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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Affordable Housing?

Affordable housing is rental housing with low monthly rent provided based on income qualifications. Landlords can charge below market rates because their mortgage payments are lowered through various programs. Depending on the specific affordable housing program, families may qualify if their income is below 60%, 80%, or in some cases, up to 120% of the area's median income.

How does someone apply for Public Housing or Section 8 Housing?

An application for public housing may be completed online here. WPHA does not administer a Section 8 program. There are no Section 8 waiting lists open in Orange County at this time.

How much rent do families pay?

Families pay 30% of their adjusted income toward rent, regardless of apartment size. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidizes the Housing Authority for the difference between the rent charged and the actual cost of operating.

Are there qualifications other than low income?

Yes. Preference is given to families with adults who are working, disabled, or elderly. Also, every family is screened for criminal history before acceptance into the program.

Are there time limits for living in public housing?

No, there are no time limits. However, incomes and criminal history are checked every year to ensure tenants still qualify and determine whether a rent adjustment is needed.

Is Public Housing the same as Section 8 housing?

While similar, they are not the same thing. Section 8, otherwise known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, has comparable income guidelines to public housing, but the main difference is who owns the rental property. In public housing, a Housing Authority owns the property; with the HCVP, a private landlord owns the property and receives a subsidy from HUD while a Housing Authority administers the program.