How To Apply For Houston Public Housing

Houston public housing

How To Apply For Houston Public Housing

In this article, I will explain how to apply for the Houston public housing benefits.  Affordable housing is a scarce community resource. For many, understanding how to apply for subsidized housing is a huge barrier, let alone qualifying.  I’m Nick Bryant, founder of, where we help clients and citizens to easily understand and connect to the community resources they need most.  Today I’m going to show you how to apply for the public housing program in Houston.  This program was created to help low-income families with rental assistance. It also offers resources to help you meet career and financial goals so that you can establish self-sufficiency.  There is a lot to cover regarding the local public housing program so let’s dive in!

What Is The Houston Public Housing Program? 

This is a federally funded low-rent program. The program connects eligible applicants to housing units that are both safe and affordable. Eligibility for housing assistance is based on factors like your income, household size, disability, age, and other factors. Public housing consists of properties (apartment complexes) that are owned by the local housing authority. The apartments in this article are all managed by one local public housing agency. We will discuss that agency in the next section.

Who Manages The Houston Public Housing Program? 

The Houston Housing Authority oversees the public housing program.

Editor’s note: Houston Housing Authority  also manages other housing programs like Section 8.

Managing the Houston housing program include duties like: 

  • Assuring tenants are in compliance with their lease
  • Manage charges like security deposits, fees for damage to the housing unit, excessive utility consumption, etc
  • Reviewing a tenants income on an annual basis to ensure they qualify for the housing benefit
  • Terminate leases when tenants no longer qualify or violate rules
  • Managing the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program which helps residents to meet career and economic goals. Some of the areas that the FSS Program helps with are: 
    • Job training and career counseling
    • Transportation resources
    • Child care assistance in Houston
    • Help with education and training
    • Drug and alcohol treatment programs
    • Homeownership counseling
    • Contributions to an escrow account that you receive after completing their 5-year program

What Is The Difference Between Public Housing and Section 8? 

Although public housing and section 8 seem interchangeable they are not. These are two different federal government programs. Each program is however managed by Houston Housing Authority.

Public Housing

Public housing is a program that offers affordable housing via public housing apartment complexes. If you are awarded public housing benefits, you can choose from one of the 25 apartment complexes that are managed by the Houston Housing Authority. With public housing, your options are limited to these properties. 

Section 8

Section 8 or the Housing Choice Voucher Program is different than public housing. While public housing places you in complexes that the local housing authority manages, Section 8 provides you with a voucher that you can use at any property (apartment or home) that accepts the voucher.  If you receive a Section 8 Voucher it’s your responsibility to find a landlord who accepts your voucher. Again this can be an apartment complex or someone renting their own property out. Although the local housing authority will not place you into a Section 8 approved property, they can provide you with a listing of landlords who do accept the voucher.

low income housing no wait list

What Are Eligibility Requirements For The Houston Housing Program? 

First and foremost, public housing offers housing assistance to low-income families. The other eligibility factors are:

  • Income Limits
  • Household Size
  • Priority Populations like local residents, seniors, those with disabilities, veterans, and more
  • U.S. Citizens and noncitizens with eligible immigration status

Income Limits For Houston Public Housing

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) states that program eligibility is based on family income and where you fall on the area median family income chart.  Income limits are separated into: 

  • Extremely Low – 30%
  • Very Low – 50%
  • Low  – 80%

The Houston Housing Authority makes the final decision, but you can use this chart as a gage to determine if it is worth applying for the public housing program: 

Household Size Extremely Low 30% Very Low 50% Low 80%
1 $16,600 $27,600 $44,150
2 $18,950 $31,550 $50,450
3 $21,720 $35,500 $56,750
4 $26,200 $39,400 $63,050
5 $30,680 $42,600 $68,100
6 $35,160 $45,750 $73,150
7 $39,640 $48,900 $78,200

Editor’s note: To find median family income levels in other cities you can visit the HUD User website

Household Size

The size of your household will also determine if you qualify for housing.  You can refer to the chart above to what level of assistance you qualify for. 

