will not be required to move unless there is affordable housing available for you on the private market.
To visit the HUD site with this information:
HUD’s Public Housing Program
HUD’s Public Housing Program