How to qualify for HUD housing?

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is an executive cabinet created in 1965 by President Lyndon, B. Jhonson, as part of his “Great Society” program to design and regulate public housing and urban development.

One of its most important policies is the HUD’s Public Housing Program, which has supported over 1.2 million families to obtain decent and safe rental housing.

Since many families apply annually to this program, you must make sure to meet all the requirements that we will mention next.

Eligibility criteria

The HUD local housing agency (HA) is the official department that manages the eligibility process. In theory, this program was designed for low-income families, but the elderly and people with disabilities can also apply to get the benefits.

One of the first things the HA will do is to confirm if you are a U.S. citizen or an immigrant; either way, you must be living legally in the country and have all the proper documentation.

Besides that, here is a list of other things they will check:

Income Limit

The HUD determines income limits that the HA has to use when verifying your application. There are two limits on this program:

  • Low income (80% of the median income of the county or metropolitan area).
  • And very low income (50% of the median income of the county or metropolitan area).

Remember that income limits change from one city to another. In this link, you can check the limits for each place.

income limit areas

Annual income

In consequence of the item above, you should also provide an advance estimate of the family income for the next 12 months; this includes what will be received by the head of the family, spouse, and each member over 18 years of age. Besides, you need to specify the source of that income.

Address and phone number

Be sure to have them updated, since it will be your contact information.

Family members

Specify the names of the people under your dependence, their dates of birth, sex, and relationship to you. To do this, you can present birth certificates.

Family special conditions

Another thing that will help you is to prove that your family has special conditions, such as:

  • Your home does not have the capacity to accommodate all the members.
  • Someone has a delicate medical condition.
  • One of your relatives is a veteran.

Former landlords

The HA will require the names, addresses, and phone numbers of your current and previous landlords to verify your family’s suitability as a tenant.

Work information

Give the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your employers. This information will help the HA to verify the amount and source of your income.

Also, they will ask you to show your tax returns, bank accounts balance, or any proof of disability (if any).

If you are honest and specific enough with the information you provide, the HA agents may request a visit to interview your family and verify the conditions of your home.

How to apply for HUD housing?

If you are interested in applying for public housing, you should go to the nearest local office with all the information described above and the documents that support it.

HA contact information by state

Once you finish your application, if the HA determines that you qualify to obtain the benefit, your name will be placed on a waiting list, and you will have to sign a form that allows the disclosure of your information to the central office.

When the waiting time is over, you will be notified of it and you must attend to the local office to check the apartment or house that is offered; if you accept it, you must sign a lease with the HA. During this process, the agents will explain to you the conditions of the contract, your responsibilities as a tenant, and the responsibilities of the HA as a landlord.

Also, as in any lease, you may have to provide a “security deposit” that constitutes a guarantee when renting property.

How is the rent calculated?

The rent is called the Total Tenant Payment (TTP);, and it is based on your family’s anticipated gross annual income (mentioned above) minus any deductions (if any).

These deductions are managed by the discretion of the HA, but the most common are:

  • $400 for any family member who is elderly or has a disability.
  • $480 for each dependent.
  • And some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly or disabled person.

On the other hand, we recommend you to check this HUD handbook (especially Section 4, page 65) to know how to calculate your TTP.