Affordable Housing Online is monitoring the federal government's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. As of March 13, 2020, Public Housing Agencies across the nation are closing their doors to the public. Most offices are still running and will communicate by phone, email, or mail. Some offices have drop boxes installed outside, so documents can still be hand-delivered. Visit the housing authority's website for the latest on its current operations, if one is available. If there is no information online, contact the housing authority directly. Due to a high volume of calls and modified office hours in most areas, expect a long wait time (days or weeks) for a response. To find your local PHA's contact info, browse by state here.
If a Project Based Section 8 apartment community is sold and the new owner decides not to renew the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with HUD, they can permanently relocate residents. However, under the federal Uniform Relocation Act (URA), Project-Based Section 8 tenants receive certain protections including relocation advisory services, extended relocation notice requirements, moving expense reimbursement and substantial payments to cover the increased costs of replacement housing.
According to Relocation Assistance To Tenants Displaced From Their Homes (HUD-1042-CPD), HUD booklet for displaced tenants, if a tenant is notified they will be displaced, "it is important that you do not move before you learn what you must do to receive the relocation payments and other assistance to which you are entitled."
The benefits displaced tenants are entitled to are:
To receive these benefits, a displaced tenant must file a claim.
Relocation regulations and the benefits tenants are entitled to are complicated. Many purchasers of Project-Based Section 8 properties are either inexperienced with the program and its requirements or choose to ignore them. Often, a new owner tries to just evict everyone upon assuming ownership without following the Uniform Relocation Act, which is unlawful.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are being displaced, it is very important that you do not move until you identify what your rights are.
No, HUD affordable housing programs are not emergency housing programs, and due to high demand, it is not rare to be on a waiting list for several years.
Generally, large metropolitan areas have long waiting lists, while lower populated areas have shorter waiting lists. There are housing authorities and apartment communities with very short waiting lists, but these opportunities are very rare, and applicants must still go through an approval process.
If you are in need of emergency housing, visit HUD's website here. Click on the state you are living in, and then click the "Find Homeless Resources" link under the "I Want to" section. Also, ome housing authorities participate in the HUD Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which assists persons who would be homeless without help from this program. Please visit HUD's HPRP website for more information.
If you need to find an apartment quickly, an affordable apartment community's waiting list is usually shorter than a Section 8 or Public Housing waiting list (if there is one at all). However, the waiting list may still be many months to years long, and applicants must go through an approval process. You can search for an affordable apartment in your area here. The pages for many communities listed on Affordable Housing Online include a way to directly contact the property for more information. You may call the toll free phone number provided on the page, or submit the online information request form. If these methods of contact are not available on the community’s page, visit the property for more information.
Even if you are expecting an income change in the future, you must report the total gross income you are currently receiving.
Yes, there are housing programs and policies in place that help homeless persons and persons living in a shelter receive housing assistance.
Some housing authorities participate in the HUD Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which assists persons who would be homeless without help from this program. Please visit HUD's HPRP website for more information.
Also, many waiting lists have preferences that place qualified applicants higher on the waiting list than general applicants. Persons living in a shelter and homeless persons is a preference that may be found on an application. The specific qualifications vary depending on the housing authority or apartment community offering this preference. More information about preferences can be found here.