What is Public Housing?
Public Housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities. Public Housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered site single-family units to apartments for the elderly in the high-rise buildings. The Housing Authority owns over 672 dwelling units in Elkhart County that are rented to low-income families and seniors. These units range from single family dwellings to high rise apartments and are scattered throughout the City of Elkhart. Families pay 30% of their gross adjusted income for rent and utilities.
How does the application process work?
An application must be filled out. The Housing Authority will collect the following information to determine eligibility:
1) Names of all the people who will be living in the unit, their sex, date of birth and relationship to the family head.
2) Your present address and telephone number.
3) Family characteristics (e.g. veteran) or circumstances (e.g. living in substandard housing) that might qualify the family for tenant selection preferences.
4) Name and addresses of your current and previous landlords for information about your family's suitability as a tenant.
5) An estimate of your family's anticipated income for the next twelve months and the sources of that income.
6) The name and addresses of employers, banks and any other information the HA would need to verify your income and deductions, and to verify the family composition.
7) A representative of the Housing Authority may visit you in your home to interview you and your family members to see how you manage the upkeep of your current home.
After obtaining this information, the HA representative should describe the Public Housing Program and its requirements, and answer any questions you might have.
Will I need to produce any documentation?
Yes, the Housing Authority representative will request whatever documentation that is needed. Once your name reaches the top of the waiting list, staff will request the following documentation; birth certificates and/or SS cards for all members of the household, and tax returns if self-employed to verify information given on your application. Staff will review all income sources and will also rely on direct verification from your employer, if employed. You will be asked to sign a form to authorize release of pertinent information to the Housing Authority.
When will I be notified?
The HA will provide written notification. If the HA determines that you are eligible, your name will be put on a waiting list, unless the HA is able to assist you immediately. Once your name has reached the top of our waiting list, the Housing Authority will contact you. If it is determined that you are ineligible, the HA must say why. If you wish, you may request an informal hearing.
Will I have to sign a lease?
If you are offered a house or an apartment and accept it, you will have to sign a lease with the Housing Authority. You will have to give the Housing Authority a security deposit. The HA representative and new resident will review the lease jointly and respond to any questions. This will give you a better understanding of your responsibilities as a tenant and the Housing Authority's responsibility as a landlord.
Are there any selection preferences?
Giving preferences to specific groups of families enables the Authority to direct limited housing resources to the families with the greatest housing needs. The Housing Authority has discretion to establish preferences that reflect the needs in its own community. These preferences are included in the Housing Authority's written policy manual and are stated on the application. See Application.
How is rent determined?
Your rent, which is referred to as Total Tenants Payment (TTP) in this program, would be based on your family's gross anticipated income less deductions, if any. HUD regulations allow the Housing Authority to exclude from annual income the following allowances: $480 for each dependent; $400 for any elderly or disabled persons; and some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly person or a person with disabilities. Based on your application, the Authority representative will determine if any of the allowable deductions should be subtracted from your annual income. Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received from the family and spouse, and each additional member of the family 18 years of age or older.
The formula used in determining the TTP is the highest of the following, rounded to the nearest dollar:
1) 30% of the monthly adjusted income. (Monthly adjusted income is annual income less deductions allowed by the regulations.)
2) 10% of the monthly income.
3) A $50 minimum rent or higher amount set by the Housing Authority.
What is the role of the Housing Authority?
The Housing Authority is responsible for the management and operations of its local public housing program. The Housing Authority also operates other types of housing programs.
On-going functions include the following.
(a) Assure compliance with the lease that must be signed by both parties.
(b) Set charges. (e.g. security deposit damages to the unit.)
(c) Perform annual examinations of the family's income.
(d) EHA will transfer families from one unit to another in order to correct for over or under crowding and/or for medical reasons.
(e) Perform routine maintenance upon resident request or annual inspections
(f) Modernize or renovate dwelling in accordance with the approved Annual or Five Year Plan.
(g) Terminate the lease of non-compliant households
(h) Maintain the development in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition.
How long can I stay in Public Housing?
In general, you may stay in Public Housing as long as you comply with the lease. If at re-examination, your family's income is sufficient to obtain housing on the private market, the Housing Authority may encourage families to seek home ownership. However you will not be required to move unless you desire to do so.
Deputy Executive Director & Public Housing Director
Over 30 years with EHA
Elkhart Housing Authority
1396 Benham Ave. Elkhart Indiana 46516