Portsmouth Housing Authority
245 Middle Street
Portsmouth, Rockingham County, NH

603-436-4310 http://www.porthousing.org/en/

Section 8 Waiting List Status:

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The Section 8 and Public Housing programs administered by this housing authority are often over subscribed requiring the use of a waiting list. The waiting list would typically only open for brief periods. To find out of the waiting list is open or when it may open, please contact the housing authority directly.


Did you know that you can apply for Section 8 anywhere in the country? If your local Section 8 waiting list is closed, you can apply to programs elsewhere. See all open waiting lists across the country on our Waiting Lists page.

Public Housing Waiting List Statuses

Family Senior Other
OpenOpenNot Applicable

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


The PHA offers two Public Housing communities with 419 units for families and senior/disabled individuals.

There are two ways to apply:
1. Visit the PHA to pick up an application, located at 245 Middle St., Portsmouth, NH 03801, during normal office hours.
2. Download the application here, then print and complete.

Once the application has been completed, it can be mailed or hand delivered to the address listed above.

Be sure to include copies of these documents with your application: birth certificates, social security cards, and documented proof if claiming a preference.

The PHA does have a preference point system that may improve your spot on the waiting list: living and/or working in Portsmouth, elderly, disabled, employed, or a veteran.

More information can be found by visiting the PHA website at http://www.porthousing.org/en/, or by calling 603-436-4310 during normal office hours.

Resident Characteristics
as of June 30, 2015

Portsmouth Housing Authority operates 421 affordable units across its public housing portfolio.

Bedroom Sizes of Public Housing Units

The bedroom sizes of Portsmouth Housing Authority public housing units range from studio apartments to 4 bedroom apartments. The housing authority’s public housing inventory includes: 5% studio apartments, 67% 1 bedroom apartments, 14% 2 bedroom apartments, 12% 3 bedroom apartments and 3% 4 bedroom apartments.

Vacancies in Public Housing Portfolio

As of Portsmouth Housing Authority’s most recent Resident Characteristics Report (June 30, 2015), the 16-month average number of units occupied was 416 out of a total 421 rental units. This represents a 16-month average vacany rate of 1.19%.

Family Type

Of the 349 households who reported head of household data in the housing authority’s most recent RCR report, 106 (30.37%) were elderly, 243 (69.63%) were non-elderly, 261 (74.79%) were disabled, 82 (23.5%) contained children and 73 (20.92%) 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 Portsmouth Housing Authority's public housing developments is $50.

The average tenant rent contribution for Portsmouth Housing Authority’s public housing developments is $350.

The average tenant contribution for elderly residents residing in all properties across the housing authority’s public housing portfolio is $173. The average rent payment for disabled residents is $229. The average TTP for non-elderly, non-disabled renters in the housing authority’s public housing units is $459. Households headed by females had a total tenant payment of $319.

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 Portsmouth Housing Authority portfolio, 3% of households identified as Black, 95% identified as White, and 6% 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 Portsmouth Housing Authority properties, 315 were Extremely Low Income, 79 were Very Low Income, 19 were Low Income and 3 were Above Low Income.

The average annual income of public housing residents living in Portsmouth Housing Authority properties is $15,226. Of all public housing residents, 5% have no income and 12% earn more than $25,000 while 83% 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 Portsmouth Housing Authority public housing 26% have wage income, 21% have welfare income, 82% have SSI/SS/Pension income, 34% have other income and 1% have no income.

Household Information of Public Housing Residents

As of the last HUD RCR report (June 30, 2015), there were a total of 416 households containing 645 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 1.6.

Across all units operated by the housing authority, 23.5% of households included children. Across all household members in Portsmouth Housing Authority public houins units 8.2% are aged zero to five and 15.8% are aged 6 to 17.

27.9% of all residents across the housing authority were age 62 or older and are considered seniors while 48.1% 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 Portsmouth Housing Authority public housing communities. 20.19% of all families residing in public housing have lived there for less than 1 year, 9.38% have lived in public housing for 1 to 2 years while 70.43% have lived in public housing for more than 2 years.

Assisted Unit Distribution What is Housing Assistance?

The Portsmouth Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 2 projects which contain 419 affordable rental units. It also administers 406 Section 8 housing vouchers.

According to HUD, Portsmouth 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 Portsmouth Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (51%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (49%) to that of all housing authorities in New Hampshire, Portsmouth 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 New Hampshire.

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, Portsmouth Housing Authority scored an average of 90 points as of the last set of publicly available data. The housing authority had a high score of 100 in 2004 and a low score of 70 in 2001. The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in New Hampshire is 82.14.

Portsmouth Housing Authority has an average score that is more than the average New Hampshire 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.

Portsmouth Housing Authority manages 2 rental properties which, as of the last set of publicly available data, have an average inspection score of 86. The scores for properties managed by Portsmouth Housing Authority range from a high of 87 to a low of 84.

The highest scoring property in the Portsmouth Housing Authority portfolio is Margeson Apartments and the lowest scoring property is Gosling Meadows.

To be a passing score a public housing property must have a score of 60 or more. 100% of properties managed by Portsmouth Housing Authority have 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 Portsmouth Housing Authority.

Year Date Approved Plan PDF Document
2012 12/30/11 Plan
2011 11/17/10 Plan
2010 2/18/10 Plan
2009 11/21/08 Plan
2008 11/7/07 Plan
2007 2/8/07 Plan
2006 6/13/06 Plan
2005 11/30/04 Plan
2004 3/16/04 Plan
2003 11/14/02 Plan
2002 12/11/01 Plan
2001 1/29/01 Plan
2000 8/15/00 Plan