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Public Housing

Learn about Public Housing options for low-income families and individuals.

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.

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How to apply for Public Housing

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.

*The waitlist is currently closed.*

Application Details

Submission: Submit applications online at: during a waitlist opening. 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 Applications will only be accepted online unless special accommodations are requested by email to [email protected].

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 an application window closes, the housing authority employs a random lottery to select 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, however the housing authority however will prioritize extremely low-income families whose households do not exceed 30% of the median income. 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 as soon as possible once the waitlist is open to guarantee timely assistance.


If your name was removed from our wait lists, you will need to apply again.   

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, however the housing authority will prioritize extremely low-income families whose households do not exceed 30% of the median income. These income limits are published annually, and the 2024 limits are listed below: 

A Chart of the 2024 Income Limits

Without at least two people in the household, the applicant would not qualify for a two-bedroom unit. There are some exceptions that could be considered however, with examples of this as follows:

  • A single pregnant woman
  • Someone who needs a live-in caregiver, or
  • Someone who might need an extra room for large medical equipment.

No, there are not – everybody who applies has an equal chance of selection if they qualify. 

We will notify all applicants within 60-days of the closing of the application window. Applicants will be notified to the email address they provided during the application process.

The most recent opening of the Public Housing waitlist was in September 2023.

We received 1,876 online applications and 110 paper applications.

The housing authority has 244 units that range in size and bedroom configuration and are scattered throughout Washington County. They include single-family homes, duplexes, and multi-family apartments that consist of one to four bedrooms. Of these units, 19 meet the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements.

Most of our units are located on public transportation corridors and other essential amenities.

Utility costs are factored into a household’s total rent calculation; however, residents are required to keep all utility bills in their name and responsible for keeping all accounts in good standing.

Yes, we have translation services available for all families at no additional cost.

No, there is no time limit for staying in public housing as long as you continue to qualify.

You will need to complete an Interim Change form, and submit it to your caseworker, together with the required attachments.

Yes, you can reapply in the future.

Yes! Please see below:

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