HUD's Public Housing Programs
Housing is a basic need. Even though this is the case, many people in the US still find it difficult to pay rent and maintain a decent shelter. Studies confirm that a decent shelter reduces stress-related toxins leading to improved lifestyles. As such, the government opted to invest in low-cost housing. Because these houses come at a considerably low price, they help low-income earners to spend more on health and food. In the end, it fosters a stable family unit that translates into a balance community.
What is public housing?
Public housing is a program established by the US government with the aim of providing affordable housing to people facing various socio-economic challenges. Some of these challenges include low-income, old age, and disabilities. Most of the people facing these challenges find it difficult to settle in a standard apartment. As such, most of them end up living on the streets because they cannot afford rent. To mitigate this, the US Government established the Public Housing program under the department of Housing and Urban Development to build complexes and provide subsidized rates for the less privileged in the society.
Who is eligible?
Eligibility depends on several factors. However, the general requirements include, you must be a citizen of the United States of America. For non-citizens, they must prove their immigrant status. People with immigration status should also prove that they permanent residents, registry, conditional entrants, relative or victim of trafficking, and refugee among others. Secondly, one should be at least 18 years old. It is important to note that whether one is single or not, you are still eligible as long as you meet the necessary requirements. Thirdly, persons with disability, or the senior citizens are also eligible for the programs. Lastly, one should be within specified income limits to benefit from the program. In addition, you should have a criminal background check. You should not have any outstanding consumer debt obligations that are in excess of the monthly income.
How can one apply for the program?
After confirming your eligibility for the program, the next thing is to apply. To apply for this program, you can do it online, by mail or paying a physical visit to the office. Essentially, for Public Housing, you need to know that the application may be for the general waiting list or it can be tied to a scattered site or particular apartment. The general requirements for those doing it online include the name, date of birth, social security numbers, and the gross income for all family members. Note that all the employed members must be at least 18 years old. When applying, make sure that you adhere to the housing office’s instructions.
How is the rent determined?
Rent in public housing program is determined based on income limits as stipulated by each county. The county uses the Average Monthly Income for a particular region. If your income level is below 80% the AMI, then your rent level is going to stand at 30%. Before determining the precise rent, other
deductions are taking into consideration. These deductions depend on family composition, presence of disability in the family, or a student pursuing higher education. After making all the deductions, the housing authority arrives at how much you are supposed to be paying based on the adjusted income.
How long can I stay in public housing?
The normal response to this question is usually as long as you can pay the rent. Nonetheless, it is important to take note of some qualifiers that you should consider. In this case, the government will not ask you to move out if your income increases. Rather, it may adjust your rent depending on the changes taking place in your household. Some of these notable changes include divorce, marriage, children, illnesses, presence of disability and increment in income among others. This means that you should always put the office aware when these changes occur. Otherwise, if they find out that you
failed to give them these details, then you will increase chances of forfeiting this assistance all together.
With the ever-growing population, the demand for public housing will always be on the rise. As such, it is very important to ensure that you understand necessary conditions associated with applying for public housing in your area. Furthermore, make sure that you stay away from unnecessary debt that may have a negative effect when applying. You should also keep a clean security record and keep on the right side of the law. Lastly, always be ready to share information with the Public Housing officials when needed.