Helpful Programs and Resources

Outreach Program:

  • Overview
    • The purpose of HHA’s outreach program is to inform eligible families of the availability of the public housing program and to attract a sufficient number and variety of applicants to fill all vacancies as they arise.
    • HHA will conduct affirmative marketing to specified types and groups of families to assure that all eligible participants have an equal opportunity to utilize the program.
    • It will also conduct other outreach efforts from time to time if it finds that certain categories of families are not making applications in sufficient numbers to keep dwelling units occupied.
  • Public Notice to Families
    • Each time HHA enters into an Annual Contributions Contract with HUD for new units, it will make known to the public, through publication in a newspaper of general circulation, minority media, and other suitable means, the availability and nature of its housing assistance for low and very low-income families, unless it has earlier suspended application-taking and the size of the new allocation of dwelling units does not warrant resumption of such procedures.  The public notice will:
      • Advise families where they may apply for the program;
      • Give a brief description of the program;
      • State that applicants must submit a written application if they wish to apply; and
      • Itemize the income limits in the public notice, including the low-income limits up to 80% of the local area median income (AMI).
  • The Outreach Message
    • The outreach message will inform families of where, when, and how families may apply for the program, and will also include information about HHA’s application procedures.
    • HHA will stress characteristics of the housing program, which appeal to low-income families.  Such characteristics as:
      •  The rent is based on income and includes the cost of basic utilities (telephone, cable television, air conditioning and internet are not included); and
      • That residents may own a pet (service animals for the disabled are allowed in any unit and are exempt from HHA’s pet rules on size, weight, and type); and
      • That dwelling units may be more attractive in appearance than the single-family homes or rental units where applicants may currently live.
  • Outreach Techniques
    • Family characteristics, ethnic backgrounds, income levels, ages, health, and employment opportunities are all among the various factors which influence family decisions on whether to apply for public housing.  As needed, special efforts will be made to attract the following types of families when the numbers of residents in these categories are low in relation to all of the resident population.
    • Non-elderly, “working poor” families receiving no welfare or other public assistance income, and whose members are only marginally employed.
    • Such families are usually less knowledgeable about government assistance programs, and although eligible, may be reluctant to apply, since they perceive such assistance as “charity” or “welfare”.
    • To attract working poor families, HHA will emphasize the confidentiality of the application and income/assets information; the objective of providing decent, safe, sanitary housing in good repair, and that having affordable housing may help a family get back on its feet and improve its financial prospects.
    • Elderly families whose heads, spouses, or sole members are 62 years of age or older.
    • Some senior citizens, like the “working poor” families, may be reluctant to apply for public housing because of pride in home ownership, records of having “made it on their own” before, and associating the program with “charity” or “welfare.”
    • Limited mobility, a desire to retain their possessions and remain in familiar surroundings, and incorrect information about having to sacrifice assets may all influence an elderly person’s decision on whether to apply for public housing.
    • To attract elderly families, HHA will use some of the same techniques it uses for “working poor” families, including the following:
      • contacting the elderly person or family personally;
      • providing information to groups and organizations representing the elderly;
      • taking applications at the elderly person’s home, if transportation is unavailable or mobility is a problem;  and,
      • enlisting the support and assistance of groups, organizations, and agencies representing the elderly.
  • Homeless Families
    • HHA will contact welfare agencies (agency listings), churches, food centers, temporary homeless shelters, and other groups or locations serving homeless families.
    • Physically and mentally handicapped or disabled individuals and families, including persons who may be unable to complete an application without assistance.

HHA Family Self- Sufficiency Program for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher 

  • The Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) is designed to assist families and individuals in becoming financially independent.  Participation in the program requires a personal commitment by each individual.  In exchange, participants receive supportive services and the opportunity to earn an escrow savings account.  These services are available to assist participants in transitioning from dependence on government benefits, to an improved level of financial self-sufficiency. 
  • For more information on the FSS program see this Brochure