FAQs

 


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
1.3 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?


Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. An HA
determines your eligibility based on: 1) annual gross income; 2) whether you
qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family; and 3) U.S.
citizenship or eligible immigration status. If you are eligible, the HA will
check your references to make sure you and your family will be good tenants.
HAs will deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be
expected to have a detrimental effect on other tenants or on the project’s
environment.

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?



If you are interested in applying for public housing, you may pick up an
application at our office 1701 Robertson Rd, Modesto, CA  95351.
Office hours Monday – Friday 8:30 – 5:00.



HOW DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS WORK?



The application must be written. Either you or the HA representative will
fill it out. An HA usually needs to collect the following information to
determine eligibility:

(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?



Yes, the HA representative will request whatever documentation is needed
(e.g., birth certificates, tax returns) to verify the information given on
your application. The PHA will also rely on direct verification from your
employer, etc. You will be asked to sign a form to authorize release of
pertinent information to the PHA
.

WHEN WILL I BE NOTIFIED?

An HA has to provide written notification. If the HA determines that you are
eligible, your name will be put on a waiting list, unless the HA is able to
assist you immediately. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, the
HA will contact you. If it is determined that you are ineligible, the HA
must say why and, if you wish, you can request an informal hearing.



WILL I HAVE TO SIGN A LEASE?



If you are offered a house or apartment and accept it, you will have to sign
a lease with the HA. You may have to give the HA a security deposit. You and
the HA representative should go over the lease together. This will give you
a better understanding of your responsibilities as a tenant and the HA’s
responsibilities as a landlord.


ARE THERE ANY SELECTION PREFERENCES?


Sometimes there are. Giving preference to specific groups of families
enables an HA to direct their limited housing resources to the families with
the greatest housing needs. Since the demand for housing assistance often
exceeds the limited resources available to HUD and the local HAs, long
waiting periods are common. In fact, an HA may close its waiting list when
there are more families on the list than can be assisted in the near future.

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?



Your rent, which is referred to as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP) in this
program, would be based on your family’s anticipated gross annual income
less deductions, if any. HUD regulations allow HAs to exclude from annual
income the following allowances: $480 for each dependent; $400 for any
elderly family, or a person with a disability; and some medical deductions
for families headed by an elderly person or a person with disabilities.
Based on your application, the HA representative will determine if any of
the allowable deductions should be subtracted from your annual income.
Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received from
the family head and spouse, and each additional member of the family 18
years of age or older.

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?



An HA is responsible for the management and operation of its local public
housing program. They may also operate other types of housing programs.

(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?



In general, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the
lease.

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.