What is Public Housing and Plan?
The PHA receives its operating subsidy for the public housing program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The PHA is not a federal department or agency. A public housing agency (PHA) is a governmental or public body, created and authorized by state law to develop and operate housing and housing programs for low-income families. The PHA enters into an Annual Contributions Contract with HUD to administer the public housing program. The PHA must ensure compliance with federal laws, regulations, and notices and must establish policies and procedures to clarify federal requirements and to ensure consistency in program operation.
What is HUD's responsibility?
Federal law is the source of HUD responsibilities. HUD has the following major responsibilities:
- Develop regulations, requirements, handbooks, notices and other guidance to implement housing legislation passed by Congress
- Allocate operating subsidies to PHA
- Allocate capital funding to PHA
- Provide technical assistance to PHA on interpreting and applying program requirements
Monitor PHA compliance with program requirements and PHA performance in program administration
What is the responsibility of the PHA?
The PHA’s responsibilities originate in federal regulations and the ACC. The PHA owns and manages public housing developments, administers the program under contract with HUD and has the following major responsibilities:
- Ensure compliance with all non-discrimination, equal opportunity, and fair housing laws, and ensure that the program is accessible to persons with disabilities
- Establish local policies and procedures for operating the program
- Accept applications from interested applicant families and determine whether they are income-eligible for the program
- Maintain waiting list and select families for admission
- Screen applicant families for suitability as renters
- Maintain housing units by making any necessary repairs in a timely manner
- Make unit offers to families (minimize vacancies without overcrowding)
- Maintain properties to the standard of decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair (including assuring compliance with uniform physical conditions standards)
- Make sure the PHA has adequate financial resources to maintain its housing stock
- Perform regular reexaminations of family income and composition in accordance with HUD requirements
- Collect rent due from the assisted family and comply with and enforce provisions of the lease
- Ensure that families comply with program rules
- Provide families with prompt and professional service
Comply with HUD regulations and requirements, the Annual Contributions Contract, HUD-approved applications for funding, the PHA’s ACOP, and other applicable federal, state and local laws
What is the responsibility of the residents?
The resident’s responsibilities are articulated in the public housing lease. The tenant has the following broad responsibilities:
- Comply with the terms of the lease and PHA house rules, as applicable
- Provide the PHA with complete and accurate information, determined by the PHA to be necessary for the administration of the program
- Cooperate in attending all appointments scheduled by the PHA
- Allow the PHA to inspect the unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice
- Take responsibility for the care of the housing unit, including any violations of uniform physical condition standards caused by the family
- Not engage in drug-related or violent criminal activity
- Notify the PHA before moving or termination of the lease
- Use the assisted unit only for residence and as the sole residence of the family. Not sublet the unit or assign the lease
- Promptly notify the PHA of any changes in family composition
- Not commit fraud, bribery, or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with any housing programs
- Take care of the housing unit and report maintenance problems to the PHA promptly
Am I Eligible?
To be eligible for the Public Housing program, the applicant family must:
- Qualify as a family as defined by HUD and the PHA.
- Have income at or below HUD-specified income limits.
- Qualify on the basis of citizenship or the eligible immigrant status of family members.
- Provide social security number information for household members as required.
- Consent to the PHA’s collection and use of family information as provided for in PHA-provided consent forms.
- The PHA must determine that the current or past behavior of household members does not include activities that are prohibited by HUD or the PHA.
Applications, Wait List and Tenant Selection
When a family wishes to reside in public housing, the family must submit an application that provides the PHA with the information needed to determine the family’s eligibility. HUD requires the PHA to place all eligible families that apply for public housing on a waiting list. When a unit becomes available, the PHA must select families from the waiting list in accordance with HUD requirements and PHA policies as stated in its Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) and its annual plan.
Upon acceptance of new applications, applicants will be placed on the waiting list according to the PHA preference(s) and a lottery system. Once each application has been randomly assigned a number, the applications will be placed on the waitlist in order of the assigned numbers.
What is the selection method for selecting applicant families from the waiting list?
The PHA will use the following local preferences:
All preferences claimed must be verified/documented at the application interview. Verification/Documentation can be obtained from educational/job training institutions, social service agencies, agencies serving the homeless, the Veterans Administration and landlords/owners.
Applicants involuntarily displaced by government action in Portsmouth
Applicants living, working, graduate or participant of education or training programs in the City of Portsmouth
Working, Elderly and/or Disabled families
What are the Occupancy Standards?
Occupancy standards are established by the PHA to ensure that units are occupied by families of the appropriate size. This policy maintains the maximum usefulness of the units while preserving them from underutilization or from excessive wear and tear due to overcrowding.
How often does a resident complete a Re-examination?
The PHA is required to reexamine each family’s income and composition periodically and to adjust the family’s rent accordingly. PHAs must adopt policies for conducting annual and interim reexaminations that are consistent with regulatory requirements and must conduct reexaminations in accordance with such policies [24 CFR 960.257(c)].