Public housing was established by the federal government to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered single-family houses to duplexes and apartments. The Department of Housing Services is the owner of many single and multi-family Public Housing units throughout Washington County.
Who is eligible
Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. The Department of Housing Services determines eligibility based on:
- annual gross income;
- whether you qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family; and
- U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status.
If you are eligible, the department will check your references and criminal background to make sure you and your family will be good tenants. Families who have members with a history of violent criminal activity, drug-related criminal activity, theft, identity theft, or other crimes against persons or property may not be eligible for Public Housing.
How the Public Housing Program works
The department is the landlord of its Public Housing units and participants pay rent directly. The amount of rent tenants pay is based upon income, usually about 30% of the household's monthly adjusted income. For more about the Public Housing program, please refer to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
How to apply for Public Housing
The housing authority is pleased to announce the opening of its public housing waitlist and urges all qualifying families to seize this opportunity. Beginning Sept. 20, 2023, at 9 a.m., the housing authority will be accepting applications for two, three, and four-bedroom units. The housing authority administers the Public Housing Program in the county, offering a range of publicly owned housing units situated in various community locations. Participating families contribute around 30% of their income towards their housing costs, with the housing authority covering the remaining amount.
Duration: The waitlist will be open from Sept. 20, 2023, at 9 a.m. to Sept. 26, 2023, at 5 p.m.
Submission: Submit applications online at: https://portal.wchousingauthority.org/. There is no fee associated with applying, please avoid services requesting payment to apply on your behalf. To view a step-by-step video on how to register online, refer to the FAQ.
Offline Assistance: For those without computer access, numerous Washington County libraries provide public computer stations with internet. Find library hours and locations at https://www.wccls.org/your_libraries. Applications will only be accepted online unless special accommodations are requested by email to [email protected]. For additional questions or assistance, you can contact Adriana Moran at (503)-846-4731 or (503)-443-5550.
Application Requirements: Provide names, relationship, dates of birth, and social security numbers for all household members; the total monthly household income; and a valid email address.
Waitlist Selection: After the application window closes, the housing authority will employ a random lottery to select 300 households for each bedroom size. It is crucial that all applications have an equal selection chance, regardless of when they were submitted during the application period. Only one application per household is permitted.
Eligibility Requirements: Families must meet federal income criteria set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in order to be eligible. This means that a household may not earn more than 80% of the Area Median Income in Washington County, which for a two-person household is $72,200 in 2023. The housing authority however will prioritize extremely low-income families, whose households do not exceed 30% of the median income. For a family of four in Washington County in 2023, this income limit is $33,850. To find out whether your household qualifies, please refer to the FAQ.
Language and Special Accommodations: While our application portal offers support in multiple languages, if you require further language assistance, please submit a request for special accommodations via email at [email protected]. We kindly ask that you make these requests by Sept. 21, 2023, to guarantee timely assistance.