Public Housing Resident FAQ’s

How to contact HACCC staff:

Each site office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM except during holidays and
scheduled HACCC closures. The site office is the managing office for either a single large site, or a cluster of
smaller sites that are referred to as Asset Management Projects (AMPs.) Upon first moving into Public Housing,
this will be the site where you will sign your initial lease agreement and where you may report issues or
concerns related to your residence or community, submit maintenance work orders, report changes to your
household and income, and meet with staff for required appointments. If you transfer from your original site,
you will be required to sign a new lease at your new site office.

When is my rent due?

Rent is due no later than the 5th of each month and is payable at a resident’s site office location. A payment
may be made in person to the office staff or submitted in the 24-hour dropbox. Rent payments not submitted by
4:30 PM on the 5th are subject to a late fee. Currently, the preferred methods of payment are personal checks,
money orders, or cashier’s checks.

How is my rent determined?

Program eligibility is evaluated on an annual basis as a minimum through a process known as ‘annual
recertification.’ During this evaluation period, a household is interviewed to determine if there have been
changes in income or household composition. A projection of annual income is then calculated based upon the
information provided by the household, additionally accounting for HUD-required deductions and allowances.
Based upon that calculation, families are provided with two options of rent calculation methodology:

1. Income-based rent: This applies to 99% of assisted families. A family will pay 30% of their adjusted,
monthly income as rent.
2. Flat Rent: Public Housing does not current have an income limit established for participants of the
Public Housing program. Flat Rent is based on 80% of the Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for the Housing
Authority of the County of Contra Costa that are calculated by HUD on annual basis based on the
number of bedrooms in the unit.

A Rent Election Notice is provided to each family after their recertification is completed. This form will show
the family’s projected rent from both methodologies and the family is asked to choose which method and rent
they prefer from the two choices.

What if my household experiences a change in income or size, can my rent change?

Yes. The Housing Authority requires that households must report in writing all changes to a household’s
income and composition within 30 days of the change. The Housing Authority will conduct what it calls an
‘interim recertification.’ This interim recertification is designed to address specific changes that a household
may experience prior to their annual recertification. If your household composition has changed where a new
person or persons are added to the household, your household income will be re-assessed for any changes which
may affect the rent payment amount.

Can I add an adult to the household?

Adults will not be added to your lease unless it is a minor who becomes an adult while living in the household, for
reunification purposes, a long-term relationship or marriage.

If I report an increase in my household income, when will my rent increase?

Should your rent increase as a result of a reported increase in income, you will be a given a minimum of 30
days prior to the change taking effect. Changes of income will always take effect at the beginning of a month.
For example, if the household reports on January 15th that the household’s income has increased, the earliest
effective date of the increased rent would be March 1st. Please note that failure to report changes of income
within 30 days may result in consequences including, but not limited to, retroactively charged rent or eviction.
Retroactive rent charges are not subject to the 30-day advance notice requirement. The Site Office will evaluate
the increase in your household’s income and determine whether or not a rent increase should be processed.

Am I allowed to have guests visit me at my Public Housing unit?

You are permitted to have guests visit you at your Public Housing unit. You are responsible for the conduct of
your guests while they are in your unit or are on the property and should make sure that they honor the rules
stated in your lease agreement. According to the residential lease, you may not allow a visitor to spend the night
for more than 30 cumulative days in a 12-month period. If your visitor is determined to have spent more than 14
consecutive days, or more than 15 cumulative days in a month, and you have not received written approval your
visitor will be considered to be living in the unit as an unauthorized occupant. Unauthorized occupancy is a
violation of the lease which carries consequences that may include, but are not limited, eviction and the
repayment of retroactive rent.

What do I do if a member of my household is arrested?

The site office staff should be notified as soon as possible. The site manager will need to obtain information
regarding the event. Arrests, criminal activity, and convictions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and
mitigating circumstances are always considered prior to any adverse action being taken. If a member of the
household is convicted of a crime that is related to drug activity and/or a violent crime, the household may be
subject to consequences leading up to, and including, eviction from the assisted unit.

If I want to have a pet live with me, what do I need to do?

When you sign your lease agreement, you will be required to sign a Pet Addendum—even if you don’t own a
pet. The pet addendum provides information in regards to:
• Types of pets that are permissible
• Quantity of pets allowed (2 maximum)
• Pet deposit amounts ($250.00 per pet)
• Registration and License requirements
Once you have provided the required documentation for your pet(s) and paid the applicable deposits, you will
be required to complete a Pet Agreement form.
If you are in need of a companion/support animal, or a service animal, please contact your site office and
initiate the reasonable accommodation process for approval of those animals.

Where am I allowed to smoke in Public Housing?

Smoking is prohibited in all units and commons areas in Public Housing and is permissible only in designated
smoking areas. Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of any open door or window, even if you are outside of the

What is the cannabis (marijuana) policy in Public Housing?

Public Housing is federally funded, and cannabis is a controlled, illegal substance according to Federal Law.
Use of cannabis, medically prescribed or otherwise, is strictly prohibited on Public Housing property, including
inside of your Public Housing unit.

What is EID?

EID is a program that stands for Earned Income Disregard.
How it Helps You:
HUD has an Earned Income Disregard that applies to residents in Public Housing. Public housing will
disregard earnings from employment when calculating your rent for the first year in which you are
employed. In the second year of your employment, only half of your earnings will be counted in figuring
your rental payments.

How it Works:
If you live in Public Housing, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Disregard (also known as the
Earned Income Disallowance):
For the purpose of this work incentive, you must not have been working during the previous 12 months or
averaging less than 10 hours of work per week at the minimum wage.

If you become employed and have been previously unemployed for one or more years prior to getting
your new job, HUD will disregard 100% of your new wages during the first 12 months of your
employment. During the Second 12 Months of employment, (i.e., months 13 through 24), HUD will
disregard 50% of your wages. This is a one-time use program per participant.

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