How to Apply for Public Housing

Applying for Public housing is very similar to applying for Section 8. You must submit an application to the PHA, complete with the basic information of every member of your household and will be required to submit documentation that supports this information. If you applied for Section 8 and where approved, you don’t need to apply to Public housing because you should be offered a spot on the waiting list automatically.

Public Housing Leases

Unlike with Section 8, once you sign a lease for a Public housing unit, the PHA will be your landlord. If you accept the unit offered to you, you’ll be required to sign a lease. Contact your PHA and ask them if you will be required to pay a security deposit, as some units don’t have this requirement.

How Long Does Public Housing Last?

Public housing lasts as long as you are eligible and continue to meet the requirements while follow the guidelines they have established. At least once a year, the PHA will review your eligibility, income and living conditions. If the PHA fins that you no longer are eligible, no longer meet their requirements, or they understand you are now earning enough income to afford a place to live without assistance, the PHA may terminate your lease.

Real estate agent with house model and keys

What Happens After You Apply?

Once you’ve submitted your application, they will let you know if you qualify or not via a mail. If you’re approved, you will be put on a waiting list and will be contacted by the PHA once you reach the top of that list. PHA’s may give preference to certain people with certain situations, so it’s a good idea to contact your PHA and see if you might qualify to receive housing faster.

If your application is denied, you may request an appeal.

How Much Do Public Housing Tenants Have to Pay for Rent?

The percentage you may be required to pay will depend on whether your unit is federal housing or state housing. Public housing calculates the amount of rent you pay based on your income. Contact your PHA if you’re not sure which one your unit belongs to.

In federal public housing, usually tenants pay 30% of their adjusted income, but in some cases, tenants pay 10%of their annual income. This depends on which is higher. If you pay for utility bills, they will be subtracted accordingly.

In state public housing, the amount you will pay varies if you pay for utilities. A single, elderly or disabled person will be required to pay 25% of your net income if you pay for utilities and 30% if you don’t. A family (2 people or more) is required to pay 27% of the rent if they pay for all their utilities, 30% if they only pay for some utilities and 32% if you don’t pay for any utilities.