What is Public Housing?
Public housing was created to provide safe and affordable rental housing for eligible families. Blair Housing Authority (BHA) has scattered site 3BR single family homes, 2BR duplexes and apartments that are owned, managed, and maintained by the Housing Authority. Rent is based on income. Rent is figured as 30% of gross income, less allowable expenses. BHA has adopted flat rents for approved applicants with higher incomes who still qualify for housing under the HUD established income limits.
Is Public Housing the same as Section 8?
No. Blair Housing Authority administered a Section 8 program from 1993-2005, including a Family Self-Sufficiency Program. In 2005, due to cut-backs in funding from HUD, BHA was no longer able to administer the program. Douglas County Housing Authority began administering the program for the City of Blair and a 10 mile radius of Blair. Goldenrod Hills Joint Housing Authority in Wisner, NE is responsible for administering the program in the remainder of the Washington County area.
In the Section 8 Program, the Housing Authority does not own or maintain the property. The Housing Authority approves the applicant and they are required to find a landlord in the area that is willing to rent them property, sign a lease with them, and a contract with the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority pays a portion of the rent directly to the landlord according to the approved applicant’s income.
The Section 8 Program is more commonly referred to as the “Housing Choice Voucher Program”.
Who can apply for Public Housing?
Anyone can apply for Public Housing, but income limits do apply. Eligibility is based on annual gross income, family size, and U.S. citizenship or immigration status. Eligible families are placed on a Wait List.
What are the current income limits?
Income limits are established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually. HUD sets the income limits for a public housing program at 80% of the Housing Authority’s local median income. Due to Blair being located so close to Omaha, HUD considers BHA as part of the “Omaha Metropolitan Area” when income limits are established. BHA’s 2020 income limits are:
Family Size Maximum Income
1 person $48,750
2 Person $55,700
3 Person $62,350
4 Person $69,600
5 Person $75,200
6 Person $80,750
Income limits are developed by HUD and are subject to change
How do I apply?
Applications are accepted by mail, email, via fax, or in person. Applications are available in the BHA office or online at www.blairhousing.com.
How does the application process work?
Applicants complete a pre-application to determine eligibility for the Wait List. Eligibility is determined by the family’s annual gross income, family size, and U.S. citizenship or immigration status. Eligible applicants will be placed on the appropriate Wait List. Actual wait time is unknown, but can be 6 to 12 months based on availability. A preliminary background check is conducted on all adult household members. Fingerprinting may be necessary, based on the results of the preliminary background check results.
All applicants will be notified via U.S. mail of their eligibility status. Ineligible applicants will be notified why they are ineligible and given an opportunity to request an informal review.
All adult household members 18 and over should be present for the pre-application appointment. Authorization is required from all adult household members to verify information given by applicants.
The following information is needed for the appointment:
1. Names of all persons who will be living in the unit, their genders, dates of birth, and relationship to the head of household.
2. Current physical and mailing addresses and telephone number
3. Government issued identification (driver’s license or state ID), Social security card for each person who will be living in the unit, and proof of income for all persons 18 and over.
4. Proof of current income (check stubs, letter from social security, child support order, etc.)
When will I be notified?
Eligible families are notified in writing once they have reached the top of the Wait List. The head of household (HOH) must call the BHA office to schedule an appointment to complete the full application after they receive the notification letter. The HOH has 5 business days from the date on the notification letter to respond.
All adult household members should attend the full application appointment. The following information is needed for the appointment:
1. Names and addresses of your current and previous landlords for information about your family’s suitability as a tenant.
2. An estimate of your family’s anticipated income for the next twelve (12) months and the sources of that income.
3. The names and addresses of your employers, banks and any other information needed to verify income or deductions (medical expenses or child care expenses for eligible households).
BHA will use the information on the full application to complete the verification process. Including, but not limited to, criminal background check, credit check, previous rental history, income verification, and eligible expense verification.
How is rent determined?
Rent is based on the family’s anticipated gross annual income less deductions, if any. HUD regulations allow BHA to exclude the following allowances from annual income: $480 for each dependent; $400 for elderly families, or a person with a disability; and some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly person or a person with a disability. These determinations are made during the full application process.
Annual income is the total anticipated income from all sources received from the head of household, spouse, and each additional adult member of the family.
The formula used to determine rent is the highest of the following, rounded to the nearest dollar:
1. 30% of the monthly adjusted income. (Monthly Adjusted Income is the annual income less deductions allowed by the regulations);
2. 10% of monthly income;
3. Minimum rent of $50.
Are utilities included in the rent?
Parkview Manor – Yes
Rent includes electric, water, gas, and trash.
Scattered Site units – No
Tenants are responsible for all utilities. A utility allowance is deducted from the rent amount to assist with the costs of utilities.
Blair Housing Authority has been providing decent, safe, and affordable rental housing in Blair for families since 1969. BHA has 100 public housing units - 83 apartments at Parkview Manor and 17 single family homes and duplexes.
758 S. 16th St.
Blair, NE 68008