Public Housing FAQs

//Public Housing FAQs
Public Housing FAQs 2017-05-24T00:47:30+00:00

Have questions about Gainesville Housing Authority’s public housing program? Explore our frequently asked questions below. If you need further assistance, please contact us.

Public housing was established to provide decent, safe and sanitary rental housing for eligible low and moderate income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered duplex and quad apartments to high-rise apartments for elderly families. These units are owned and operated by the Gainesville Housing Authority (GHA). Rent in these units is set for each family based on their anticipated annual adjusted income. There are approximately 635 families living in GHA’s Public Housing. Our units are located city wide.

Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. GHA determines your eligibility based on: 1) annual gross income; 2) whether you qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family; and 3) U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status.

If you are eligible, the GHA will check your background through a series of standard screening tests designed to protect the safety of our current residents and property. At minimum, we screen 1) criminal history in the past five years; 2) credit as it relates to your rental history, including evictions; and 3) references from past landlords. Based on this screening, GHA will deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other residents or on the public housing environment.

The following income limits are in effect for the Gainesville area. These limits are based on the number of family members who will be residing with you in public housing.

To qualify for the public housing program, your gross annual income cannot be higher than the amounts listed below.

Family Members 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Maximum Income $32,700 $37,350 $42,000 $46,650 $50,400 $54,150 $57,850 $61,600

The Public Housing Applications Department is located at the Gainesville Housing Authority’s Administration building at 1900 SE 4th Street, Gainesville, FL 32641.

If you are interested in applying for public housing, you must fill out an online pre-application at gainesvilleha.housingmanager.com. With this, we will require a copy of a government (city, state, or federal) issued picture ID and social security card for every person on your application who is 18 years of age or older. This pre-application will place you on our waiting list. To contact this department, you may call the Public Housing Department during normal business hours. Office hours are 8a.m. – 5p.m. EST, M-F, Phone: 352-872-5500. We can be reached by mail or in person at the following address:

Gainesville Housing Authority
Attn: Public Housing Intake Department
1900 SE 4th Street
Gainesville, FL 32641

The applications process follows the steps below (Note: this is only intended as a summary of the process and may not be all-inclusive):

1) Pre-application – the family fills out a pre-application online in order to be placed on the waiting list.

2) Waiting List – the family is placed on the waiting list according to application date, bedroom size, local preferences, and accessibility needs.

3) Selection – the rate of selection is based on vacancy rate. During times of high vacancies, families will be selected from the waiting list faster than during times of low vacancy rates. Families at the top of the waiting list will be selected in blocks to fill current vacancy needs. Once a family has been selected, they will be notified by mail. They will also be advised in their selection letter of the next steps they need to take in order to continue the application process. If a family fails to respond to the selection, their file will be dropped from our waiting list.

4) Standard Screening – This process involves an in-depth examination of the family’s history in order to determine their suitability for housing within GHA. GHA will conduct local and national police check on household members to the extent allowed by Florida State law for record within the past five (5) years. Additional screening on credit as it relates to rental history (including evictions). Based on this screening, GHA will deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other residents or on the public housing environment. These standard screening procedures are intended to protect the safety of our current residents and property.

5) Interview & Placement – Once an applicant passes the preliminary screening, they will receive an offer letter to the community that is available. Once the unit offer is accepted, the file will be sent to the Property Manager for the community that was accepted. At this point the Property Manager will schedule a time and date for interview for every family who passes standard screening, or who has been reinstated by the hearing officer. At interview, the staff member will then determine what documents will be needed such as; income verification, landlord references, marriage license, proof of citizenship, etc. If there are any documents required by the agency that an applicant does not bring with them at the time of interview, they will be given a reasonable amount of time to return with these documents. The Property Manager will give the applicant a check list of items needed with a deadline date to return their paperwork. The Property Manager will process the application for move-in and review all other necessary documents.

All changes to application information must be made online at gainesvilleha.housingmanager.com. If you have changed your mailing address, family members, income etc., you must go online and update your application only. If we require additional documentation of this change, we will advise you of what is required.

