Public Housing Eligibility

If you are in need of affordable housing, you may be eligible to apply for a Woonsocket Housing Authority Public Housing program. Below is a summary of the criteria used to determined eligibility for a WHA Public Housing unit.

Public Housing Eligibility:

To be eligible for our Public Housing program, your family must meet the following requirements:

  1. You qualify as a family, as defined by the WHA. A family is defined as a single person or group of persons related by blood, marriage, adoption, affinity, or operation of law that live together in a family relationship.
    To qualify for a high-rise building, you must also meet the definition of an elderly, near elderly or disabled family:
    Elderly family: The head, spouse, or sole member is at least 62 years old.
    Near-elderly family: The head, spouse or sole member is between the ages of 50 and 61.
    Disabled family: The head, spouse, or sole member is a person with disabilities. Two or more persons with disabilities living together or one person with disabilities with a live-in aide also qualifies as a disabled family.
  2. Your family’s annual income does not exceed 80 percent of the area’s median income.
  3. Eligible families must have citizenship, national or eligible immigrant status. (Families with some members who do not meet this qualification may be eligible for prorated assistance.)
  4. You must provide documentation of Social Security numbers for every family member 6 years of age and older.
    Each adult family member must sign consent forms authorizing the WHA to obtain certain information.

In addition to the above eligibility criteria, the WHA screens all public housing applicants to determine their suitability as a tenant. The screening includes criminal records, rental history, and credit checks.

Admission Preferences:

A public housing authority can establish local preferences to determine the ranking of eligible applicants on the waiting list and the order in which vouchers are awarded. Based on our community’s needs, the WHA has set the following admissions preferences for both its public housing and housing choice voucher programs:

  • Self-Sufficiency (1 point)— employed or enrolled in an educational/training program
  • Military Service (1 point) — active duty, honorably discharged, or surviving spouses
  • Displacement (1 point) — due to medical issues, disaster, government action, domestic violence, homelessness, witness protection, or certain owner actions
  • Residency in the City of Woonsocket (1 point)
  • Applicants paying more that 50% of income for rent (1 point)

The WHA has two additional preferences for its public housing program:

  • Law Enforcement (1 point, family housing only) – full-time police officers
  • Disabled Veterans (4 points, high-rise buildings only) – individuals who were disabled while serving in the service of the United States during any conflict or war