WHAT IS PUBLIC HOUSING?
Public housing is an affordable rental-housing program for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from two-bedroom to five-bedroom single-family houses and one-bedroom units for the elderly. GHURA has 751 public housing units located throughout Guam. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to GHURA to manage the housing for low-income residents at rents they can afford.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. The lower income limits are at 80% and very low-income limits are at 50% of the median income for Guam. GHURA’s Housing Services Division can tell you the income levels for Guam by family size, or you can also find the income limits here on the Internet. [Link to Public Housing Income Limits] GHURA determines your eligibility based on: Annual gross income; Whether you qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family; and U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status.
HOW DO I APPLY?
If you are interested in applying for Public Housing, please visit any one of our GHURA site offices:
Sinajana Main Office – 117 Bien Venida Avenue, Sinajana
Site Base AMP#1 – 23 Paquito St, Toto Gardens
Site Base AMP#2 – Hse#10 JC Rojas Circle, Yona
Site Base AMP#3 – Agat Site Base Pagachao Drive
Site Base AMP#4 – 27 Doni Lane, Toto Gardens
HOW DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS WORK?
You will fill it out an applicant for public housing. GHURA needs to collect the following information to determine eligibility:
Names of all persons who would be living in the unit, their sex, date of birth, and relationship to the family head;
Your present address and telephone number;
Family characteristics (e.g., veteran) or circumstances that might qualify the family for tenant selection preferences;
Names and addresses of your current and previous landlords for information about your family's suitability as a tenant;
An estimate of your family's anticipated income for the next twelve months and the sources of that income; and
The names and addresses of employers, banks, and any other information GHURA would need to verify your income and deductions, and to verify the family composition. A representative from GHURA’s Housing Services Division will describe the public housing program and its requirements, and answer any questions you might have.
WILL I NEED TO PRODUCE ANY DOCUMENTATION?
Yes, a GHURA representative will request whatever documentation is needed (e.g., birth certificates, tax returns) to verify the information given on your application. GHURA will also rely on direct verification from your employer, etc. You will be asked to sign a form to authorize release of pertinent information to the GHURA.
WHEN WILL I BE NOTIFIED?
GHURA will provide written notification. If GHURA determines that you are eligible, your name will be put on a waiting list, unless GHURA is able to assist you immediately. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, GHURA will contact you. If it is determined that you are ineligible, GHURA will explain why and, if you wish, you can request an informal hearing.
WILL I HAVE TO SIGN A LEASE?
If you are offered a house or apartment and accept it, you will have to sign a lease with GHURA. You will have to give GHURA a security deposit.
ARE THERE ANY SELECTION PREFERENCES?
Include a description of the selection preference here.
HOW IS RENT DETERMINED?
Your rent, which is referred to as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP), would be based on your family's anticipated gross annual income less deductions, if any. HUD regulations allow GHURA to exclude from annual income the following allowances:
$480 for each dependent;
$400 for any elderly family, or a person with a disability; and
Some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly person or a person with disabilities.
Based on your application, a GHURA representative will determine if any of the allowable deductions should be subtracted from your annual income. Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received from the family head and spouse, and each additional member of the family 18 years of age or older. The formula used in determining the TTP is the highest of the following, rounded to the nearest dollar:
30 percent of the monthly-adjusted income. (Monthly Adjusted Income is annual income less deductions allowed by the regulations);
Welfare rent, if applicable; or
A $25 minimum rent.
HOW LONG CAN I STAY IN PUBLIC HOUSING?
In general, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the lease and as long as your family’s income is within the public housing income limits.
The Public Housing program regulations are at 24 CFR Part 960. Additional information about the Public Housing program can be found by visiting the Public Housing program web pages at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development web site.
How can I apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
You may apply online when GHURA opensthe waiting list for the Section 8 HCV Program. GHURA will announce the opening of the wait list in advance through various widely-publicized source which may include the newspaper, television, public announcements, fliers and through their website.
How long can I receive Section 8 housing assistance?
Upon admission only, you must meet the specified income limit for the Section 8 HCV Program for your household size. Income increases thereafter will not disqualify your family from continuing under the program, but the level of assistance will decrease.
What is an income limit?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sets income limits for different housing assistance programs. The income limits are used to determine a family’s eligibility. For the Section 8 HCV Program the income limit is set at 50 percent of the area’s median income, which is considered very-low income.
Does my family’s income have to remain the same to continue receiving Section 8 assistance?
