How is Public Housing Operated?

Public housing is run by local organizations called “public housing authorities.” The housing authority isn’t actually a part of the city or county government. Each public housing authority has its own executive director
and its own board of commissioners.

The board of commissioners is appointed by the mayor of the city or by the county judge. One of the commissioners must be someone who lives in the public housing apartments as a tenant. This person is called the “resident commissioner”.

The board of commissioners meets regularly. Their meeting are, by law, open to the public.

The board of commissioners hires the housing authority’s executive director. The executive director hires the rest of the housing authority staff, including all the property managers.

The housing authority gets money from the rents it collects from the tenants and from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) . In Kentucky the rents tenants pay account for about 36% of what is costs to operate the apartments.

HUD pays the housing authority for the rest of the cost of operating public
housing and gives the housing authority grants to rehabilitate older public
housing apartments.

HUD gives all housing authorities some general rules they must follow as they manage the apartments and decide who they will rent to. HUD leaves all the other decisions about how to run public housing to the local housing authority board of commissioners. The board of commissioners must adopt a plan every year that says exactly how they will run public housing, including all the rules and preferences they will use in deciding who they will allow to rent an apartment. This document is called the “One Year Public Housing Authority Plan.” If you want to know how your public housing authority operates you should read this plan. You have the right to get a copy of this document from your public housing authority. You may read it in their office for free. If you want a copy from them, you may have to pay copy costs.

HUD must approve the housing authority’s Plan and HUD also audits and issues a report card on each public housing authority. The report card is called the Public
Housing Management Assessment Program (PHMAP) . Housing authorities are graded by HUD on a scale of 1 to 100.