FAQs: Public Housing Applicants


What are the eligibility requirements to qualify for public housing?

Applying for Public Housing – Eligibility Requirements

  • An applicant must qualify as an individual or family as defined by Huntsville Housing Authority (HHA).
  • Head of household must be at least 19 years of age at the time of application or an emancipated minor by a court of competent jurisdiction, consistent with State law.
  • Family must have annual income at the time of admission that does not exceed the established income limits at the time of admission according to the maximum income by family size established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • Applicant and all adult members of the family must pass a criminal background check.
  • Applicant or any member of the family that has ever been convicted of manufacturing or producing methamphetamine on the premises of any federally-assisted housing or any family household member that is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program will not be eligible for housing assistance.
  • Applicant and all members of the family must provide documentation of social security numbers for all family members or certify that they do not have social security numbers at the time of initial eligibility interview.
  • Applicant and all members of the family must meet HUD requirements on citizenship or immigration status.
  • Applicant or any member of the family who currently owes rent or other amounts to HHA or any other housing authority will not be offered assistance until the outstanding balance is paid in full.

The Huntsville Housing Authority does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, marital status, familial status, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability, ancestry, or sexual orientation in the access to, admission into, or employment in, housing programs or activities.

 What are the income limits to qualify for public housing?

Public Housing is available only to low-income families and individuals. Households with income greater than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for their household size are not eligible for public housing.

HUD Published Income Limits for Huntsville / Madison County, Alabama:

2017 Income Limits for Public Housing

After a family qualifies, how much time does it take to move into public housing?

Once the family is notified that they qualify for assistance, they will be placed on an “Eligible” waiting list of approximately two to four weeks.  The family is offered a unit suitable for their needs and appropriate bedroom size based on the family composition.

Does Huntsville Housing Authority (HHA) have accessible apartments for person with disabilities?

Yes, we have accessible apartments for persons with disabilities at many of the development sites owned and operated by the agency.

How can a family be considered for assistance?

Once an application is accepted, it is placed on a waiting list for approximately one to six months.  Within that time, the family will also be notified of necessary documents they must bring to their interview.

How does a family apply for Public Housing assistance?

Anyone interested in applying for public housing can visit our website at www.huntsvillehousing.org and download and complete an application form.  Applications can also be picked up at HHA’s Central Office, located at 200 Washington Street, Huntsville, AL 35801. Special accommodations are provided for individuals with disabilities or who may live outside the Huntsville area.  For more information, call the Central Office at (256) 532-5677.

How does a family qualify for assistance?

Once a family has submitted all the documentation required and it has been verified, then the family will be notified accordingly.

What are the income limits to be eligible for Public Housing?

How does the Public Housing Program assist families toward home ownership?

HHA supports self-sufficiency initiatives for public housing families through various supportive services which prepare families toward home ownership through the Family Self-sufficiency (FSS) Program and the Home Ownership program. For more information these and other supportive services, please call the HHA Resident Services department at 256-532-5630.

How much rent and deposit will a family pay for the apartment?

The rent a family will pay for an apartment is based on the total family annual income.  Each family pays approximately 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income (minimum rent $50.00). The security deposit required is $100.00. Each head of household (HOH) must be able to open a utility account in their name with Huntsville Utilities.

Is a family member without immigration status ineligible for public housing assistance?

Not necessarily.  A family that consists of one or more family members who do not have eligible immigration status may apply and qualify for assistance.  However, the rent they pay will be prorated based on the number of family members that do not have eligible immigration status.  In other words, a family will pay a higher rent based on the ineligible immigration status of one or more family members. Rent will be recalculated once proof of eligible immigration status is submitted to HHA.

Who and how does the Public Housing Program help?

The Public Housing Program helps low and moderate income families in Huntsville by providing safe, decent, and affordable housing that is subsidized with federal tax dollars that HHA receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as appropriated each year by Congress.

Who and how does a family update their contact information or number of members in the application while on the waiting list?

Stop by the Central Office, located on 200 Washington Street, Huntsville, AL 35801 to make appropriate updates.  No appointment is required.  Some examples are:

  • Update mailing address and contact number
  • Adding or removing family composition (This update is crucial to place the client in the appropriate bedroom size waitlist)

Will I be allowed to smoke in my apartment?

Currently, all tenants are allowed to smoke in their apartments, except for those that live in Stepping Stones, Stone’s Throw, and the tax credit properties managed by HHA. However, starting July 1, 2018, all public housing properties will be 100% smoke free. Tenants, their guests and HHA staff will not be allowed to smoke on HHA property.