Cortland Housing Authority
42 Church Street
Cortland, Cortland County, NY

607-753-1771

Section 8 Waiting List Status: Open Indefinitely

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


There are two ways to apply:
  1. Call the CHA at (607) 753-1771 during normal office hours to have a pre-application mailed or emailed to you.
  2. Email the CHA at ngriswold@cortlandha.com to have a pre-application mailed or emailed to you.
Once the pre-application has been completed, it can be hand delivered to the CHA office, located at 42 Church Street, Cortland, NY 13045, or emailed to ngriswold@cortlandha.com.

The CHA has identified the following preferences: Elderly, handicapped/disabled, families, Cortland County residents.

Qualified applicants will be place on the waiting list by the date and time the application was received, after sorting preferences.

Please note: Those who do not qualify for the residency preference will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list, and will always be below applicants who do qualify for the residency preference. Because of this, according to a CHA representative, it is unlikely names on the waiting list without the residency preference will ever reach the top of the waiting list.

After applying, applicants will receive a letter notifying them if they were eligible, or not.

For more information, call the CHA office at (607) 753-1771.

Public Housing Waiting List Statuses

Family Senior Other
OpenOpenNot Applicable

The Cortland County Housing Authority is accepting public housing waiting list applications for families and senior/disabled individuals.


This housing authority offers 14 family communities, and 7 communities dedicated to elderly/disabled individuals, all are located throughout Cortland County.

To apply for public housing, you can stop by the housing authority office to pick up an application, located at 42 Church St., Cortland, NY, during normal office hours. You can also have an application mailed to you by calling 607-753-1171, or have an application emailed to you by emailing the housing authority at ngriswold@cortlandha.com.

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, proof of income, and photo IDs for all adult household members.

This housing authority does have a preference point system that may improve your spot on the waiting list as: living/working in Cortland County, elderly, or disabled.

For more information, the housing authority can be reached by calling 607-753-1171, during normal office hours.

Resident Characteristics
as of June 30, 2015

Cortland Housing Authority operates 380 affordable units across its public housing portfolio.

Bedroom Sizes of Public Housing Units

The bedroom sizes of Cortland Housing Authority public housing units range from studio apartments to 5 bedroom apartments. The housing authority’s public housing inventory includes: 10% studio apartments, 70% 1 bedroom apartments, 3% 2 bedroom apartments, 8% 3 bedroom apartments, 5% 4 bedroom apartments and 3% 5 bedroom apartments.

Vacancies in Public Housing Portfolio

As of Cortland Housing Authority’s most recent Resident Characteristics Report (June 30, 2015), the 16-month average number of units occupied was 358 out of a total 380 rental units. This represents a 16-month average vacany rate of 5.79%.

Family Type

Of the 275 households who reported head of household data in the housing authority’s most recent RCR report, 101 (36.73%) were elderly, 174 (63.27%) were non-elderly, 220 (80%) were disabled, 68 (24.73%) contained children and 55 (20%) 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 Cortland Housing Authority's public housing developments is $50.

The average tenant rent contribution for Cortland Housing Authority’s public housing developments is $313.

The average tenant contribution for elderly residents residing in all properties across the housing authority’s public housing portfolio is $171. The average rent payment for disabled residents is $145. The average TTP for non-elderly, non-disabled renters in the housing authority’s public housing units is $289. Households headed by females had a total tenant payment of $0.

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 Cortland Housing Authority portfolio, 3% of households identified as Black, 96% identified as White, and 2% 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 Cortland Housing Authority properties, 134 were Extremely Low Income, 143 were Very Low Income, 63 were Low Income and 18 were Above Low Income.

The average annual income of public housing residents living in Cortland Housing Authority properties is $15,299. Of all public housing residents, 1% have no income and 11% earn more than $25,000 while 88% 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 Cortland Housing Authority public housing 21% have wage income, 5% have welfare income, 84% have SSI/SS/Pension income, 45% 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 358 households containing 570 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, 24.73% of households included children. Across all household members in Cortland Housing Authority public houins units 8.6% are aged zero to five and 19.1% are aged 6 to 17.

35.3% of all residents across the housing authority were age 62 or older and are considered seniors while 37% 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 Cortland Housing Authority public housing communities. 22.91% of all families residing in public housing have lived there for less than 1 year, 14.25% have lived in public housing for 1 to 2 years while 62.84% have lived in public housing for more than 2 years.

Assisted Unit Distribution What is Housing Assistance?

The Cortland Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 2 projects which contain 379 affordable rental units. It also administers 306 Section 8 housing vouchers.

According to HUD, Cortland 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 Cortland Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (55%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (45%) to that of all housing authorities in New York, Cortland 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 York.

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, Cortland 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 65 in 2006. The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in New York is 76.39.

Cortland Housing Authority has an average score that is more than the average New York 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.

Cortland Housing Authority manages 2 rental properties which, as of the last set of publicly available data, have an average inspection score of 79. The scores for properties managed by Cortland Housing Authority range from a high of 85 to a low of 73.

The highest scoring property in the Cortland Housing Authority portfolio is Cortland and the lowest scoring property is Port Watson.

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

Year Date Approved Plan PDF Document
2012 2/10/12 Plan
2011 1/27/11 Plan
2010 2/5/10 Plan
2009 1/27/09 Plan
2008 1/16/08 Plan
2007 1/23/07 Plan
2006 2/17/06 Plan
2005 1/26/05 Plan
2004 1/22/04 Plan
2003 1/23/03 Plan
2002 2/7/02 Plan
2001 2/16/01 Plan
2000 7/13/00 Plan