What is a Public Housing application for?
Public housing assistance was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low income individuals, families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing is not Section 8 and does not require a Section 8 voucher. Public housing is however a government subsidized rental assistance program. Public housing may come in the form of a single family house or a high rise apartment complex. To learn more about public housing or how to apply for low income housing and other government subsidized rental assistance programs, order the Section 8 and Subsidized Housing Online Packet.
Section 8 housing voucher holders can user their Online Packet to retrieve listings of available Section 8 housing in their area, and apply when there is an open Section 8 waiting list.
A unique US Public housing initiative was the development of subsidized middle-class housing during the late New Deal (1940–42) under the auspices of the Mutual Ownership Defense Housing Division of the Federal Works Agency under the direction of Colonel Lawrence Westbrook. These eight projects were purchased by the residents after the Second World War and as of 2009 seven of the projects continue to operate as mutual housing corporations owned by their residents. These projects are among the very few definitive success stories in the history of the US public housing effort.
There are also many New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) efforts that have provided in-demand and inexpensive public housing for decades, see "Public Housing That Worked: New York in the Twentieth Century" by Nicholas Dagen Bloom for a rigorous examination of the U.S. public housing management agency with the country's most extensive holdings. Bloom's "Public Housing" dispels common U.S. public housing myths while detailing advances made by NYCHA, see also NYCHA's own website "Fact Sheet" for elucidation of the magnitude and scope of their work since 1934.
Public housing was only built with the blessing of the local government, and projects were almost never built on suburban green fields, but through regeneration of older neighborhoods. The destruction of tenements and eviction of their low-income residents consistently created problems in nearby neighborhoods with "soft" real estate markets. Houses, apartments or other residential units are usually subsidized on a rent-geared-to-income (RGI) basis. Some communities have now embraced a mixed income, with both assisted and market rents, when allocating homes as they become available.
The federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department's 1993 HOPE VI program addressed concerns of distressed properties and blighted superblocks with revitalization and funding projects for the renewal of public housing assistance or low income housing to decrease its density and allow for tenants with mixed income levels to search Section 8 listings and continue to have a reputation for violence, drug use, and prostitution, especially in New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. as well as others leading to the passage of a 1996 federal "one strike you're out" law, enabling the eviction of tenants convicted of crimes, especially drug-related, or merely as a result of being tried for some crimes.
Other attempts to solve these problems include the 1978 Section 8 Housing Program, which encourages the private sector to construct affordable homes, and subsidizes public housing. This assistance can be "project-based", subsidizing properties, or "tenant-based", which provides tenants with a voucher, accepted by a Section 8 landlord.
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