In 1937, Congress passed legislation that set aside funds to provide temporary shelter for those who had been displaced by the effects of the Great Depression. That legislation established Public Housing administered by city and county governments and Indian Housing administered by tribal governments.
Over the years, many additional Federal government subsidized programs have been created and the rules governing those programs continue to change regularly. All of these programs have in common at least some federal funding which allows an agency or owner of a property to charge rent which is less than would otherwise be available in the community. Because of this assistance from the government, Congress has placed restrictions on who is eligible to benefit to from these programs.
The goal of these housing programs is to provide safe and adequate housing for the nation's economically disadvantaged and to charge rent for the housing based upon one's ability to pay. Because federal legislation has created a variety of housing programs over a period of many years, each program has different guidelines governing eligibility for admission, administration, and rules for computing rent.
Government housing programs can be separated into ownership by PUBLIC vs PRIVATE ownership. PUBLIC HOUSING and INDIAN HOUSING are financed with bonds or government funds and therefore owned by the public.
Few taxpayer's realize that the majority of the nation's government assisted housing is owned by private individuals or groups of investors who have purchased or built multifamily buildings (apartment complexes). Many of these privately owned properties provide assisted housing by accepting Section 8 Certificates and Vouchers from qualifying families. Public Housing provides housing assistance by virtue of subsidies provided directly to the properties from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Summit Housing Authority • 512 Springfield Avenue • Summit, New Jersey • 07901