How Do I Apply for Public Housing?

SHA manages and owns public housing properties, LIHTC properties and other housing programs.  Public Housing is a federally-funded program that subsidizes decent, safe, and sanitary housing for low-income persons. Applicants must meet all U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income and eligibility requirements.

Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. SHA 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 SHA will check your references to make sure you and your family will be good tenants. SHA will deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other tenants or on the project's environment.

SHA uses income limits developed by HUD. HUD sets the lower income limits at 80% and very low income limits at 50% of the median income for the Syracuse Metropolitan area.  See below.   Income limits vary from area to area so you may be eligible at one HA but not at another.

Applications to the Public Housing Wait List and other programs are accepted ONLINE

APPLY FOR Public Housing HERE

If you have difficulty using the online system paper applications are available on this website under forms.  You may email or mail in the completed application.

Reasonable Accommodations / Language Interpretation:   Any applicant may at any time during the application process, request a reasonable accommodation.  A Reasonable Accommodation ensures that persons with disabilities have full access to all SHA programs and services. Accommodations for disabled or non-English speaking residents will be made available upon advance request by calling (315) 470-4375 or by emailing

What do I need to apply?  For each household member you will have to enter the following information:

·         Names
·         Birth dates
·         Social Security Numbers
·         Income amounts and sources and Assets
·         Emergency/Alternative contact information (optional)

Changes to Application

You may also email with your information change.  Applicants must notify SHA of any changes in address, phone number, family size, income, or preference circumstances. Any changes must be reported to this office in writing or your application may be withdrawn.  If you need to change information on your application please submit an application change form.

Removal from Waitlist

Applicant must respond to mailings from SHA by the deadline date or your name will be withdrawn from the Wait List. If mail is returned with no forwarding address your application will be removed.


You will be contacted by mail to schedule an update appointment as your name nears the top of the Wait List.
Your household will then be screened on numerous criteria including, but not limited to, landlord references, housekeeping abilities, income eligibility, and criminal history


SHA has established certain preference categories and all families meeting one or more of those preferences will be assisted before those applicants who do not meet these preferences. To be considered for a preference, you must provide supporting documentation with your application. SHA has preferences for

a. Victims of Domestic Violence (certification, order of protection)
b. Displacement due to lead-based paint risk,
c. Displacement due to fire or other natural disaster through no fault of family (fire report)
d. Displacement by the government due to your residence being condemned or other reason.

Income Limits: HUD requires all public housing participants to meet income requirements when they begin participation in the program. Income limits are current and subject to change by HUD.  The table below indicates the maximum income limits by household size:


1 PERSON:  $33,200
2 PERSON:  $37,950
3 PERSON:  $42,700
4 PERSON:  $47,400
5 PERSON:  $51,200
6 PERSON:  $55,000
7 PERSON:  $58,800
8 PERSON:  $62,600

How to find out your status on the wait list?:   Applicants may verify their status on the wait list by logging in with their user ID and password at You must remember your unique code and your password.  You may also call 315-475-6181 ext # 3

VAWA: If you otherwise qualify for the rental housing or program, you cannot be denied admission or denied assistance because you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Criminal History: Having a criminal history or a pending arrest is NOT an automatic bar to admission and any criminal history will be given an individualized assessment. You may still be approved for tenancy with a criminal history unless you have a conviction for methamphetamine production or you are a lifetime registrant on a state or federal Sex Offender database. If you have a criminal conviction that involved physical violence to persons or property, or affected the health, safety and welfare of others you will be asked to provide additional information and will be provided an opportunity to contest the background check or record used by SHA and provide evidence of rehabilitation. In the event of a denial due to criminal history you will be given 14 business days to appeal.