Public Housing Developments

Public Housing Developments

  • Year Started 1937
  • Administratering Agency Local housing authority
  • Total Units Count 1.2 million
  • Total Assisted Units Count 1.2 million
  • # Persons / Houshold Served Low-income families and individuals
  • Funding Agency U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Population Targeted Low-income families and individuals
  • Client Group Type Low-income families and individuals
  • Housing Type Name Public housing
  • Last Updated April 25, 2023

If the resource information above is incorrect, please notify your local HUD field office.

The public Housing Development Program is on its mission to develop housing for low-income families who are unable to afford the housing in the private market. To make this happen, it provides federal grants to local public housing authorities.

Purpose of Public Housing Development Program

The purpose of Public Housing Development is to assist the local PHAs and develop public housing for providing decent and safe housing to families with low incomes. There are three ways in which the housing is developed which are mentioned below:

  • The PHA hires a contractor to construct the housing units but the housing units have to be in accordance with the HUD-approved program owned by PHA. 
  • The PHA selects the developer who in turn looks after the development of the project and later on is sold to the PHA once it gets complete. 
  • All the existing units are brought by the PHAs. 

The mixed-income developments under section 14 of the housing act of 1937 can also seek assistance from PHAs.

Kind of Assistance

The Department of Housing and Urban Development provides funding for 100 percent of the development costs. It also provides technical assistance in planning, developing, and managing public housing.

HUD also makes annual contributions to PHAs for the debt service but only for the commitments approved on or before 30 September 1986. The projects who got approved post-September 1986, receive grants for direct funding of capital costs.

Eligible Grantees

The PHAs recognized under the state law are eligible for developing and operating public housing under federal assistance. But the condition is that the proposed program should have the prior approval of the local governing body.

Back in time, the Indian Housing authorities were eligible for this program until the fiscal year 1998. But the Indian component got removed at the beginning of the fiscal year 1998.

Eligible Customers

The customers who are eligible for the Public housing development program include Low-income families comprising of citizens or eligible immigrants. Be it the families with children or without children, seniors, disabled people, and displaced are eligible for receiving housing assistance under the Public housing development program.

Eligible Activities

There are multiple ways to develop public housing. What PHA prefers is inviting the private developers to submit proposals for the construction and selecting the best proposal out of those. When the project gets complete, it agrees to purchase the same. This was the Turnkey method.

As far as the conventional bid construction method is concerned, the PHA acts as its own developer and gets the bids for construction purposes. Besides this, the PHA can also acquire existing housing from the private market with or without rehabilitation.


There are notices published in the Federal Register concerning the availability of funds. The public housing agencies can apply for the funds by responding to these notices.

Funding Status

The new funds for the Public Housing development have not been provided by the HUD. But PHAs can use modernization and funding flexibility for development.

Frequently Asked Questions

Statutory and Regulatory Authority

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Section 202, Housing Act of 1959

  • 12 U.S.C.A. § 1701q

Section 811, National Affordable Housing Act of 1990

  • 42 U.S.C.A § 8013

Select HUD Regulations

  • 24 C.F.R. Part 247 (evictions)
  • 24 C.F.R. Part 891 (supportive housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities)

For more information, search to contact your local HUD .