Helena Housing Authority
812 Abbey Street
Helena, Lewis And Clark County, MT

406-442-7970 http://hhamt.org/

Section 8 HCV Waiting List Status: Open Indefinitely

The Helena Housing Authority (HHA) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is currently open. This waiting list is open indefinitely.


There are two ways to apply:
  1. Complete the online application here. Once the application has been completed, you can email it to Admissions@hhamt.org, or print and hand it in to the HHA office, located at 812 Abbey Street, Helena, MT, between normal office hours.
  2. Visit the HHA office to attend an orientation, held every Tuesday at 2:00 pm, and every Thursday at 10:00 am.
The following documentation is required of all members of the household: Full legal name, sex, relationship to Head of Household, Social Security Number, date of birth, age, income.

The HHA has identified these preferences: Disabled, elderly, substandard housing, more than 50% of income towards rent, victim of domestic violence.

If selected to be placed on the waiting list, you will be contacted by mail once your name has reached the top of the waiting list.

For more information, visit http://hhamt.org/, or call (406) 442-7970.

Public Housing Waiting List Statuses

Family Senior Other
OpenOpenNot Applicable

The Helena Housing Authority (HHA) is currently accepting Public Housingg waiting list applications for families and senior/disabled individuals.


The HHA offers three Public Housing communities with 366 units for families and senior disabled individuals.

There are two ways to apply:
2. Attend an orientation session at the HHA, held every Tuesday at 2:00 pm, and every Thursday at 10:00 am, located at 812 Abbey St., Helena, MT.

The HHA does have a preference point system that may improve your spot on the waiting list: elderly, disabled, homeless, working family, substandard housing, victim of domestic violence, or rent burden.

More information can be found by visiting the HHA website at http://hhamt.org, or by calling 406-442-7970, during normal office hours.

Resident Characteristics
as of June 30, 2015

Helena Housing Authority operates 366 affordable units across its public housing portfolio.

Bedroom Sizes of Public Housing Units

The bedroom sizes of Helena Housing Authority public housing units range from studio apartments to 5 bedroom apartments. The housing authority’s public housing inventory includes: 1% studio apartments, 34% 1 bedroom apartments, 32% 2 bedroom apartments, 27% 3 bedroom apartments, 5% 4 bedroom apartments and 2% 5 bedroom apartments.

Vacancies in Public Housing Portfolio

As of Helena Housing Authority’s most recent Resident Characteristics Report (June 30, 2015), the 16-month average number of units occupied was 355 out of a total 366 rental units. This represents a 16-month average vacany rate of 3.01%.

Family Type

Of the 315 households who reported head of household data in the housing authority’s most recent RCR report, 14 (4.44%) were elderly, 301 (95.56%) were non-elderly, 108 (34.29%) were disabled, 191 (60.63%) contained children and 163 (51.75%) were headed by a female.

Tenant Contributions to Rent

Residents of public housing pay rent based on their income. The rent contribution of the tenant is called the Total Tenant Payment (TTP). The TTP is generally 30% of a residents income with a $25 (National minimum) to $50 (some PHA’s) minimum rent. Based on the information in the most recent Resident Characteristics Report (June 30, 2015) the minimum rent in Helena Housing Authority's public housing developments is $50.

The average tenant rent contribution for Helena Housing Authority’s public housing developments is $283.

The average tenant contribution for elderly residents residing in all properties across the housing authority’s public housing portfolio is $405. The average rent payment for disabled residents is $328. The average TTP for non-elderly, non-disabled renters in the housing authority’s public housing units is $656. Households headed by females had a total tenant payment of $246.

Race and Ethnicity

The HUD Resident Characteristics Report provides updated Head of Household race and ethnicity data at the housing authority and property level. Across all properties in the Helena Housing Authority portfolio, 1% of households identified as Black, 93% identified as White, and 4% identified as Hispanic or Latino.

Income of Public Housing Residents

HUD divides household income into four categories: Extremely Low Income (ELI) for households earning less than 30% of the median, Very Low Income (VLI) for households earning between 30% and 50% of the median, Low Income (LI) for households earning between 50% and 80% of the median and Above Low Income for households earning 81% of the median and over.