No, the family only have to meet the income limit during initial admission into the Section 8 HCV Program. Income increases after admission will not disqualify your family from continuing under the program, but your family’s level of assistance will decrease.
Is the attendance of the Section 8 briefings mandatory?
Yes. GHURA requires adult members of the family to attend a mass-screening orientation and a voucher briefing. The mass screening orientation covers information about the program and documents required for GHURA to successfully process your family’s assistance. The voucher briefing is to issue your family a voucher so you may begin your search for a suitable home.
What is a voucher?
A voucher under the Section 8 HCV Program is a document which authorizes the family to search for a suitable unit to rent. The voucher document specifies the unit size the family is eligible for, when the voucher was issued and the expiration date. The voucher document also outlines the family’s obligation while under the Section 8 program.
Why is there a Section 8 wait list?
GHURA and many other Housing Authorities nation-wide establish wait lists because the demand for housing exceeds the Authority’s authorized budget. GHURA will issue a voucher to a family whose name reaches the top of the wait list when a voucher becomes available.
What reasons may prevent my family from receiving housing assistance?
A family may be denied housing assistance for reasons to include: household income exceeds the income limit for the household size; having a criminal record relating to drugs, alcohol, or violent criminal activity; the family being previously evicted from a federal or state-funded housing program; or you are unable to provide proof of eligible immigration status. A family may also be denied for failing to provide other documentation necessary to determine eligibility for participation.
Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen to apply for Section 8 housing assistance?
No, you do not have to be a U.S. citizen, but you must have eligible immigration status.
How does GHURA determine my family’s unit size?
GHURA determines the household size by assigning one bedroom per every two persons within the household. GHURA also consider the family composition including persons of the opposite sex and the ages of each family member when assigning a bedroom; medical needs and the need for a live-aide for a person with a disability.
What documents am I required to bring for my first one-to-one appointment?
The Housing Specialist assigned to the family will advise the family of what documents to bring to the appointment. However, documents required will include proof income, birth certificates and social security cards for all household members; a valid photo identification cards for all adult household members, proof of disability and medical and/or disability expenses.
My unit failed the Housing Quality Standards inspection. What do I do?
When a unit fails the initial inspection and depending on who is responsible for the deficiency, GHURA will schedule a re-inspection. If the unit fails the re-inspection and the deficiency is the responsibility of the landlord, GHURA will move the family. However, if the failed deficiency is the result of the tenant’s action, the assistance will be terminated.
If I am unable to provide the required documents, will this disqualify me from receiving housing assistance?
Yes. The required documents are needed to determine the family’s eligibility and the level of assistance the family will receive. Failing to provide the necessary documents will result in denial of assistance.
I’m I permitted to have guest in my Section 8 unit?
Yes, GHURA permits a family to have guests not to exceed 30 days. However, it may be less if the lease agreement with the owner approves less than 30 days. The family is responsible for informing the owner and GHURA in writing if they plan to have guest.
How can I appeal my termination?
If a family is served a proposed termination of their housing assistance, they have ten days to submit a letter to appeal the termination. With the exception of an HQS violation, a family may appeal their termination and requesting for an informal hearing.
How can I appeal my denial of assistance?
An applicant may request for an informal review of their denial of assistance. The family may provide proof that may controvert the denial.
How may I file a discrimination complaint against a landlord or GHURA?
A participant who is refused housing and believes to be discriminated on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, or disability may file a complaint against a landlord or GHURA by notifying GHURA’s Fair Housing Coordinator. The Fair Housing Coordinator will assist the participant with the complaint and if necessary, to submit the complaint to the HUD office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) for investigation.
Can a landlord refuse to rent his or her unit to a Section 8 HCV participant?
Yes, a landlord may refuse to rent to a client who is under the Section 8 Program for the simple reason of not having the desire to do business with Section 8. However, the landlord must not refuse to rent to a participant for the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, or disability.
Why am I not permitted to bring my minor child/children to the one-to-one appointment or to the briefings?
The family must not bring minor children requiring supervision to the one-to-one appointment and to the briefingsbecause program requirements will be explained and vital information will be disseminated during the appointment/briefing and the full attention of each family member will be required. The family will be advised in writing to make prior arrangement for a baby sitter. If a family brings children to the appointment, the appointment will be rescheduled for a later date.
I was evicted from another housing assistance program, does this disqualify me from participating under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
Yes, a family who has been previously evicted from a federal or state-funded housing program in the past three years will be denied housing assistance.