Public Housing/FAQ’s

Q. What is the difference between Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program(formerly Section 8)?
A. Public Housing is when you live in one of our three communities located in downtown Frederick, MD:

  1. Lincoln Apartments on Phebus Ave.quotes1
  2. Carver Apartments on Madison St. and
  3. Lucas Village near the Frederick Fairgrounds.

Since we are your landlord, you pay us rent which is based on the total household income. All three of our public housing communities are located in downtown Frederick. The Housing Choice Voucher Program assists you with the rent at a property you rent from a private landlord and/or local apartment complexes.

Q. Do we have emergency housing?
A. Unfortunately, we do not have emergency housing. Please contact local shelters: Frederick Community Action Agency at (301) 600-1506 and the Alan Patrick Linton, Jr. Emergency Shelter at (301) 631-2670.

Q. Are we accepting applications for Public Housing?
A. No, the Public Housing Waiting List is currently closed.

Q. I am already on the waiting list, how long will it take me to get housing?
A. There is not a simple answer to this questions because an applicant’s waiting period will depend on the following three (3) factors:

  1. How many bedrooms your household requires
  2. What preferences your situation qualifies for and
  3. What units we have that become available.

In general, it can take anywhere between six (6) months to several years to come to the top of the list. Unfortunately, there are many people eligible for public housing and not enough units to assist everyone who qualifies.

Q. How many bedrooms will I get?
A. Bedroom size will depend on how many people are in your household.

Q. What are the preferences?
A. Preferences are what give your priority points on the waiting list. They are as follows:

  1. Head of household and/or co-head:
    •   is employed, working an average of at least thirty (30)
    hours per week for six (6) months prior to being housed.
    •   working an average of 20 hours per week for 6 months
    prior to being housed and actively participating in attending
    college or instructional program of professional career
    development on at least a half-time basis for 2 consecutive
    •  receiving unemployment payments after having been
    employer on a continuous basis for at least 1 year.
  2. Head of household and/or any co-head is age 62 or older, or is receiving any payments based on the individual’s ability to work.
  3. I am homeless (have a primary night time residence that is supervised publicly or privately operated shelter or transitional housing or currently reside in a hotel/motel in Frederick City or County for a minimum of thirty (30) days.)
  4. I am displaced by fire or natural disaster or by government action.
  5. I live and/or work in Frederick City or County
  6. Head of household or spouse is a disabled veteran.
  7. Other veterans or serviceman and their families.

Q. Am I qualified for housing?
A. The application only places you on the waiting list. Once you come up to the top of the list for housing we will send you a letter requesting additional information to determine eligibility.

Q. What happens if I give false information on my application?
A. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) places a high priority on preventing fraud. If your application or re-certification forms contain false or incomplete information, you may be:

  • Evicted from your apartment or house
  • Required to repay all overpaid rental assistance you received
  • Fined up to $10,000
  • Imprisoned for up to five (5) years
  • Prohibited from receiving future assistance
  • Be subject to state and local laws and penalties as well

When you fill out your application, you should know what is expected of you. If you do not understand something, say so. The advisor can answer your question(s) or find out what the answer is.

Q. How much would my rent be?
A. Unfortunately, we cannot give you an exact amount, but about 30% of total household gross income will go towards your rent and utilities.

Q. What if I move while on the waiting list?
A. You would need to fill out a Change Form and submit it to the main office. You can print out a Change Form here, this form must be returned to the main office. Change forms can also be obtained anytime during regular business hours at the front desk at the HACF main office.

Q. What if I want to add or remove someone from my application?
A. You would need to fill out a Change Form. You will need to know social security(s) of the person(s) you want to add or remove. You can print out a Change Form here. You must submit a completed form to the main office to complete the change.

Q. Can you mail me a change form?
A. We do not mail Change Forms. You can print out a Change Form here. Change forms can also be obtained anytime during regular business hours at the front desk at the HACF main office.

Q. What about illegal drug and/or alcohol abuse? 
A. The HACF will evict any resident who engages in illegal drug use or drug-related criminal activity. Residents can also be evicted for alcohol abuse if it adversely affects their neighbors.

Q. What is considered annual income?
A. Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received by the head of household, spouse and 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.

Q. Do I have to verify my family’s income?
A. All income must be verified. Some examples of income include wages, social security, supplemental security income, child support, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), family support, pension, etc. If unreported income is found it could result in the termination of housing assistance.

Q. Do I have to report changes in my family’s income?
A. YES! Your rent is based on your adjusted family income. You are required to let us know when there is a change in:

  • The source of income (such as TANF to employment, part-time to full-time hours, etc.)
  • The amount of income such as salary increase or a raise
  • 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 in income or household compensation within 10 days, you may lose your Public Housing assistance.