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Public housing is the oldest form of Federally assisted housing dating back to Roosevelt's New Deal in the late 1930's. Though the average citizen commonly refers to any government assisted housing as “public housing”, Public Housing is just one Federal housing program among many.
The Public Housing program is managed at the National level by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Federal subsidies provided under the program provide for the development and construction of the housing and the ongoing operations. Any resident in a Public Housing unit has a rent that is determined by their income. The Federal operating subsidy for each property offsets the portion of a resident's rent that is above what they can afford.
Public Housing communities are owned and operated locally by Public Housing Authorities (PHA). There are currently 9,666 Public Housing communities in the United States containing 1,170,246 rental units. These properties are operated by 3,136 different Public Housing Authorities across America.
We're tracking 3,629 waiting lists across the country that are open right now.
Often, Public Housing is oversubscribed and there aren't enough apartments to serve every low income renter in need. In these cases, a PHA will create a public housing waiting list. Interested renters apply to the housing authority that manages the public housing apartment property they are interested in living in. The renters name is placed on a waiting list and when the next rent subsidized public housing unit comes available, the property manager will select the first name on the waiting list.