The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has implemented a program to enable all individuals to gain access public housing. It is specifically targeted at vulnerable people, including the disabled, low income families, and the elderly. They are provided with a reasonable and safe accommodation. Public housing includes affordable low income apartments, and also single family homes. They are placed under the management of the housing authorities, and these receive HUD federal aid. Those who live in these properties do have to pay rent in order to remain there, but this is set at an affordable level. In order to qualify for this type of housing, people have to meet three specific criteria.

1.) Annual Gross Income

In order to qualify for affordable low income apartments, residents first have to demonstrate that they have a low income. As such, their annual gross income is the first element that the HUD will look at when they evaluate an application. Determining whether or not someone has a low income depends on the location of the housing itself, as well as on the size of the family. The limit is 80% of the median income enjoyed in the metropolitan area or the county from which the housing authority operates. The very low income limit, which is given priority, is 50% of the median gross annual income.

2.) The Size And Status Of The Family

The most important factor to determine whether or not someone is eligible is income. However, family size is also considered when people apply for affordable low income apartments. The larger the size of the family of the applicant is, the more they are able to earn while still being classed as low income. There are other factors that the housing authority will take into consideration in terms of family status, such as whether the applicant is elderly or disabled.

3.) Citizenship And Immigration Status

The last factor that is considered for public housing is citizenship of the applicant. Applicants must have an eligible immigration status or are U.S. citizens. This must be verified during application through supporting documentation.

Once someone meets the three requirements above, references will be checked. Housing authorities will determine whether there is a chance that the applicant will become a nuisance to neighbors or the neighborhood itself. If so, then it is possible for the application to be declined, even if the three criteria mentioned above have been complied with. After an application has been approved, they should be provided with immediate housing. Sometimes, however, no housing is available, which means they are added to a waiting list instead. If it is decided that someone is not eligible for public housing, the housing association has to explain why. The applicant can also request an informal hearing.

People who are provided with public housing have to sign a lease and may have to provide a security deposit. They can remain in the home so long as they comply with the lease. If their situation changes, the authority may reevaluate the various factors to determine whether or not they can stay.