Thousands of home searchers apply for subsidized apartments every year but only a few are lucky enough and receive assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Due to the huge gap between supply and demand there are long waiting lists.
Note that several factors have an influence on the acceptance of your application and that housing rules can vary from location to location. That’s why you should contact you local housing agency to find out more details. The following factors influence your chances of qualifying for public housing.
1) General requirements
In general people with low incomes, disabilities or seniors can apply for housing programs. Some waiting lists may have preferences so that elderly, disabled or homeless applicants get priority placement before applicants who don’t meet these conditions.
2) Housing History
Another factor is the housing history of a family. People who in the past have deceived or are owing money to a housing authority are excluded. Staff members of the housing program may even contact your former landlords and ask for their feedback. A negative review from your landlord because of causing disruption in the neighborhood or destroying the apartment can make it difficult to get assistance.
3) Criminal History
For people with a criminal record it might be complicated to be accepted even though they are not automatically excluded. That depends on the type and seriousness of the offense. Sex offenders are generally denied. Felons, especially if they are related to violence, alcohol abuse or drug crime, will be worse off. The qualification can also be influenced by how much time has passed since the offense occurred.
Besides, every housing program that is part of the HUD program is legally required to give you a reason if they rejected your application. Don’t give up if your application is turned down because of one of the above listed reasons. In different areas the rules are different so that you can try to apply for other housing programs. Getting on more than one waiting list also increases your chances to get an apartment faster.
If you need to look for other housing possibilities not only check Google, but also try the classifieds. Use newspapers and classified websites like askalo or Trovit to find cheap apartment offers that might not appear everywhere else.