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Public Housing FAQs
What is Public Housing?
Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types from scattered single-family houses to high-rise apartments for elderly families. There are approximately 750 public housing units in Fort Wayne managed by FWHA. In the public housing program, FWHA is the landlord. These units are owned and operated by the Fort Wayne Housing Authority (FWHA). Rent in these units is set for each family based on their anticipated annual adjusted income. Our units are located city wide. We have units on every side of town.
How long can I stay in public housing?
At this point, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the lease.
What is someone in my family does not have a photo ID?
Government issued photo IDs must be submitted by everyone in your household 18 and older.
What if someone in my family does not have a social security number/card?
All members of your family are required to have a Social Security card, if they have a social security number. If you cannot find your card or you’ve never had a social security number, a receipt showing that you have purchased a replacement social security number, a signed certification must be completed to verify that they have no number.
What if someone in my family does not have a birth certificate?
Birth certificates must also be submitted by everyone in your family. Purchased receipts will be accepted to show that you have purchased a replacement certificate if you cannot find/do not have one.
How do I apply?
If you are interested in applying for public housing, please download an application from our website (www.fwha.org) or come to our office at 7315 Hanna Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46816.
When a family selects a housing unit, and the FWHA approves the unit and lease, the family signs a lease with the landlord for at least one year. The tenant may be required to pay a security deposit to the landlord. After the first year the landlord may initiate a new lease or allow the family to remain in the unit on a month-to month lease.
When the family is settled in a new home, the family is expected to comply with the lease and the program requirements, pay its share of rent on time, maintain the unit in good condition.
Who is Eligible?
Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. FWHA determines your eligibility based on: 1) annual gross income; 2) whether you qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family; and 3) U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status.
If you are eligible, the FWHA will check your background through a series of standard screening tests designed to protect the safety of our current residents and property. At minimum, we screen 1) criminal history in the past five years: 2) credit as it relates to your rental history, including evictions; and 3) references from past landlords. Based on this screening, FWHA will deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other residents or on the public housing environment.
The following income limits are in effect for the Fort Wayne area. These limits are based on the number of family members who will be residing with you in public housing.
To qualify for the public housing program, your gross annual income cannot be higher than the amounts listed below.
Family Members Maximum Income
Where is the Applications Office Located?
Fort Wayne Housing Authority’s Office building at
7315 Hanna Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46816
How do I apply?
If you are interested in applying for public housing, you must fill out a pre-application.. With this, we will require a copy of a government (city, state, or federal) issued picture ID and social security card for every person on your application who is 18 years of age or older. This pre-application will place you on our waiting list. To contact this department, you may call the Public Housing Application Office during normal business hours. Office hours are 8 am – 5 pm EST, M-F. Phone: 260-267-9300 x 7311, Fax: 260-449-7229. We can be reached by mail or in person at the following address: Fort Wayne Housing Authority Public Housing Applications Department, 7315 Hanna Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46816.
Once I apply, what is the applications process?
The applications process follows the steps below (Note: this is only intended as a summary of the process and may not be all-inclusive):
1) Pre-application – the family fills out a pre-application in order to be placed on the waiting list.
2) Waiting List – the family is placed on the waiting list according to application date, local preference, bedroom size, and accessibility needs.
3) Selection – the rate of selection is based on vacancy rate. During times of high vacancies, families will be selected from the waiting list faster than during times of low vacancy rates. Families at the top to the waiting list will be selected in blocks to fill current vacancy needs. Once a family has been selected, they will be notified by mail. They will also be advised in their selection letter of the next steps they need to take in order to continue the application process. If a family fails to respond to the selection, their file will be closed.
4) Standard Screening – This process involves an in-depth examination of the family’s history in order to determine their suitability for housing within FWHA. FWHA will conduct local and/or national police check on household members to the extent allowed by Indiana State law for record within the past five (5) years. Additional screening on credit as it relates to rental history (including evictions). Based on this screening, FWHA will deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other residents or on the public housing environment. Theses standard screening procedures are intended to protect the safety of our current residents and property.
5) Interview and Placement – Once an applicant passes the preliminary screening, they will receive an offer letter to appropriate apartment community. Once a selection is made, the file will be sent to the community they have accepted. At this point the community manager will schedule a time and date for interview for every family who passes standard screening, or who has been reinstated by the hearing officer.
What if I need to make changes to my application information?
All changes to application information must be made in writing. If you have changed your mailing address, family members, income etc., you may fill out a change form at our office or send a letter by mail requesting the change (please include your social security number so we can easily identify your records). If we require additional documentation of this change, we will advise you of what is required.
When will I be notified?
All official notification will be made by mail. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, FWHA will mail a selection letter to you. This will advise you of the next step in the application process. If, at any time, it is determined that you are ineligible, FWHA will mail a denial letter to you, telling you why you have been denied and advising you of how you may request an informal hearing.
How long is the waiting list?
The length of the waiting list varies depending on the number of vacancies we have each month and how many people are applying for housing. The waiting list also varies depending on which bedroom size you qualify for.
Are the any local preferences?
There are several local preferences that can affect your placement on the waiting list.
1) Working Families – Two families from this category will be selected for every one family selected from the Non-Working families’ category. Families whose head of household or spouse are employed at a bona fide job working at least 30 hours per week continuously for at least 6 months will qualify for this preference. Families whose head or spouse is at least 62 years old or who are documented to have a disability will also qualify for this preference. This preference will also be given to families whose head or spouse can verify, at time of application, participation in a job-training program or graduation form such a program that will lead to employment within 6 months of graduation; and who can verify participation in this program whiles on the waiting list.
2) Victims of Domestic Violence – Applicants who can verify that they are victims of domestic violence will receive a preference on the waiting list. Status can be verified by police report, restraining order or referral from a victim’s service shelter (such as Hubbard House etc.). Confidentiality of applicant status shall be maintained by the Agency in accordance with the provisions of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
3) Government Displacement – Applicants who can document that they have been displaced through government action will receive a preference on the waiting list. Documentation must be provided from the government agency causing the displacement.
4) Veteran’s – Any veteran who has served active duty in any branch of the United States military service. If the veteran is deceased before admittance to the program, the spouse of the veteran shall maintain their place and preference on the waiting list.
5) Others are detailed on our website.
What if I need emergency housing?
The Fort Wayne Housing Authority cannot provide emergency housing. If you are in the Fort Wayne area and are in need of emergency housing, you may want to contact the following agencies who are not affiliated with FWHA. FWHA maintains a current listing of emergency shelters and housing programs available by mail or from our website.
How is rent determined?
Your rent, which is referred to as the Total Tennant Payment (TTP) in this program, would be based on your family’s anticipated gross annual income less deductions, if any. FWHA will exclude from annual income certain allowances such as dependents; for any family whose head or spouse is elderly 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, FWHA will determine if any other 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, and divided by 12 months); 10% percent of gross monthly income; or $50 minimum rent.