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
HOW DO I APPLY?
If you are interested in applying for public housing, contact the
Rental Office at 1624 North Green Street, Tupelo, MS 38804 or call
662.841.0006, ext. 2101.
You may also download a copy of our Application for Housing in
Word or Adobe PDF format.
HOW DOES THE APPLICATION
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
(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
(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.
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?
The HA will 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 will
notify you in writing. If you disagree with the denial, you may request
an informal hearing.
WILL I HAVE TO SIGN A LEASE?
If you are offered an apartment and accept it, you will have to sign a lease
with the HA. You will 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?
The HA gives preference to working and disabled families with children.
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
(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; (e) Terminate leases when necessary;
and (f) maintain the development in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition.
HOW LONG CAN I STAY IN PUBLIC HOUSING?
In general, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the
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.