Public Housing FAQs

Public Housing FAQs

What is the difference between public housing and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
  • Public Housing participants live in a specifically designated, federally-funded complex owned and operated by the Area Housing Authority.
  • Section 8 participants select their own dwelling in the community of their choice within the jurisdiction from a private landlord.
  • Each program requires a separate application.
How many new households do you serve each year?
Vacancies in our public housing facilities are infrequent. We are currently only able to serve approximately 35 to 40 new applicants each year.
What information is required on the application?


Income includes all sources of money you and any member of your family receive (wages, welfare payments, alimony, social security, pension, etc.) including:

  • Any money you receive on behalf of your children (child support, social security for children, etc.)
  • Income from assets (interest from a savings account, credit union, or certification of deposit; dividend from stocks, etc.)
  • Earnings from second job or part time job;
  • Any anticipated income (such as a bonus or pay raise you expect to receive.


  • All bank accounts, savings bonds, certificates of deposit, stocks, real estate, etc. that are owned by you and any member of your family/household who will be living with you
  • Any business or asset you sold in the last 2 years for less than its full value, such as your home to your children.

Family Members

It is important to include the names of all the people (adults and children) who will actually be living with you, whether or not they are related to you.

Signing the Application

  • Do not sign any form unless you have read it, understand it, and are sure everything is complete and accurate.
  • When you sign application and certification forms, you are claiming that they are complete to the best of your knowledge and belief. You are committing fraud if you sign a form knowing that it contains false or misleading information.
  • Information you give on your application will be verified by your housing agency. In addition, HUD may do computer matches of the income you report with various Federal, State and private agencies to verify that it is correct.
What if I don’t understand something on the application?

When you complete your application for Housing programs or any other required forms, you should know what is expected of you. If you do not understand any part of a form, or a question on the form, say so.

What is recertification?

You must provide updated information at least once a year. Some programs require that you report any changes in income or family/household composition immediately. Be sure to ask when you must recertify. You must report on recertification forms:

  • All income changes, such as pay increases or benefits, changes of job, loss of job, loss of benefits, etc. for all adult family/household members.
  • Any family/household member who has moved in or out
  • All assets that you or your family/household members own and any asset that was sold in the last 2 years for less that its full value
What is considered fraud?
Don’t risk your chances for federally assisted housing by providing false, incomplete, or inaccurate information on your application and recertification forms. There is certain information you must provide when applying for assisted housing. There are penalties that apply if you knowingly omit information or give false information.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) places a high priority on preventing fraud. If your application or recertification forms contain false or incomplete information, you may be:

  • Evicted from your apartment or house
  • Required to repay all overpaid rental assistance you received
  • Fined up to $10,000
  • Imprisoned for up to 5 years; and/or
  • Prohibited from receiving future assistance

You should be aware of the following fraud schemes:

  • Do not pay any money to file an application
  • Do not pay any money to move up on the waiting list
  • Do not pay for anything not covered by your lease
  • Get a receipt for any money you pay
  • Get a written explanation if you are required to pay any money other than rent (such as maintenance charges)