For the first time since 2013, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency is taking applications for public housing.
The agency began accepting applications on Tuesday and says it will accept 1,200 total. It will give preference to veterans, victims of a natural disaster, homeless families, and senior citizens.
"Once we have an available unit, then that household will then submit backup documentation to verify and validate what has actually been included on the initial application," said the agency’s assistant director of public housing, La Tanna Jones.
A criminal background and landlord reference check is required prior to admission into the program.
Jones said the agency is coming to the end of the list of people who last applied for public housing in 2013. He said the agency doesn’t know how many public housing applications it accepted then, but that the list now has fewer than 50 people on it.
He says the vacancy rate for the 3,000 public housing units in the city and county of Sacramento is about 2 percent. The housing units include apartments, duplexes and single-family homes. Rent amounts for families depend on their incomes.
Sites for seniors, people with disabilities, single veterans, and other single applicants are spread throughout the city and county. SHRA has a list of multifamily sites that are accepting applications and a form for families to apply on its website, including the Alder Grove and Maina Vista properties.
“Of the 5,700 people served by SHRA, 69 percent of our households are elderly or disabled. Elderly is about 27 percent. Disabled is about 42 percent. It's a pretty substantial amount of the population that we serve,” Jones said.
Public housing is a federal program under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is different from affordable housing, which is supported by state and local grants.