Public Housing Priority Populations

Certain populations receive higher priorities in regards to receiving public housing. If you are in one of these priority populations it does not guarantee approval, but it definitely helps: 

  1. Locals within the city or county are higher priorities. 
  2. Seniors are another preference for housing. 
  3. Individuals with disabilities are another population. 
  4. Veterans can move up the housing waiting list faster due to their military service. 
  5. Larger Houston families with children are often assisted faster. 

Housing applicants are selected based on a point system.  Depending on which population you fall under will determine the number of points you receive. If you fall under multiple populations, then will you qualify for more points, therefore,  you will rise on the housing waiting list much faster. 

U.S. Citizenship And Noncitizen  With Eligible Immigration Status

To qualify for public housing you must be either: 

  1. A U.S. Citizen 
  2. Non U.S. Citizen with eligible immigration status 

You can apply for Houston public housing if you have a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card), because this qualifies as an eligible form of immigration status. 

Editor’s note: Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Apartments do not require citizenship requirements, so this is another housing option. To see the listing of these properties in the area see our guided titled How To Find Low Income Tax Credit Apartments In Houston

How Much Do I Pay For Houston Public Housing? 

Tenants who live in a public housing project typically pay 30% of their gross income for rent each month. The household income is based on earned income from the head of the family, spouse, and any adults 18 and older in the housing unit.  The Houston Housing Authority allows you to exclude the following amounts from your annual income:

  • $480 – Each dependent
  • $400 – Elderly family members or individuals with disabilities

In addition, a utility allowance is provided to you if you live in a unit where you are responsible for your own utilities (electricity, natural gas, water, sewer, trash collection). If utilities are included in your rent then no utility allowance is provided.

How Long Is The Houston Public Housing Wait List?

This will depend on whether you are older or younger than 65 years old. For seniors 65+, you can expect to sit on a waitlist for 12 to 18 months. If you are younger than 65, your wait is 18 to 24 months.  One thing to note is the larger your family, typically the shorter the waiting period. If you were seeking a 1-bedroom apartment, that wait time typically exceeds more than 2 years. You can decline any housing offer although you will not be eligible to apply for Houston public housing for 1 year.

Editor’s note: The Harris County Public Housing Authority is another source that you can use to find affordable housing in the area. Search their Waitling Lists page to see if there are any openings.  

Houston Housing Authority Application Process

In order to apply for public housing, you will need to first check to see if the waitlist is open. You can do this by visiting If the waiting list is open you will need to complete a Housingforhouston application to apply for public housing benefits.  For more questions regarding the Houston public housing application, you can visit or contact 713.260.0701. 

How To Check Your Public Housing Waitlist

To check on the status of your housing application, you can call the Houston Housing Authority at 713.260.0701.  You can also visit their website at

Houston Housing Authority Apartments That Are Available To Eligible Applicants

The Houston Housing Authority has subsidized housing communities that fall into 3 categories: 

  1. Public Housing – These complexes only offer income-based housing units. 
  2. Mixed-Income – This is a combination of income-based housing units, as well as regular apartments in the same complex. 
  3. Section 8 – These apartment complexes require a Section 8 voucher to live in these communities. 

In addition, the housing authority has properties for individuals under and over 62 years old.  The first public housing units we will focus on are for individuals younger than 62 years old. 

Clayton Homes

Clayton Homes is a housing complex that is located just east of downtown Houston. This mixed-income community is at the address of 1919 Runnels, Houston, Texas 77003. This east Houston public housing complex offers the following amenities to its tenants: 

  • 296 housing units – 36 1-bedroom, 100 2-bedroom, 160 3/4-bedroom units
  • Located a few blocks from Minute Maid Park
  • Easy access to downtown Houston for employment opportunities
  • Many medical clinics and supportive services nearby
  • Daycare center onsite

For more information, you can call Clayton Homes at 713.223.4442

Cuney Homes

Cuney Homes is a 3rd Ward Houston housing complex. The address is 3260 Truxillo Houston, TX 77004.

Editor’s note: Cuney Homes was named after an African-American politician named Norris Wright Cuney

This southeast Houston housing community offers the following:

  • 564 units: 224 1-bedroom units, 229 2-bedroom, 81 3-bedroom units, 19 4-bedroom units
  • Located near Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, and Yates High School
  • Metro Light Rail is within a 10-minute walk to take you downtown or to the medical center
  • Restaurants within walking distance
  • Access to many 3rd Ward Low-Cost Medical clinics that treat the uninsured
  • 3rd Ward Multi-Service Center is within walking distance

To learn more about availability at Cuney Homes contact them at 713.748.4973. 

