The Public Housing program was authorized by the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, also known as the Wagner-Steagall Act. It was the first major federal program aimed at providing low-rent housing to low-income households.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to provide decent shelter for low-income residents at rents they can afford. Estimates show that the average household monthly rent for public housing residents was $193.00 and the total number of households being assisted by the public housing program is roughly 1,170,444 individuals.
Local Public Housing Authorities own and operate low-income public housing developments. HUD furnishes technical and professional assistance in planning, developing and managing these developments.
Public Housing is a valuable source of housing for the most vulnerable elderly and disabled populations in our society. Elderly and disabled households without children account for roughly 43% of all public housing households. This percentage does not include elderly and disabled households who also have dependent children. Statistics show that most households live in public housing less than 10 years and 40% remain 3 years or less. Those who stay longer include low-income elderly and disabled who often have no other source for housing.