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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few Questions and Answers that you may have about Public Housing and Income


Public Housing FAQ's

How do you apply for housing?

You cannot sign a legal contract in the state of Alabama unless you are at least 19 years of age.


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. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to local housing agencies that 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 Housing Authority determines your eligibility based on:

  • Annual gross income
  • Whether you qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family
  • U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status
  • Criminal History
  • Rental History Based on our screening process, Calera/Montevallo Housing Authority (CHA/MHA) will deny admission

How do I apply?

If you are interested in applying for public housing, contact the Calera/Montevallo Housing Authority at the address or telephone number indicated on the Home page of this website.


What is the application process?

The application process is listed below (Note: this is only intended as a summary of the process and may not be all-inclusive and is subject to change as we continue to improve our efficiency):

  1. Application - An application is completed and submitted by the applicant in order to be placed on the waiting list. You should check with a Calera/Montevallo Housing Authority office staff member to confirm if we are currently accepting applications as the status of the waiting list changes frequently.

  2. Waiting List - The family is placed on the waiting list in the order in which their application was received, preference or priority (if applicable in current policy). The application will remain in the "pending" or "received" status until approved or denied.

  3. Interview and verification process - The interview may be conducted at the time the application is submitted or as applicants approach the top of the waiting list. Interested parties should check with the Housing Authority to confirm if interviews are currently being conducted at the time of submitting an application or if an appointment is to be scheduled. Applicants will be informed of what documentation (if any) they need to provide to complete their application process. A deadline will be provided for the requested documents. Applicants who fail to attend their scheduled interview, neglect to respond to the letter (of scheduled appointment) or fail to provide the requested documents by the deadline will have their application withdrawn, subject to reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Upon completion of the interview, the verification process will begin. Calera/Montevallo Housing Authority (CHA/MHA) will verify all applicable information according to policy. Once all paperwork has been returned and verified, and if the applicant is found eligible, the status will be updated from pending too eligible. Applicants will then be offered housing as it becomes available.

How long will it take me to obtain housing?

The time frame varies depending on the number of vacancies are available at that time and how many people are applying for housing. The waiting list also varies depending on which bedroom size for which you are qualified. However, you are valued as an applicant and we will work diligently to provide you with housing as soon as we are able.


What if I owe money to a former landlord or Have a criminial history can I still be housed?

Every applicant is subject to our screening process that includes, but is not limited to, a criminal background check and former tenancy histories. Applicants that owe a housing authority or any other federally subsidized program funds will not be processed for occupancy. The applicant must pay the funds owed prior to the application being processed. After the application is processed, the applicant must meet all other conditions for occupancy. Re-paying funds that are due do not necessarily qualify an applicant for occupancy or program participation.


What if I need emergency housing?

The Calera/Montevallo Housing Authority cannot provide emergency housing.


Income FAQ's

What is considered income?

Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received by the head of household and spouse and also by each additional family member who is over 18 years of age and not a full-time student. This includes all income derived from assets for the 12-month period following the effective date of verification of income.


Do I have to verify my family's income

All income must be verified! Some examples of income include wages, social security, supplemental security income, child support, TANF, family support, pensions, etc. If unreported income is found, it could result in the termination of housing assistance.

  1. $480 for each member of the family residing in the household who is under 18 years of age, or who is older than 18 and handicapped/ disabled or a full- time student (other than the head of household or spouse).

  2. $400 for any elderly couple.

  3. Medical expenses in excess of 3% of annual income of any elderly family.

  4. Reasonable child care expenses necessary to enable another member of the family to be employed or to further his/ her education.

What is total tenant payment?

Total tenant payment is the highest of the following rounded to the nearest dollar.

  1. 30% of monthly adjusted income, or;
  2. 10% of gross monthly income, or;
  3. A minimum rent established by the Housing Authority in accordance with HUD regulations, or;
  4. A flat rent established by the Housing Authority in accordance with HUD regulations.

What is adjusted income?

Adjusted income is annual income less deductions according to HUD regulations.


Do I have to report changes in my family’s income?

Yes! Your rent is based on your adjusted family income. You are required to let us know when there is a change in:

  1. The source of income (such as TANF to employment, part- time hours to full- time hours etc.).
  2. The amount of income such as a salary increase or a raise.
  3. The number of people in your family.

Depending on the change, the amount of rent you are required to pay can increase or decrease. If you do not report any changes within 10 days, you may lose your housing assistance.