Ewing Apartments

Ewing Apartments offer affordable housing in Houston‘s Museum District. The address is 1815 Ewing Houston, TX 77004. This Houston Museum District apartment complex offers: 

  • Located within walking distance to Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo, and the Children’s Museum
  • Close proximity to the Houston medical center
  • Easy access to Metro Light Rail

For more details, contact the Ewing Apartments phone number at 713.522.9844.

Forest Green Townhomes

Forest Greens Townhomes is located in Northeast Houston. The closest major intersection is Mesa and Little York. The address is 8945 Forest Hollow Houston, TX 77078.  This northeast Houston housing complex offers the following: 

  • In the driving distance to the Summerwood H-E-B
  • Multiple restaurants located on Mesa Rd
  • North Forest High School is within walking distance
  • Easy access to Beltway 8

To learn more call Forest Green Townhomes at 713.635.5779. 

Fulton Village

Fulton Village is located in the Near Northside neighborhood. The closest cross street is Fulton and Collingsworth. The address is 3300 Elser Street Houston, TX 77009.   This low income housing community offers the following:

  • Located within walking distance of Metro Light Rail
  • Moody Park is also within walking distance
  • Easy access to downtown Houston
  • Close proximity to Harris Health Casa De Amigos
  • Mixed-Income Housing

For more information call the Fulton Village phone number at 713.228.9722.

Heatherbrook Apartments

Heatherbrook Apartments are located in Northeast Houston. The closest major intersection is Tidwell and Aldine Westfield. It is addressed at 2000 Tidwell Houston, TX 77093.   This Houston Aldine apartment offers the following: 

  • Mixed-income housing
  • The computer learning center, fitness center, swimming pool, laundry facility

Contact Heatherbrook Apartments for more information by dialing 713.694.6655.

Historic Oaks of Allen Parkway Village

Oaks of Allen Parkway is located just west of downtown. The closest major intersection is Allen Parkway and Taft. The address is 1600 Allen Parkway Houston, TX 77019.   This downtown Houston affordable housing complex offers the following:

  • Possibly the best view of downtown of any Houston Public Housing complex
  • A 2-minute walk to Eleanor Tinsley Park
  • Close proximity to downtown Houston
  • Mixed-Income Housing

Contact the Allen Parkway Village by calling 713.651.1250. 

Irvington Village

Irvington Village is located in the Near Northside neighborhood.  The closest major intersection is Irvington and Collingsworth. The address is 2901 Fulton Houston, TX 77009.  The Houston Moody Park apartment offers the following: 

  • Storefront police station
  • Located within walking distance of Metro Light Rail
  • Moody Park is also within walking distance
  • Easy access to downtown Houston
  • Close proximity to Harris Health Casa De Amigos

Contact Irvington Village at  713.224.1948  for more information. 

Kelly Village

Kelly Village is located in the 5th Ward neighborhood. The closest major intersection is Gregg Street and Lyons Ave. The address is 3118 Green Houston, TX 77020.  This 5th Ward affordable housing complex offers: 

Call the Kelly Village phone number at  713.228.2461 for more information. 

Kennedy Place

Kennedy Place is located in the 5th Ward neighborhood. The closest major intersection is Gregg St and Clinton. The address is 3100 Gillespie Houston, TX 77020.  This east Houston apartment complex offers: 

For more information contact Kennedy Place Apartments at 713.225.5929. 

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is another Houston Public Housing complex. It’s located in the Acres Homes neighborhood. The closest major intersection is West Little York and North Shepherd. The address is 790 West Little York Houston, TX 77091.   This Acres Home affordable housing complex offers access to: 

Contact Lincoln Park Apartments by calling 281.445.0570. 

Long Drive Townhomes

Long Drive Townhomes are located in Southeast Houston. The closest major intersection to this Houston Public Housing complex is Long Dr and Telephone Rd. The address is 6767 Long Dr. Houston, TX 77087.  – 713.643.8232 These southeast Houston apartments offer you access to: 

Call Long Drive Townhomes at  713.643.8232 for more information. 

