What Is the Function of a Housing Authority? Definition, 5 Facts

What Is The Function Of A Housing Authority? A housing authority is a government entity that helps finance affordable housing. Housing authorities may be created by cities or counties and are governed by state law.

What Is A Housing Authority

There is a common misconception that a housing authority is the local office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or part of local government. The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz is an autonomous governmental entity and neither of the aforementioned.

What Is the Function of a Housing Authority?

The legal basis for the creation of housing authority is a state act. Typically, a housing authority has the jurisdiction to buy, develop, and run property, as well as spend and return money. Additionally, a housing authority can lease, renovate, and sell real estate.

What Is the Function of a Housing Authority?

A housing authority is the local administrative entity for federal Department of Housing and Urban Development-funded housing assistance programs (HUD).

Large cities have their own housing authority, whereas county authorities serve smaller communities. Low-income families, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities are provided with rental housing or rental aid by every authority.

The first place to inquire about housing aid programs in your region and whether they are taking applications is the local housing authority.

Housing assistance programs, notably the Housing Choice Voucher or Section 8 voucher programs, and public housing units overseen and maintained by the housing authority can have lengthy waiting lists.

Although the vast majority of housing authorities servicing big urban areas operate and maintain public housing units, this is not the case for all housing authorities. The majority of public housing units have maintenance concerns, and many metropolitan projects have a reputation for being unsafe.

Despite this, waiting lists for units are always lengthy. Many public housing estates around the nation are currently being renovated and reorganized into mixed-income communities.

A Housing Choice or Section 8 voucher gives rental help to persons who would be unable to afford an apartment otherwise. Voucher recipients seek accommodation on the private rental market.

There are several voucher schemes, and each has its own requirements for eligible units, where a family may reside, and if help follows a family when they move. Typically, a voucher user pays 30% of their monthly salary in rent, with the voucher covering the remainder and the security deposit.

To qualify for a voucher, a family’s income must exceed 50 percent of the area’s median income, as calculated by the most recent census.

Individuals seeking housing assistance must visit the offices of their local housing authority to complete the relevant documentation. If you are accepted for help, you will likely be given a caseworker and will be required to visit the authority frequently to reaffirm your eligibility.

Typically, a housing authority also provides program participants with training on a variety of subjects pertaining to financial independence and disaster preparedness.

Housing Authority Role

Housing authority must make initial determinations of eligibility of all families and must re-determine family income and family composition annually in order to calculate family rent to the owner.

What Is the Function of a Housing Authority?

Housing authority must also inspect all subsidized rental units in its voucher program each year to ensure that they still meet HQS. HPHA is responsible for making rent payments to property owners and ensuring that owners and tenants abide by the rules of the program.

Responsibilities of the Housing Authority

Housing Authority obligations include:

  • Publicize information on the availability and type of housing aid.
  • Develop ties and contacts with property owners, property managers, and relevant organisations and groups.
  • Receive and evaluate Housing Choice Voucher applications, determine eligibility, and manage a Waiting List.
  • Provide Housing Choice Vouchers to families that qualify.
  • Notify families or individuals whose eligibility has been determined.
  • Provide family with information on unit availability as it becomes available.
  • Determine the Housing Assistance Payments and Gross Family Contribution amounts.
  • Explain to owners the program’s methods.
  • Examine and act on the Request for Tenancy Approval.
  • Make Housing Assistance Payments to eligible homeowners.
  • At least yearly, reevaluate and recalculate the family contribution and Housing Assistance Payments levels. Reexamine family income, assets, composition, medical, and child care costs.
  • Inspect units before to leasing, then yearly afterward.
  • Contract management and enforcement with owners.
  • Comply with Fair Housing rules and other laws and regulations.
  • The Housing Authority may disclose the following information to your owner: Your current address (as shown in the Housing Authority’s records); and the name and address (if known to the Housing Authority) of the owner of the family’s current and prior residence.
  • When a family desires to lease a housing unit, the Housing Authority may provide the owner with additional information in its possession about the family, such as the tenancy history of family members.

What Is the Function of a Housing Authority?

Creation of housing authorities

In each city (as defined above) and county of the state, a public body corporate and politic must be established and recognized as the “Housing Authority” of the city or county: PROVIDED, HOWEVER.

That such authority shall not conduct any business or exercise its powers hereunder until or unless the governing body of the city or the county, as the case may be, by proper resolution shall declare at any time in the future that an authority is required to function in such city or county.

The determination as to whether or not there is a need for an authority to function (1) may be made by the governing body on its own initiative, or (2) shall be made by the governing body upon the filing of a petition signed by at least twenty-five residents of the city or county, as the case may be, asserting that there is a need for an authority to function in such city or county and requesting that the governing body make such a declaration.

The governing body shall adopt a resolution declaring the need for a housing authority in the city or county if it finds: (1) that insanitary or unsafe inhabited dwelling accommodations exist in such city or county; (2) that there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations in such city or county available to persons of low income at rents they can afford; or (3) that there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwellings, available to persons of low income at rents they can afford, in such city or county.

What Is the Function of a Housing Authority?

In determining whether dwelling accommodations are unsafe or unsanitary, the governing body may consider the degree of overcrowding, the percentage of land coverage, the light, air, space, and access available to the inhabitants of such dwelling accommodations, the size and arrangement of the rooms, the sanitary facilities, and the extent to which conditions in such buildings endanger life or property through fire or other means.

In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of or relating to any contract of the authority, the authority shall be conclusively deemed to have been established and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers pursuant to this section upon proof that the governing body adopted a resolution declaring the need for the authority.

Such resolution or resolutions shall be regarded adequate if it proclaims that there is a need for such an authority and concludes in roughly the preceding terms (no more detail is required) that one or both of the requirements listed above exist in the city or county, as applicable. A copy of this resolution validly certified by the clerk is admissible as evidence in any lawsuit or process.


The housing authority is a state or local government agency that oversees the construction, financing and maintenance of public housing developments, including rental assistance programs for low-income families who are elderly or disabled.

What Is the Function of a Housing Authority?

The housing authority is legally responsible for providing safe, decent, sanitary and affordable housing for very low income residents.

The funtion of housing authority is an bridge intermediary between the federal government and residents in its communities. The housing authority works with other agencies to provide financial and technical assistance to the lowest-income families.

A housing authority exists to provide housing for those who are unable to do so for themselves, and to protect the interests of tenants who need housing but cannot afford to pay market rates.

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