Thinking about applying for Public Housing?

Often referred to as “project based assistance”, the public housing program was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered single family houses to highrise apartments for elderly families. It is referred to as “project based assistance” because the rental assistance is tied to the unit and not to the family.  If the family moves out of the unit, the assistance terminates.

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers federal aid to local housing authorities that manage the housing for low-income residents at rents they can afford. HUD furnishes technical and professional assistance in planning, developing and managing these developments.


The North Iowa Regional Housing Authority (NIRHA) Public Housing Program consists of 121 units of public housing located in ten family and senior developments. Unit sizes range from one to four bedrooms (not all sizes available at all sites).

 

Click here to see our properties.

 

To learn more about the programs available through NIRHA, please click here.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where are your public housing apartments located?
  2. What is the difference between Public Housing and the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV)?
  3. I have applied for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Can I apply for Public Housing too?
  4. I’ve just submitted my application. How long will I have to wait for housing?
  5. Where am I on the waiting list?
  6. I called to ask what number I am on the waiting list and I wasn't given one, why not?
  7. Do I have to be a resident of your jurisdiction to be assisted?
  8. Does my income have to be below a certain amount for me to qualify for housing?
  9. How do I know if I’m eligible for assistance?
  10. How old must I be for eligibility to live in senior housing?
  11. I am a person with disabilities. Will I get housing more quickly?
  12. I am a veteran. Can I get assistance more quickly?
  13. Do you have emergency housing or emergency assistance?
  14. I am homeless. Can you help me immediately?
  15. My family is soon to be evicted. How can you help?
  16. I owe money to a former landlord or have a criminal history. Can I still be assisted?
  17. How is rent determined?
  18. How long can I stay in public housing?
  19. Will I have to sign a lease?
  20. Income Limits

  1. Where are your public housing apartments located?
    Public Housing units are located in the following communities:
    • Algona
    • Britt
    • Clear Lake
    • Forest City
    • Hampton
    • Manly
    • Northwood
    • Osage
    • Rockford
    • Sheffield

A complete list with details of our locations may be found at the Public Housing link.

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  1. What is the difference between Public Housing and the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV)?
    Public Housing properties are owned by NIRHA and the Authority manages and leases the properties. Units owned and managed by NIRHA are leased to low-income people on an income-based rental, or at a flat rental rate, depending upon what the resident chooses.

    Housing Choice Voucher properties are owned and managed by private landlords who are willing to participate with the Voucher program.  NIRHA subsidizes part of the resident's rent to the landlord making the housing affordable for the resident.

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  1. I have applied for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV).  Can I apply for Public Housing too?
    Yes, you may. You will need to complete the appropriate section on the application requesting your program choices.  Simply mark Public Housing (and the communities you would be interested in living in) and the HCV section as well.  The Housing Choice Voucher program is also known as Section 8.

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  1. I've just submitted my application. How long will I have to wait for housing?
    There is no simple answer to this question, because your wait will depend upon the date and time you submitted the application and how many other applicants are ahead of you. Depending upon the location you have selected and the number of applicants, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months or longer.

We operate ten public housing developments and each development has a waiting list. Applicants can be placed on as many of the waiting lists they choose, with the following exceptions: age limitations (such as head of household must be 50 years old or over for senior housing), availability of number of bedrooms depending upon family composition, etc. The length of time it takes to reach the top of a waiting list will depend upon the development(s) chosen (some are in higher demand than others), the size of the family, the family's circumstances, and availability of housing to meet the family's needs. It is advisable to place your name on all waiting lists you are eligible for.

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  1. Where am I on the waiting list?
    You may call 641-423-0897 ext. 1. When you check your status on the waiting list, we can verify that you are active on the waiting list but you will not be given a number.  We will not be able to give you an exact time frame on when you will receive housing based on where you are on the waiting list. You should also notify us in writing of any changes to your family size, address, or telephone number as these factors can affect your status on a waiting list.

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  1. I called to ask what number I am on the waiting list and I wasn't given one, why not?
    We are unable to give out numbers for the Public Housing units. Our system does not support that.

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  1. Do I have to be a resident of your jurisdiction to be assisted?
    No, however, applicants who live or work within our jurisdiction do receive a preference over those outside of our jurisdiction. 

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  1. Does my income have to be below a certain amount for me to qualify for housing?
    Yes, there are HUD income limits that are posted and updated annually on the Public Housing links to this website.

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  1. How do I know if I’m eligible for assistance?

