Public Housing Information
The Public Housing Program provides rental assistance to help low income families retain safe and affordable housing and promote self sufficiency.
Public Housing is federally-funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority (FMHA) owns and manages ninety-six (96) three-bedroom homes in seven scattered sites throughout the city of Lancaster. Forty-six (46) of the homes are townhouse style doubles and fifty (50) of the homes are single one story units. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to FMHA to manage the housing for low-income residents at income based (30% of adjusted income) or flat rents, whichever is more affordable.
Applicants are qualified by meeting all of the following criteria:
- A family with a child/children, regularly living together, related by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship or operation of the law who will live together in FMHA housing.
- Heads of household in which at least one member declares either U.S. citizenship or verifiable eligible immigration status.
- At the time of admission, has an annual income that does not exceed the income limits for occupancy established by HUD.
- Provides Social Security numbers and verification of birth for each family member.
- Meets or exceeds the Applicant Screening Criteria and successfully completes the FMHA-approved Pre-Occupancy class (POC).
FMHA screens applicants to determine if they meet the federally mandated qualifications for the Public Housing Program. This includes verification of eligibility and income information provided on the application form. Income limits for program eligibility are adjusted according to family size and deductible allowances are specified in federal legislation.
Gross Income Table
|Median Income: $67,500|
(30% of median)
(50% of median)
(80% of median)
The Screening Criteria
All Applicants will be screened in accordance with HUD's regulations and FMHA Applicant Screening, which will include, but not limited to the following:
- Demonstrate through an assessment of current and past behavior the ability to respect the essential obligations of tenancy as expressed in the FMHA lease.
- Criminal background check (this includes arrests and convictions). It is the goal of FMHA to provide a safe, comfortable and drug-free environment for our residents.
- Check for payment history for utility charges and eviction history.
- Current and prior landlord histories.
- Past due debt(s) to other Housing Authorities.
Waiting to be Housed
It is the family’s responsibility to keep FMHA informed of any changes in address, telephone numbers, income, family composition, and/or any circumstances that qualifies for a housing preference change. We contact families by mail only; therefore it is important to ensure we have your current address on file.
ALL CHANGES MUST BE IN WRITING; WE DO NOT ACCEPT CHANGES OVER THE TELEPHONE.
How Rent will be Determined
Rent is based on the family's anticipated gross annual income less deductions, if any. HUD regulations allow the Housing Authority to exclude from annual income the following allowances: $480 for each dependent; $400 for any elderly family, or a person with a disability; and some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly person or a person with disabilities. Based on the application, the Public Housing Staff will determine if any of the allowable deductions should be subtracted from the annual income.
Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received from all family members in the household, the Public Housing Staff will determine if the income reported will count toward your rental amount.
Under the Public Housing program you will have the option to pay the current flat rent or percentage based income rent. (Rent choice form) Percentage based income rent you are required to pay 30% of your adjusted monthly gross income. A utility allowance determined on a yearly basis is deducted after your adjusted monthly gross income is calculated. This amount will be your monthly rent payment.
When a home is accepted a lease signing date will be scheduled. At that time the family must have “electric” placed into their name with AEP (or South Central Power for Hanover Court tenants only) effective for the lease signing date. They will be given a deadline to turn in the Lancaster Utilities Collection for a gas service contract and account number once the lease is signed (per LUC policy). A family must bring with them the agreed amount for the security deposit, the rent (this could be pro-rated if the family does not move in on the 1st of the month), verification that the electric and utilities are in the name of the family’s Head or Spouse.
When you receive any additional income (employment, raise, SS or SSI, OWF, Child Support, etc.) you must report this change to FMHA within 10 days. You will be asked to fill out an Interim Report Form and provide all documentation of such income. All changes must be received to the FMHA within that 10-day time period. Failure to report or supply FMHA with the change will result in a repayment agreement and may result in termination from the Public Housing Program and eviction from the rental unit.
The Role of the Housing Authority
The Housing Authority is responsible for the management and operations of its public housing program.
- On-going functions:
- Assure compliance with leases. The lease must be signed by both parties;
- Set other charges (e.g., security deposit, damages to unit);
- Perform periodic reexaminations of the family's income at least once every 12 months;
- Transfer families from one unit to another, in order to correct over/ under crowding, repair or renovate a dwelling, or because of a resident's request to be transferred, transfers must be approved by the Housing Manager. Tenants must review the Transfer Policy; and fill out the request for a transfer form.
- Terminate leases when necessary; and
- Maintain the development in a decent, safe and sanitary condition.
- The Housing Authority also provides other services such as: Family Self-Sufficiency and a Resident Service Coordinator to help families meet their immediate needs.
Residents may stay in Public Housing as long as they comply with the lease and are eligible for the program.
Resident Advisory Board Information
The Resident Advisory Board (RAB) meetings are held quarterly to review policies, training on various subjects, guest speakers, and to discuss resident issues/concerns. These meetings are very valuable to the Public Housing Staff to find out issues and meet the residents. If you would like to give any ideas/ suggestions for meetings or have any questions about the RAB, please contact Heather Currence (Ross Service Coordinator) or Amy Swartz (FSS Coordinator)
The Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority does not discriminate on the basis of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Disability, Familial Status, Age, Sexual Orientation, Veteran Status or National Origin. FMHA is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider.