Housing Resources for Advocates
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
- HUD is responsible for the implementation and administration of federal housing and development programs.
- HUD is organized into 10 regions throughout the United States. Texas is in Region VI, with its regional office located in Ft. Worth. This office oversees the four HUD field offices throughout Texas.
- Contact and jurisdiction information for the Region VI Office in Ft. Worth and the field offices in Dallas, Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio, can be found at: http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=tx&topic=offices
- HUD sets the parameters for the administration of Public Housing and Section 8 and provides suggestions regarding implementation of policies to local Public Housing Authorities (PHA’s), which administer housing at the community level.
Public Housing Authorities (PHA’s):
- There are 214 PHA’s in Texas. Some locations have little to no wait for housing, while others may have waiting lists ranging anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
- For a list of Public Housing Authorities in Texas, go to: http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/states/tx.cfm
- To review the income limits for HUD programs, go to: http://www.huduser.org/DATASETS/il.html
- The Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook includes information and recommendations for PHA staff on several topics, including domestic violence (Chapter 19). Advocates can find the Guidebook a great resource and starting point for dialogue with local PHA’s. The Guidebook is available at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/rhiip/phguidebook.cfm
- Applicants denied assistance through Section 8 or Public Housing can request a hearing before the deadline listed on the denial letter.
- Persons have the right to representation at hearings regarding denial of assistance.
- Applicants cannot be denied housing assistance or be evicted from housing because of their status as a family violence victim unless there is an actual or imminent threat to other tenants or employees.
- Residents served eviction notices have the right to an informal and formal hearing through filing a request in writing within the relevant deadlines. This postpones the PHA from filing the eviction suit.
- Mixed families, in which there are members of varying immigration status, are eligible for assistance at a prorated rent, calculated by the number of family members eligible for assistance. Survivors and their children with notices of prima facie or approved VAWA self petitions are eligible for federal housing subsidies.
- The Resident Opportunities and Self- Sufficiency (ROSS) grant program provides funds for job training and supportive services to help residents of public housing transition from welfare to work. ROSS also provides funding to link elderly /disabled residents to critical services that can help them continue to live independently. For more information, visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/ross/about.cfm
- Public Housing Neighborhood Networks (NN) Program provides grants to Public Housing Authorities to establish, expand and/or update community technology centers. NN centers provide access to computers, computer training, and the internet. NN centers can also provide a wide range of services to help residents achieve long-term economic self-sufficiency. For more information, visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/ross/aboutnn.cfm
- Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a HUD program that encourages communities to develop local strategies to help families with Section 8 vouchers obtain employment that will lead to economic independence. Services provided through the FSS program include childcare, transportation, education, job training, employment counseling, household skill training, and homeownership counseling. PHA’s establish an escrow account for each participating family in the Family Self-Sufficiency program. FSS is available to both Public housing and Section 8 residents. For more information, visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/fss.cfm
- The Section 8 Homeownership Program allows participants to use their Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher to make mortgage payments. Individuals may contact their local housing authorities to find out if they offer this homeownership program. For more information, visit http://www.hud.gov/local/shared/homeownership/vihsgvouchers.cfm?state=tx
- Individual Savings Accounts (ISA’s) are an alternative to the earned income disallowance that PHAs may implement. The PHA deposits the difference between the family’s original rent and what the rent would be if the new earned income were included into an interest bearing account free of charge. Money saved in ISAs may only be withdrawn for home ownership, education, relocation out of assisted housing, or other activities to promote self-sufficiency that the PHA authorizes.
Capitol and Operating Funding
Housing Resources for Agencies and Programs
- The Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP) offers assistance with funds for building or renovating affordable housing. For more information about this program, visithttp://www.fhlb.com/community/ahp/
- The Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is a tax credit that provides a dollar for dollar match to subsidize the costs of qualifying affordable housing initiatives. To access a FAQ about the availability of these resources in Texas, which are allocated through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), visithttp://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/multifamily/htc/faqs.htm
- The Rural Housing Services Community Facilities Program is a program under the US Department of Agriculture(USDA) which offers grants and loans to assist rural communities (with populations under 20,000) in developing community service facilities. For more information about this program, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/cf/cp.htm
- The Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program is another USDA program that offersloans to individuals or agencies to provide or obtain housing for low to moderate-income families. For more information about this program, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/mfh/brief_mfh_rrh.htm
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are available to develop transitional housing facilities. If your county has a population greater than 200,000, these funds are offered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If your county is smaller than 200,000 this funding is offered through the Texas Department of Rural Affairs (TDRA).
To access HUD information on CDBG’s: http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/entitlement/
To access TDRA information on CDBG’s: http://www.tdra.state.tx.us/TxDRA/programs/TxCDBGhomepage/txcdbg.aspx/
- The Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) can assist with both developing transitional housing as well as necessary operating funds. To access more information about this program in Texas: http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/home-division/sf-home/index.htm
- HUD McKinney-Vento Supportive Housing Program can be used to for capital and operating needs. They may also be used to offer supportive services within the context of transitional housing.
Funds for Operations and Services
- The Emergency Shelter Grant Program (ESGP) provides funding for services that address homelessness. This program is operated through the TDHCA. For more information about this program visit http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/cs.htm
- The Office on Violence Against Women offers a Transitional Housing Assistance Grants Program that provides funds for housing assistance or supportive services offered by transitional housing programs. For more information about this program visit http://www.usdoj.gov/ovw/thousing_grant_desc.htm
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers assistive grants to aid in the delivery of services. The program is operated under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program. For more information about this program visit http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/efs.shtm
- The Texas Health and Human Services Commission Family Violence Program may be able to offer funding to non-residential programs that support transitional housing. For more information about this program visit http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/programs/familyviolence/index.html