All official notification will be made by mail. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, GHA will mail a selection letter to you. This will advise you of the next step in the application process. Please do not contact our office by phone or in person to check the status of your online application. If, at any time, it is determined that you are ineligible, GHA will mail a denial letter to you, telling you why you have been denied and advising you of how you may request an informal hearing.

The length of the waiting list varies depending on the number of vacancies we have each month and how many people are applying for housing. The waiting list also varies depending on which bedroom size you qualify for. On average, you can expect to wait the following amount of time from the date you put in your application (the below length of time is subject to change at any given time):
• 1-2 Bedrooms 12-36 months from the date of application
• 3-5 Bedrooms 12-24 months from the date of application
• Studio apartments in high-rises 12 months from the date of application

Yes, please see chart below.

No. Preference Points
1 Preference for single persons who are elderly, displaced, homeless, or persons with disabilities. 982.207 (b)(5) 1
2 Preference for person who is not currently receiving any federal subsidize housing assistance. 1
3 Preference for “working” families, where the head, spouse, or sole member is employed at least 25 – 30 hours per week. 1
4 Preference for “working” families, where the head, spouse, or sole member is employed at least 31 – 40 hours per week. 2
5 All others by the oldest date and time of applications. 0

The Gainesville Housing Authority cannot provide emergency housing. If you are in the Gainesville area and are in need of emergency housing, you may want to contact other local agencies who are not affiliated with GHA. For a list of some of those agencies please visit our Public Housing Forms section on our website and click on Resource Packet for additional information.

Bedroom size is determined by the number, generation, and sex of the members of your family. If your family composition changes after you move-in, you may request to be transferred to an apartment with the appropriate number of bedrooms for your current family size.

The GHA’s occupancy standards are as follows:

The GHA will assign one bedroom for each two persons within the household, except in the following circumstances:

• Persons of the opposite sex (other than spouses, and children under age 5) will not be required to share a bedroom.

• Persons of different generations will not be required to share a bedroom.

• Live-in aides will be allocated a separate bedroom. No additional bedrooms will be provided for the live-in aide’s family.

• Single person families will be allocated a zero or one bedroom.

• Foster children will be included in determining unit size.

The GHA will reference the following standards in determining the appropriate unit bedroom size for a family:

BEDROOM SIZE

MINIMUM NUMBER OF PERSONS MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PERSONS
0 1 1
1 1 2
2 2 4
3 3 6
4 4 8
5 6 10
6 8 12

It is the policy of the Gainesville Housing Authority to house only family members together in an apartment. To be a member of the same family, members must prove relationship either through blood, marriage to each other, or legal adoption. This will include foster children, pregnant females, persons seeking custody of a minor, fathers and mothers of the children of a single head of household and single persons. For a parent to claim a child as a member of their family, the parent must be anticipated to have primary residential care of the child.

Your rent, which is referred to as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP) in this program, would be based on your family’s anticipated gross annual income less deductions, if any. GHA will exclude from annual income the following allowances: $480 for each dependent; $400 for any family whose head or spouse is elderly or a person with a disability; and some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly person or a person with disabilities. Based on your application, GHA will determine if any other deductions should be subtracted from your annual income. Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received from the family head and spouse, and each additional member of the family 18 years of age or older.

The formula used in determining the TTP 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, and divided by 12 months);
(2) 10 percent of gross monthly income;
(4) or $50 minimum rent

Yes, if you are a Registered Sex Offender, and/or you have been convicted of manufacturing or producing methamphetamine (speed) on the premises of an assisted unit in violation of federal or state law.

No you do not, if you have your Property Manager’s phone number. If you need their number, please contact the front desk at 352-872-5500. After you are given the phone number, please call your Property Manager directly, not through the front desk.

Absolutely not; you should contact your Property Manager for specific questions about your file.

Contact Watson’s Towing at (352) 373-7475.

Call (352) 872-5500 and follow the prompts to place a work order for your unit. All work orders must be called in or placed through your assigned Property Manager.