HUD Public Housing Program

What is Public Housing Program ?

Public housing program offers qualifying low-income individuals and families, seniors, and people with disabilities decent and secure rental homes. It takes time and particular paperwork to apply for public housing.

Public housing comes in different types and sizes, from single-family homes spread out across a large area to highrise flats for senior citizens' families. Local PHAs that run the housing program for low-income households at rents they can pay are given federal funding by HUD.

Public housing is home to over 1.3 million households, which are overseen by 3,300 HAs. In order to manage housing for residents at rents they can afford, local housing agencies (HAs) receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD offers technical and expert help in the planning, creation, and administration of these developments.

How Does the Public Housing Program Works ?

The public housing program was founded by the United States Housing Act of 1937. Low-income families, the elderly, and those with disabilities can obtain quality and secure rental home thanks to public housing. Anything from single-family homes to apartment buildings could fall under this category.

Only low-income people and families are eligible for public housing. Residents of public housing must earn less than 80% of the area median income (AMI). With average annual salaries of $14,605 and incomes below 30% of the AMI, over two-thirds of public housing households are classified as extremely low income.

PHAs are required to abide by HUD's federal regulations governing the public housing program. PHAs, which are governed by a locally elected board of commissioners, are free to implement any selection preferences through an Admission and Continued Occupancy Plan (ACOP) as long as they do not contravene federal laws and regulations.

Who is Eligible for HUD Public Housing Program ?

Only low-income people and families are eligible for public housing. The PHA bases its determination of the person's eligibility on :
  • Your annual gross income.
  • Your status as a family, elderly or disabled.
  • Your U.S. citizenship or qualified immigration status.
An HA will check your references to determine your eligibility. They need to see that you have a solid history as a tenant. They will reject your request if they determine that you would negatively impact other tenants or the progress of the project.

Income Limits for Public Housing Program

PHAs use income limits developed by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The lower income limitations are set by HUD at 80%, while the extremely low income restrictions are set at 50% of the county's or metropolitan area's median income, depending on where the beneficiary chooses to live. An individual may be qualified at one PHA but not at another since income restrictions differ from region to region.

Household Size

Gross Annual Income

















Determination of Rental Amount for Public Housing

The Total Tenant Payment (TTP) or rent in the public housing program is determined by subtracting any applicable deductions from the family's gross annual income. According to HUD regulations, PHAs may deduct the following allowances from annual income :
  • $480 for each dependent
  • $400 for any elderly family or a person with a disability 
  • Some medical deductions for families headed by a person with disabilities or an elderly person.

The PHA representative evaluates the applicant's application to decide which of the permissible deductions should be deducted from the applicant's yearly income. Annual income is the anticipated sum of all sources of income received from the family head, spouse, and every other adult family member.

The formula used to determine the Total Tenant Payment is the highest of the following, rounded to the nearest dollar : 
  • Welfare rent, if applicable
  • 10% of monthly income
  • $25 minimum rent or higher amount (up to $50) set by a PHA.
  • 30% of monthly adjusted income.

Payments for Public Housing Program

The tenant pays a monthly rent equal to 30% of their yearly income. Your gross annual adjusted income will be used to calculate your share of the rent. Depending on the size of the flat, the housing authority may also ask a security deposit from the family.

Public Housing Program Process and Wait List

The family gets added to the Public Housing waiting list according to the number of bedrooms they can afford once their application is complete and they meet the income requirements for assistance. The waiting list for each bedroom size is recorded in the date and time order that your completed application was received. The conditions for rental entry, such as criminal history and prior rental history, will be checked on your application once you are at the top of the waiting list for your bedroom size.

How to Apply for HUD Public Housing Program ?

To apply for public housing program, contact your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). Contact the local HUD field office if you are unable to reach a HA.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is public housing rent determined?
Your rent is determined by your predicted family's gross annual income less any applicable deductions. If you are eligible for any permissible deductions, a program eligibility specialist will determine this. The projected total yearly income from all sources obtained by the head of household spouse, each additional family member who is 18 years of age or older, and unearned income for children under the age of 18 is the annual income.

How to qualify for Public Housing Program?
Only low-income families and individuals are eligible for public housing, which is determined by annual gross income, U.S. citizenship, or an acceptable immigration status. A public housing organisation will examine your references if you are qualified to ensure that you and your family will be responsible renters. Any applicant whose behavior might be expected to be disruptive to other tenants or to the environment of the project will be rejected.

What happens if I move while on the wait list?
The length of the queue varies by admission preferences, kind of unit, and bedroom size. The applicant site must be used to update your contact details (address, phone number, and email address) as soon as they change.

For public housing, is there a security deposit required?
At lease signing, a $200 security deposit is needed.

What is the difference between public housing and section 8?
With a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, you can pick any rental home within the NRHA's seven-county area. A contract with the Housing Authority and consent to participate in the program are required from the landlord. The Housing Authority must then approve the rent being charged by the landlord as a reasonable rate after inspecting the rental unit. Tenant-based and project-based Section 8 aid are also offered through NRHA. NRHA is the property's owner/landlord under the public housing scheme. Depending on your income level, public housing apartments are available for rent at a lower price than the market rate.

Who lives in public housing?
A household led by a 65-year-old or older person occupies 40% of public housing units; the majority of these individuals live alone (88 percent). More over half of the senior households are located in housing communities just for them. Compared to the total rental housing stock, the share of elderly households is substantially higher in public housing. Only 14% of all rental homes are occupied by seniors. 43 percent of public housing is made up of family units. These families are primarily single-parent homes (56 percent of them). Public housing also includes a significant number of households with a head of home who is disabled; 13% of public housing families have this situation.

Where can I find public housing?
Contrary to popular belief, there is far less concentration of public housing. The majority of public housing units (84%) are situated in census tracts with less than 50% of the tract's total housing units being public housing. More than 60% of all public housing units are situated in census tracts with fewer than 20% of the tract's housing units being public housing.

How well-maintained are public housing units?
On the quality tests performed by the AHS, the majority of public housing units compare favorably to rental properties on the private market. Public housing units are often in decent shape, but the AHS reveals that their locations are less desirable than those of private rental properties.