Oxford Place

The Oxford Place Houston public housing complex is located in north Houston. The closest major intersection is Berry Rd and Tidwell. The address is 605 Berry Rd Houston, TX 77022.  This affordable housing complex in north Houston offers access to: 

  • Onsite daycare
  • Onsite computer lab
  • Located near Metro Light Rail
  • Walmart and other retail stores less than a 5-minute drive away

Contact Oxford Place Apartments at 713.884.8235. 

Independence Heights

Independence Heights is a Houston public housing community located at 302 Crosstimbers, Houston, TX 77022.  This affordable housing apartment in the Studewood neighborhood area offers access to: 

  • Close proximity to downtown Houston
  • A fitness center
  • The nearby Northline shopping center has many restaurants and a Walmart

Contact Independent Heights for more information by dialing 713.260.0700. 

Sweetwater Point

Sweetwater Point is located at the edge of Houston, boarding Pearland. The closest major intersection to this Houston public housing complex is Telephone Rd and Beltway 8.  The address is 7909 S. Sam Houston Parkway E. Houston, TX 77075.  832.200.9945 This income-based apartment provides access to: 

  • Mixed-income housing
  • Many Pearland restaurants nearby
  • Close proximity to Hobby Airport

You can call Sweetwater Point at  832.200.9945. 

Houston Public Housing For Seniors and People with Disabilities

The apartment complexes in this section offer affordable housing options in Houston to seniors 62 and older and people with disabilities. 

Bellerive Apartments

This senior public housing complex is located in SW Houston. The closest major intersection is SW Freeway and Bellaire Blvd. The address is 7725 Bellerive Houston, TX 77036.   This SW Houston public housing development for seniors offers access to: 

  • Nurse call systems
  • Security cameras
  • Multiple dining options nearby
  • Sharpstown Health Center less than a 10-minute drive away

You can contact the Bellerive Apartments by calling 713.789.5000.

Lyerly Apartments

This Houston public housing complex is located in north Houston. The closest major intersection is Crosstimbers and I-45.  The address is 75 Lyerly Houston, TX 77022.  713.694.6681 This senior housing development provides access to: 

  • Nurse call system
  • Shaded courtyard
  • Monthly health and wellness presentations
  • Community outings for residents

For more questions contact the Lyerly Apartments at 713.694.6681. 

Historic Oaks of Allen Parkway Village

This complex also offers affordable housing to families, seniors, and people with disabilities in Houston.  This public housing community is located near downtown Houston. The address is 1600 Allen Parkway, Houston, TX 77019.  For more information, you can call the Allen Parkway Village phone number at 713.651.1250

How To Move Up A Public Housing Waiting List As Fast As Possible

If you want to move up a waiting list as soon as possible consider the following advice…

Apply for public housing outside of Houston. 

The reason the public housing waitlists are so long in Houston is due to the number of people applying for housing benefits.  This problem isn’t unique to Houston, though because if you visit any major city they too will have long waitlists.  Again the way to climb a waiting list as fast as possible is to apply for public housing in cities, towns, and counties that have smaller populations. This is completely in the rules!  The only drawback is if you apply for benefits in a city that you do not live in, the local residents in that area will be a higher priority. Despite that, you can still obtain public housing benefits in a smaller city much faster than you can by applying here.  In our guide titled Why You Should Apply For Housing Outside Of Houston I talk more about this strategy and provide you with alternative housing authorities to contact regarding their public housing programs. 


At first glance, many pass on the chance to place their name on a Houston public housing waitlist. They see waits of 12-24 months and decide it’s not worth the effort.   Even if it takes 2 years, that day will eventually come. We probably never thought we’d see the year 2018 (the year this is written), but it’s here… Or maybe gone if you are reading this is the distant future! If you have more questions about Houston public housing, Section 8, or any other forms of affordable housing comment below and I will personally answer your question.  Similar Articles That May Interest You: 

8 thoughts on “How To Apply For Houston Public Housing

  1. Kat Reply

    Hi Nick,

    My father is homeless in Houston. He’s able to stay with a family member but they are asking him to leave. He’s 69 years old and I’m afraid he will be on the street soon. What is the quickest way to find him housing?