Of the public housing residents residing in Helena Housing Authority properties, 219 were Extremely Low Income, 88 were Very Low Income, 41 were Low Income and 7 were Above Low Income.

The average annual income of public housing residents living in Helena Housing Authority properties is $12,002. Of all public housing residents, 7% have no income and 9% earn more than $25,000 while 84% have incomes that fall between $0 and $25,000.

The HUD RCR data includes source of income information as well. The data includes five categories of family income: wage income, welfare income, SSI/SS/Pension income, other income and no income. Some families receive income in multiple categories.

Among families residing in Helena Housing Authority public housing 44% have wage income, 9% have welfare income, 45% have SSI/SS/Pension income, 23% have other income and 3% have no income.

Household Information of Public Housing Residents

As of the last HUD RCR report (June 30, 2015), there were a total of 355 households containing 813 total persons residing in the housing authority’s public housing properties. The average household size across all properties in the housing authority’s public housing portfolio was 2.3.

Across all units operated by the housing authority, 60.63% of households included children. Across all household members in Helena Housing Authority public houins units 20% are aged zero to five and 24.5% are aged 6 to 17.

7% of all residents across the housing authority were age 62 or older and are considered seniors while 48.5% of all residents were aged 18 to 61.

Length of Stay at Public Housing Properties

The HUD RCR report includes length of stay data for Helena Housing Authority public housing communities. 34.93% of all families residing in public housing have lived there for less than 1 year, 13.8% have lived in public housing for 1 to 2 years while 51.27% have lived in public housing for more than 2 years.

Assisted Unit Distribution What is Housing Assistance?

The Helena Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 3 projects which contain 366 affordable rental units. It also administers 345 Section 8 housing vouchers.

According to HUD, Helena Housing Authority is determined to be a Medium Low public housing authority, meaning it manages between 250 - 499 public housing units. Also according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the housing authority is designated as Medium Low, meaning it administers 250 - 499 Section 8 vouchers.

Comparing the housing assistance distribution of Helena Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (51%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (49%) to that of all housing authorities in Montana, Helena Housing Authority has a larger proportion of public housing units than the average housing authority. The housing authority’s proportion of Section 8 vouchers under management is larger than the average housing authority in Montana.

Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (hud.gov, 2014)

SEMAP Performance What are SEMAP Scores?

Each year HUD reviews and scores the housing authority’s Section 8 program management based on 14 different criteria. This score is a reflection of how well the housing authority manages the Section 8 waiting list, the physical quality of housing assisted with Section 8 and the financial management of the program.

From 2001 to 2009, Helena Housing Authority scored an average of 93 points as of the last set of publicly available data. The housing authority had a high score of 100 in 2003 and a low score of 77 in 2008. The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in Montana is 84.10.

Helena Housing Authority has an average score that is more than the average Montana housing authority. Higher SEMAP scores indicate more effective financial management, a smoother waiting list process and higher quality physical conditions at assisted properties.

Source President's Open Government Directive (hud.gov/offices/pih/, 2012)

Latest Public Housing Inspection Scores What are REAC Scores?

Every public housing project is inspected every one to three years by HUD.

As of the last set of publicly available data, Helena Housing Authority manages one rental property which has an inspection score of 88. To be a passing score, a public housing property must have a score of 60 or more. As of the last set of publicly available data, Samuel V Stewart Homes has a passing score.

Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (data.gov, 2014)

Housing Authority Annual and 5 Year Plans

Public housing agencies, also called public housing authorities, which receive funding from HUD, are required to submit and receive approval from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development of both an Annual Plan and a 5 Year Plan. These plans establish each housing authority’s policies, strategies, programs and operations for meeting the housing needs of persons within their target area.

The housing authority plans include specific details about the cost of renovations to real estate (also known as capital improvements), changes to Section 8 HCV policies, planned redevelopment of public housing projects and other major administrative changes.

Following are the HUD-approved public housing agency plans for Helena Housing Authority.

Year Date Approved Plan PDF Document
2012 6/29/12 Plan
2011 11/30/11 Plan
2010 11/24/10 Plan
2007 6/18/07 Plan
2006 5/12/06 Plan
2005 5/13/05 Plan
2004 5/26/04 Plan
2003 10/7/03 Plan
2001 5/15/01 Plan
2000 6/21/00 Plan