You may not be eligible if:

  • You or a member of your household has an outstanding debt owed to any housing authority
  • You or a member of your household may have been evicted from public housing within the last three years
  • You or a member of your household may have violated family obligations during participation in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program during the past three years
  • You or a member of your household may have engaged in, or threatened abusive or violent behavior toward housing authority personnel
  • You or a member of your household may have committed fraud, bribery, or any criminal act in connection with any federal housing program
  • You or a member of your household may have engaged in drug-related or violent criminal activity during the past three years

You are not eligible if:

  • You or a household member is a registered sex offender
  • You or a household member has been convicted for selling or possession of methamphetamine, including precursors
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  1. How old must I be for eligibility to live in senior housing?
    You must be 62 years of age or older, disabled or handicapped according to Social Security standards.  We do accept “near elderly” people (ages 50 – 62) as well.  Near elderly applicants do not need to meet the standards of Social Security. 

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  1. I am a person with disabilities.  Will I get housing more quickly?
    No.  The only preference at this time is for people who live or work within our jurisdiction.  You are encouraged to apply and wait until you reach the top of the waiting list. 

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  1. I am a veteran.  Can I get assistance more quickly?
    No.  The only preference at this time is for people who live or work within our jurisdiction. You are encouraged to apply and wait until you reach the top of the waiting list. 

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  1. Do you have emergency housing or emergency assistance?
    No.  At this time there are no provisions in our policies allowing someone with an emergency to move in before someone else. You must be determined eligible first and then you will be housed in accordance with the date and time of your application and residency preference.

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  1. I am homeless. Can you help me immediately?
    Unfortunately, no. The only preference at this time is for people who live or work within our jurisdiction. You are encouraged to apply and wait until you reach the top of the waiting list. 

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  1. My family is soon to be evicted. How can you help?
    The only preference at this time is for people who live or work within our jurisdiction. You are encouraged to apply and wait until you reach the top of the waiting list. 

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  1.  I owe money to a former landlord or have a criminal history. Can I still be housed?
    Every applicant is subject to our screening process including, but not limited to a criminal background check and former tenancy histories. If you owe money to NIRHA, the balance must be paid-in-full prior to applying for assistance.  If you owe money to another housing agency, you must make acceptable payment arrangements with them prior to applying for assistance with NIRHA.

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  1. How is rent determined?
    There are a number things considered when determining your income and deductions.

The formula used in determining the tenant rent is the highest of the following, rounded to the nearest dollar:

(1) 30 percent of the monthly adjusted income. (Monthly Adjusted Income is annual income less deductions allowed by the regulations);
(2) 10 percent of monthly income;
(3) welfare rent, if applicable; or
(4) a $50 minimum rent set by the housing authority.

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  1. How long can I stay in public housing?
    In general, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the lease.

If, at reexamination your family's income is sufficient to obtain housing on the private market, the HA may determine whether your family should stay in public housing. You will not be required to move unless there is affordable housing available for you on the private market.

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  1. Will I have to sign a lease?
    If you are offered an apartment and accept it, you will have to sign a one year lease and pay a security deposit.  A Housing Specialist will review the lease with you and answer any questions you may have.  This will give you a better understanding of your responsibilities as a tenant and NIRHA’s responsibilities as a landlord.  After the initial year, the term of the lease will be month-to-month.

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20. Public Housing Income Limits effective: 04/14/2017

  Cerro Gordo County  
  1-Person family $36,050 5-Person family $55,650
  2-Person family $41,200 6-Person family $59,750
  3-Person family $46,350 7-Person family $63,900
  4-Person family $51,500 8-Person famliy $68,000
  Floyd County
  1-Person family $35,800 5-Person family $55,200
  2-Person family $40,900 6-Person family $59,300
  3-Person family $46,000 7-Person family $63,400
  4-Person family $51,100 8-Person family $67,500
  Franklin County
  1-Person family $35,800 5-Person family $55,200
  2-Person family $40,900 6-Person family $59,300
  3-Person family $46,000 7-Person family $63,400
  4-Person family $51,100 8-Person family $67,500
  Hancock County  
  1-Person family $37,350 5-Person family $57,600
  2-Person family $42,650 6-Person family $61,850
  3-Person family $48,000 7-Person family $66,100
  4-Person family $53,300 8-Person family $70,400
  Kossuth County
  1-Person family $38,500 5-Person family $59,350
  2-Person family $44,000 6-Person family $63,750
  3-Person family $49,500 7-Person family $68,150
  4-Person family $54,950 8-Person family $72,550
  Mitchell County
  1-Person family $36,600 5-Person family $56,450
  2-Person family $41,800 6-Person family $60,650
  3-Person family $47,050 7-Person family $64,800
  4-Person family $52,250 8-Person family $69,000
  Winnebago County
  1-Person family $36,250 5-Person family $55,900
  2-Person family $41,400 6-Person family $60,050
  3-Person family $46,600 7-Person family $64,200
  4-Person family $51,750 8-Person family $68,350
  Worth County
  1-Person family $35,800 5-Person family $55,200
  2-Person family $40,900 6-Person family $59,300
  3-Person family $46,000 7-Person family $63,400
  4-Person family $51,100 8-Person family $67,500
     

 

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