How does the program work?
People who qualify sign a lease with HA for the unit and pay a security deposit. The family then pays rent to the HA each month. The amount the family pays depends upon the family's income. The Housing Authority maintains the residence. Repairs made because of tenant damages are billed to the tenant. At least annually, the HA inspects the unit to make sure it meets government standards. The HA also verifies the household income at least annually and adjusts the rent up or down if the income has changed. Any damages must be paid in full with the following month's rent.
What happens after I apply?
Once a pre-application is submitted to the Housing Authority, the family put on a waiting by date and time. When the families name comes to the top of list, families will be called in to complete the full application packet which includes providing proof of income and completing a back and criminal screening.
I received a denial letter, what do I do next?
If you are denied due to income, you will be removed from the waiting list as you are not eligible for the program. If you are denied due criminal history or negative rental, you may request a grievance hearing in writing within 14 calendar days of the date of the denial the letter. You must complete this request and have it submitted to our office by the specified deadline.
Offer of a Public Housing Unit
When your name comes to the top of the waiting list you will be offered a Public Housing Unit. You will be contacted by phone and mail; you will then have 3 working days to accept the unit, or you will be removed from the list. Legitimate reasons to reject an offer will be considered (hospitalization, death in family, etc.). You would then have to reapply to get your name back on the waiting list. We suggest that you prepare yourself to accept a unit when it is offered. This means that you must have your deposit of $100.00.
What happens once I am offered a unit?
Once a unit is available, you will be offered a unit. You must accept a vacancy offered within three (3) days of the date the offer is communicated. You will be dropped from the qualified applicant list after you decline the 3rd offer and will have to reapply. At lease signing, deposits and rent, will be required before issuing keys. The HA associate will review the lease, addendums, and rules of the property with you.
Do I Have Any Special Privileges?
A tenant family in the Public Housing Program is like any other renter except that the Housing Authority is the landlord. The tenant must pay rent on time, keep the property clean and undamaged and not break any of the conditions of the lease. Also, if a family member is in possession or sells illegal drugs or engages in any violent crime, then the family will lose its housing assistance.
How Much Will My Rent Be?
Families will have the option to choose between income-based rent (based on a percentage of their adjusted gross income, which would adjust with changes in the family's income) or "flat rent" (paying an amount comparable to the rent of other units in their vicinity.) Families can go switch between income-based and Flat Rent only at move in or at recertification except in cases of financial hardship. Families that fail to report income increases can be terminated from public housing. If it is determined that a family purposely failed to report correct income information; the PHA can file fraud charges.
How Long Can I Stay in the Unit?
You may continue to live in a Low Rent unit as long as you meet the following conditions:
- You do not break any of the program rule
- You do not owe the Housing Authority money for back rent or damages.
What Happens If I Start Earning More?
All families are responsible for reporting income and household composition changes in a timely manner, within 10 days of the change.
If any change results in an increase in rent and the change is not reported, the Housing Authority will charge rent retroactively.
If the family has chosen the "flat-rent" option, more income would not affect their rent. If the family has chosen the "income-based" rent option, their rent would go up if the family's income increases.
What Am I Responsible For?
As long as you live in a Public Housing unit, you are responsible for keeping the premises clean and safe; paying reasonable charges for damages caused by the household or guests; paying the rent on time; and living in a manner that does not disturb the neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of their home. In other words, like any other person who rents property, you must follow the rules of the lease and the rules of the Public Housing Program. To live in public housing is a privilege. Tenants must comply with all rules and regulations. Tenants that do not comply with program regulations will be terminated from Public Housing Program.
How long will my wait be?
Your wait time is strictly based on housing availability, according to your family size. You will be contacted in the order that you applied, according to date/time and according to your family size.
What should I do if my address, family composition, and/or family income changes while I'm on the waiting list?
You must notify the Housing Authority of any change of address or in change of family composition, preferably in writing.
If you do not notify the Housing Authority of a change of address and any correspondence sent to you is returned, or if you do not respond to a scheduled appointment or any request for additional information, you will be removed from the waiting list and you will need to reapply.
What if someone in my family does not have a Social Security number/card?
It is required that Social Security cards are submitted for everyone in your household, if they have a Social Security number. If any family member does not have a Social Security number, they must submit a signed certification that they have no number. If you cannot find your card or you've never had a Social Security number, we will accept copies of documents that show your proof of eligible immigration status.
What if someone in my family does not have a photo I.D.?
It is required that photo I.D.'s are submitted for everyone in your household over the age of 18.
What if someone in my family does not have a birth certificate?
It is required that either birth certificates or passports be submitted for everyone in your household.