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ISSUE DATE: 07/2003

Publicly assisted housing is government owned and operated or subsidized housing for people who are low income or disabled, or senior citizens. The most commonly known publicly assisted housing programs are Public Housing, Section 8 Rental Certificate, and Section 8 Rental Vouchers.

The availability of public housing aid and income limits varies among communities. The amount of housing assistance depends on income and family size.

People must complete an application and meet the eligibility requirements of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the local public housing agency (PHA). People may apply at any PHA office.

In rural areas, there also may be other federal housing/rental programs, home improvement and repair loans and grants, and self-help housing loans. Contact the local Rural Development office (check the Federal Government section of the telephone directory, their web site at, or the HUD web site

Some communities have a joint effort between government and private rental property owners to rehabilitate dwelling units to provide rental subsidies for low income people. Local residents and people displaced by public action may receive preference for vacancies.

Some housing subsidies are not counted as income, see 0017.15.99 (Housing Subsidy).

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