People like Martin LaMar and Grefe are individuals who are almost continuously in the news for their roles in affordable housing programs. Public housing, for instance, is an element of affordable housing but one that many people continue to find difficult to truly understand. They don’t know why newspapers such as The Blade regularly report on the lack of said affordable housing in metropolitan areas and why letter upon letter is received with the HUD (the Department of Housing and Urban Development) from people who want the board to consider their application for social assistance for housing. Hence, Martin LaMar felt it was time to provide people with some detail on what public housing programs are, and who they are for.
Martin LaMar on Public Housing Programs
The concept of public housing is an element of social welfare that aimed to ensure families on low incomes were able to live in affordable, safe, and appropriate homes. Low income families often include those with disabilities and the elderly. There are lots of different types and sizes of properties available, ranging from high-rise apartments to single family homes. In this country, some 1.2 million families currently live in homes covered by public housing programs, managed nationally by 3,300 different housing authorities. The financial aid for this housing, meanwhile, is managed by the HUD, who also offer the housing authorities professional and technical assistance in managing, developing, and planning developments.
Martin LaMar Explains who Public Housing Programs Are for
Public housing programs are only available to families that are classed as being on a low income. It is, however, the appropriate housing authority that sets the exact requirements. However, they base this one:
- A family’s gross annual income.
- Whether the applicant is a family, a disabled individual, or an elderly person.
- Whether the applicant has appropriate U.S. immigration status or is a citizen.
Those wishing to access public housing must formally apply for it, which enables the housing authority to check their references to ensure the tenant will be a good one. If someone is known to cause problems in the community, such as being a nuisance to neighbors, then the application will be declined.
Income limits have been set nationally for affordable housing programs by the HUD. Specifically, someone is classified as being on a “lower” income if they earn 80% of the median income in the applicable metropolitan area or county, or “very low” income if they earn 50% or less of the median income in that area. What this means is that the exact figure that makes someone eligible for these programs depends on where they want to live.
Applying for these programs requires a number of details, including:
- The names, gender, dates of birth, and relationship to the family head of each individual in the family.
- A current telephone number and address.
- The characteristics of the family, describing why the current accommodation, if applicable, is unsuitable.
- Details of past and present landlords.
Details of income, including verification details of employers and banks.