In addition to the Section 8 voucher program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides reduced-rent housing for low-income families. Since the government owns these rental units, local Public Housing Agencies can correspond the rental price with the tenants’ income.
A private company may manage a Public Housing building, but the government still owns the property. Unlike the voucher rental assistance program, you cannot pick your rental unit. In some cases, the PHA may let you choose between properties. But housing is based on availability and is often limited.
The federal government considers households with incomes between 50 to 80 percent of the area’s median income. An area’s median income is typically the average earnings for residents in a county or parish.
Consider the following examples:
• $134,464 is one of the highest median household incomes in the country, in Loudoun County, Virginia. Residents could qualify for Public Housing with annual incomes between $67,232 and $107,571.
• $68,703 is the national median household income. Applicants with similar median areas could qualify with annual earnings between $34,351 and $54,962.
• $18,911 is one of the lowest median household incomes in the country, and it is in Sumter County, Alabama. Residents could qualify for Public Housing with annual incomes between $9,455 and $15,128.
The local PHA will consider the number of family members in your household when determining income qualifications. Larger families may still qualify and earn more than the area’s median household income. Likewise, PHA representatives have income deductions for the elderly, medically needy, and high-risk family members.
If you are a veteran, you may be able to receive a fixed rental subsidy for up to two years. The Shallow Subsidy is a housing and care program for veterans at risk for homelessness. A “fixed rental subsidy” means that the monthly payment will not change even if the veteran’s earnings increase.
A local VA or PHA office may have housing suggestions, such as rentals reserved for tenants older than 55 years of age. Likewise, some Public Housing buildings have easier handicap accessibility for disabled tenants.
You will need to apply to the Public Housing property directly or through a PHA office. Housing authorities have the right to screen tenants and conduct background checks and credit reports. The PHA may screen each adult member of your family and ask for identification for minors.
Subsidized housing are cheap apartments to rent for low-income households. These rental properties’ owners, investors, and developers receive government tax subsidies, so they pay less in taxes. These savings pass through to the low-income tenants.
Find out more about how you can take advantage of tax incentives and how they can reduce your rent next.
By Jennifer Symonds –