Housing Authorities

Find housing authorities, departments, and HUD. Housing authorities provide information on section 8 public housing, rentals, applications, eligibility, affordable, low income, subsidized fair housing, hud homes, housing projects, and section 42 tax credits.

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About Housing Authorities

What is a Housing Authority?

A Housing Authority is a local agency established to construct, own, operate, and manage public housing and other forms of subsidized housing for low-income residents. Local ordinances establish Housing Authorities, and the local legislative body or its chief elected official usually appoints their Board of Commissioners. Beyond that, Housing Authorities generally operate relatively autonomously from the local government. There are approximately 3,300 Housing Authorities in the United States, which manage over one million housing units.

The single largest subsidized housing program in the country is the federal Public Housing Program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Public Housing Program was established to provide safe, decent rental housing to eligible low-income residents. Housing Authorities receive operating subsidies and capital improvement funds from HUD to create, own, and manage public housing developments for eligible residents. Eligible residents pay below market rent for the housing, which is usually no more than 30% of their income.

Depending on the Housing Authority, a wide range of housing types may be offered through the Public Housing Program, including high rise apartment buildings, townhomes, and single family homes. HUD exercises a high degree of oversight, setting rules for public housing eligibility and creating standards and procedures for local Housing Authority management of public housing.

Housing Authorities also administer the Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly referred to as Section 8 housing. Section 8 vouchers are used by recipients to rent apartments in participating privately owned rental units. The property owner receives market rate rent for the unit, but the tenant's rental payment is limited to no more than 30% to 40% of their income. The Housing Authority pays the balance of the rent to the property owner.

In addition to capital funding from HUD, Housing Authorities may use a mix of non-profit, private, or state and local funding to pay for new or redeveloped housing. Depending on the mix of funding, some developments may set aside a percentage of units for middle-income tenants. Housing Authorities also offer rent-to-own programs that allow residents to convert rental payments into mortgage payments.