Jump to a Topic
To apply for the City of Tucson's housing waitlist, please visit waitlist.tucsonaz.gov.
Public Housing and How it Works
PUBLIC HOUSING PROGRAM BASICS
Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
Rent is based on household income.
Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from single-family houses to high rise apartments.
How the Process Works
A family or household applies for public housing. They are then placed on the waitlist. The PHA screens applicants on the waitlist and, if they are found eligible and accepted, the PHA offers the applicant a unit. If the applicant accepts the offer, the PHA will enter into a contract with the applicant known as the lease. At this point, the applicant becomes a tenant of the public housing program.
Qualifying for Public Housing
To be eligible for the public housing program, the applicant family must:
- Have income at or below HUD-specified income limits.
- Consent to the PHA’s collection and use of family information as provided for in PHA provided consent forms.
HUD is required by law to set income limits that determine the eligibility of applicants for HUD’s assisted housing programs, including the public housing program. Income limits are the most a household can make and still be eligible for public housing.
The income limits are published annually and are based on HUD estimates of median family income in a particular area or county, with adjustments for family size.
Income limits are used for eligibility only at admission. Eligibility is established by comparing a family's annual income with HUD’s published income limits. To be income-eligible, a family must be a low-income family, with income at 50% or under the area median income.
View the most recent HUD Income Limits for Pima County here.
The amount of rent charged (called Total Tenant Payment, or TTP) is based on approximately 30% of the monthly income of the household.
What is Needed to Apply
When a family wishes to reside in public housing, the family must submit an application that provides the PHA with the information needed to determine the family’s eligibility. Families will apply online.
Here is what is needed to apply:
- Names of all persons living in the household
- Income sources for the household (eg: work income, Social Security, self-employment income, Veterans benefit payments, etc.)
- Assets (eg: bank account balances, retirement account balances, etc.)
After an application is submitted, an applicant is placed on the waitlist until selected.
How the Waitlist Works
HUD requires the PHA to place all eligible families that apply for public housing on a waiting list.
The PHA’s public housing waiting list must be organized in such a manner to allow the PHA to accurately identify and select families in the proper order.
When a unit(s) become avaliable, the PHA will select from the waitlist and contact the applicant.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when you’ve been selected from the waitlist?
You will receive an email and a letter in the mail letting you know your name has come up to the top of the list. You will have 10 business days to respond.
Can I choose my own unit?
No, not with Public Housing. We will offer you the first unit that comes available.
How much is rent?
Rent is calculated based on income received in the household.
Total Tenant Payment (TTP) is the highest of the following amounts, rounded to the nearest dollar:
- 30% of family’s monthly adjusted income
- 10% of family’s monthly income
- PHA’s minimum rent
What has to be paid at move in?
- Pro-rated rent
- Security deposit
What are the lease requirements?
- Payment of rent
- Perform community service for non-exempt adults
- Report changes in income
- Report changes in household composition
- Other obligations as mentioned in the lease
What are the occupancy standards?
Occupancy standards are the rules for the number of people allowed per bedroom.
Guidelines are two people per bedroom, with the head of household occupying a bedroom by themself. A live-in aid is allowed their own bedroom.
What are some services provided to the tenants?
We have an Elderly/Disabled Service Coordinator assigned to the elderly/disabled sites who provides various services, (etc., renewal of food stamps, reading bills and correspondence, applying for Telephone Assistance Program).
Is Community Service required?
For each non-exempt adult resident, they shall contribute 8 hours per month of community service, or participate in an economic self-sufficiency program for 8 hours per month.
When do evictions happen?
This process happens after a termination notice has been issued. It may be based on non-payment of rent or non-compliance of the lease
How do people pay rent?
Rent is accepted in the form of check or money order. It can be dropped off at the main HCD office site located at 310 N. Commerce Park Loop, or at the specific property AMP office.
What are the Fees charged to residents?
- Maintenance fees outside of normal wear and tear
- Monthly per rent for sites that are not elderly/disabled
- Late fee if rent is paid after the 5th of each month
- Replacement entry card fee
- Lock change
Who maintains the exterior grounds of the units?
In a single family residence, maintenance of the yard and outside space is that of the resident. For multi-family properties, grounds are kept by the City. Common areas of the property will be maintained by management.