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Housing: Public Housing

How can public housing help me?

Public housing may help you and your family move into a home with a discounted rent you can afford. Public housing is made up of rental housing units that are made affordable for low-income families through funding from the federal government. Public housing assistance is very limited in Illinois, and often eligible people must wait for years on a waiting list, or sometimes the waiting list is closed even for eligible families.

Am I eligible?

Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. Your student status should not affect your eligibility, though some tuition assistance may be counted as income. Your eligibility is based on:

  • Your annual gross income, which must be within the income limits;
  • Whether you qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family (family is defined to include one person in a household);
  • Your citizenship or eligible immigration status; and
  • Your criminal background screening based upon the rules of the housing authority.

Generally, households are income eligible for public housing if they make no more than 80% of the Area Median Income, however, public housing income limits vary from area to area. To determine the income limits for a certain geographic area, contact your local PHA, or look online.

How do I apply for public housing?

To apply for public housing, contact your local PHA. You can find a PHA online.

More Information and Resources

For more information, visit the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) online, or visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website.

Direct2Housing is an online resource for locating housing in Metro Chicago. You can search by housing type, location, and your personal needs to find available units. Learn more online.

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