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What is Public Housing? (Low Rent Program)

The Public Housing Program was created under the Housing Act of 1937. This Congressional Act authorized the establishment of State and local public housing authorities. These Housing authorities would own and manage single and multi-family housing units available to low-income families at a low cost. The Public Housing Authority of San Angelo (PHA) owns and manages 174 public housing units in San Angelo. Sixty of these are for people 62 years of age or older. The rent paid to the PHA helps pay the operating costs for these units.

How does the program work?

People who qualify sign a lease with the PHA for the unit and pay a security deposit. The family then pays rent to the PHA each month. (The amount the family pays depends upon the family’s income). The family also pays for the electricity, gas, and water used. In return, the PHA maintains the residence. Repairs made because of tenant damages are billed to the tenant. At least once each year, the PHA inspects the unit to make sure it meets government standards. The PHA also verifies the household income and adjusts the rent up or down if the income has changed. The PHA also inspects public housing units every 3 months for damages. Any damages must be paid in full with the following months rent.

Who is eligible for the program?

You are eligible for the Low Rent Public Housing Program if the combined income of your family falls under the established income limits.

What Are The Income Limits?

Family Size

Yearly Gross Income Limit


















Offer of a Public Housing Unit

When your name comes to the top of the waiting list you will be offered a Public Housing Unit (a home). You will be contacted by phone and mail; you will then have 3 working days to accept the unit. If you cannot move into the public housing unit within the 3 working days from the date of the letter the house will be offered to the next family on the waiting list. Your name will stay on the waiting list. When you’re offered a unit a second time and you deny it; your name will be taken off the waiting list. Legitimate reasons to reject an offer will be considered (hospitalization, death in family, etc.).You would then have to reapply to get your name back on the waiting list. The Housing Authority inspects its houses every 3 months to ensure the family doesn’t damage the unit, and to ensure that each family’s housekeeping is safe and sanitary. The Housing Authority suggests that you prepare yourself to accept a unit when it is offered. This means that you must have your deposit of ($150.00-$200.00), and you would need to be able to connect the required utilities (gas, water, and electric)

Do I Have Any Special Privileges?

A tenant family in the Low Rent Program is like any other renter except that the Housing Authority is the landlord. The tenant must pay rent on time, keep the property clean and undamaged and not break any of the conditions of the lease. Also, if a family member is in possession or sells illegal drugs or engages in any violent crime, then the family will lose its housing assistance. Public Housing tenants must keep all utilities paid. If a utility is turned off due to nonpayment, your unit would become substandard and you can be terminated from Public Housing Program.

How Much Will I Pay In Rent?

Families will have the option to choose between income-based rent (based on a percentage of their adjusted gross income, which would adjust with changes in the family’s income) or “flat rent” (paying an amount comparable to the rent of other units in their vicinity (Example: 22nd and North Poe or 29th and Plum) and rent would remain the same even if the family’s income changes). Families can go to income-based rent at any time depending on circumstances but they can only go to Flat Rent at move in or at recertification. Families that fail to report income increases can be terminated from public housing. If it is determined that a family purposely failed to report correct income information; the PHA can file fraud charges.

How Long Can I Stay In The Unit?

You may continue to live in a Low Rent unit as long as you meet the following conditions:

  • You do not break any of the program rule
  • You do not owe the Housing Authority money for back rent or damages.

What Happens If I Start Earning More?

If the family has chosen the “flat-rent” option, more income would not affect their rent. If the family has chosen the “income-based” rent option, their rent would go up if the family’s income increases.

What Am I Responsible For?

As long as you live in a Low-Rent unit, you are responsible for keeping the premises clean and safe; paying reasonable charges for damages caused by the household or guests; paying the rent on time; and living in a manner that does not disturb the neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of their home. In other words, like any other person who rents property, you must follow the rules of the lease and the rules of the Low-Rent Program. To live in public housing is a privilege. Tenants must comply with all rules and regulations. Tenants that do not comply with program regulations will be terminated from Public Housing Program.

Where Can I Find Out More?

To find out more about the Low-Rent Public Housing Program and other housing programs for low and very low income families, you may call (325) 481-2500, or visit us at 420 East 28th Street San Angelo, TX 76903.