    Thank you!

    • Nick Bryant Post authorReply

      A shelter will always be the fastest way to find housing if somebody has zero monthly income or very little income. Add shelters they have something called coordinated access where they can connect you to housing programs very quickly. If your father needs long term permanent housing it may be best for him to go to a shelter and then they can expedite his case to get him connected to permanent housing. A shelter isn’t ideal but if family members are not able to provide him with a place to stay this is the next best alternative. Considering his age if you were going to go to a shelter he might be a priority to get permanent housing placement. He doesn’t need to be at a shelter to get housing assistance but I will say shelters can connect him faster van if he were to apply directly with the housing authority period. One resource that I just thought about it’s called turning point. Turning point is like a homeless housing program for adults who are 50 and older. It’s a good environment and people can stay there long term as long as they follow the rules. Try turning point if your father is 69 that may be a good place for him.

  2. Jennifer Perez Reply

    One thing I was curious to know about was am I still eligible or able to find some kind of housing assistance if the waiting list is closed?

    • Nick Bryant Post authorReply

      If the Houston Housing Authority waitlist is closed try applying with New Hope Housing. Most of their apartment complexes are for single adults but they have 2 for families.

      If you are open to moving outside of Houston you can apply for housing at any housing authority in the country. In general the smaller the city the less time you will spend on a waitlist. If you apply for housing in a small city or town there may not even be a waitlist. This article talks about how to get housing fast and lets you know where you can apply.

  3. Client Reply

    Hello there. I am currently looking for help on how to get into a small one bedroom apartment. I am HIV positive for almost 7 years. I work part-time hours at my job ( of 10 years). I have been under the care of Harris Health Gold card for all my medical needs and medication. I was living with a friend but its time to move out. I am almost 55 years old and have no idea where to start. Please if you can help me, I would really appreciate it. Thank you sir.

    • Nick Bryant Post authorReply

      Hi,have you been in contact with any non-profits that offer support through the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program? HOPWA is a federally funded program specifically designed to provide housing assistance and related supportive services for low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

      One of the facilities that may have connections to HOPWA programs is the Thomas Street Clinic. If you have Gold Card they should have Case Managers who have connections to these HOPWA programs. The AIDS Foundation Houston is another non-profit that receives HOPWA funds. They also have case managers who can connect you to the housing resources they have available. You can find more about their housing support services on their website: AIDS Foundation Houston Supportive Housing Page.

      In addition to AIDs Foundation Houston, there are about 13 other nonprofits in Houston that offer HOPWA funds. Checkout this link to see all the HOPWA related programs available.

      Lastly this guide covers most of the affordable housing programs available in Houston, look through it to see if anything fits your situation. New Hope Housing could be a good option if you are single, because they specialize in low cost single room occupancy apartments in Houston.

      If you have more qu

  4. Reader Reply

    Hello there. I am currently looking for help on how to get into a small one bedroom apartment. I am HIV positive for almost 7 years. I work part-time hours at my job ( of 10 years). I have been under the care of Harris Health Gold card for all my medical needs and medication. I was living with a friend but its time to move out. I am almost 55 years old and have no idea where to start. Please if you can help me, I would really appreciate it. Thank you sir.

    • Nick Bryant Post authorReply

      Hi sir, are you familiar with HOPWA programs?

      If not these are housing dollars that are given to organizations that help individuals w HIV/AIDS. I would say start with these Houston organizations to see if they have funding or apartments available. Organizations like AIDS Foundation Houston and Avenue 360 have helped people in the past, but you’ll need to contact them to see if funding is available.

      Another options is New Hope Housing. They offer SRO apartments all over Houston. You would need to contact the New Hope property you are interested in to see if they have a waitlist.
      Also consider contacting A Place for Mom, they have Patient Navigators who can help you find everything from independently living, veteran apts, to fit your budget. You can reach them at 888.589.2794.

      Lastly, I wrote an article with about 16 ways to find affordable housing in Houston that you may want to check out. It has a number of different options that might fit your needs.

      Let me know if you need more info or have more questions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *