Public Housing Clients
Established by the federal government to provide decent, safe and sanitary rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly and persons with special needs, Public Housing is an option for those with incomes up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). SPHA owns and operates the Public Housing properties in our portfolio, and the federal government provides funding through subsidies. Public housing tenants typically pay 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income for rent. View the current wait list information.
If you live in a SPHA Public Housing property, here are the resources and forms to help you as a tenant.
- What is Public Housing?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers federal aid to local housing agencies, like SPHA, that manage the housing for low-income residents at rents they can afford. SPHA owns and manages six Public Housing properties throughout St. Petersburg.
- What is the most I can earn and still be eligible for Public Housing?
Residents can earn up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income. View the Maximum Qualifying Income Limits.
- What is the least I can earn and still be eligible?
There is no minimum income requirement for Public Housing applicants.
- How is rent determined?
Households pay approximately 30 percent of their household’s adjusted gross income, if all household members qualify.
- What do I do if my income changes?
If your income changes, please contact SPHA’s Property Management Office immediately. HUD guidelines require that all changes in income be reported to the Housing Authority within 10 days of the change. The property manager will calculate the change in your rent. View the interim change packet.
- What is SPHA’s role as landlord/owner?
SPHA is responsible for the management and operation of our Public Housing properties. SPHA’s ongoing duties include: assuring compliance with leases; collecting monthly rents; setting other charges (e.g., security deposit and charges for services and damages to unit); performing reexaminations of the family’s income at least once every 12 months; enforcing the lease, terminating leases when necessary; and maintaining the development in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition.
- What is my responsibility as a Public Housing tenant?
Residents in Public Housing properties must comply with the terms of the Lease Agreement. The Resident and a representative from SPHA’s Property Management Office will review the lease to ensure an understanding of the resident's responsibilities as a tenant and SPHA’s responsibilities as a landlord.
- What are my rights?
You have the right to dispute decisions about your lease agreement or housing regulations. Please contact the Property Management office for more information about the grievance process.
- What do I do if I’m having problems with a neighbor at a Public Housing property?
If you are having problems with one of your neighbors, please share your concerns with law enforcement, if applicable, and with a representative from SPHA’s Property Management Office to determine the appropriate next steps.
- How do I report suspected fraud?
SPHA encourages the reporting of suspected fraud by residents, clients, and vendors. You can report suspected fraud by filling out the report abuse form and submitting it to SPHA. You also may call 727-323-3171, ext. 211, to make a report. You may remain anonymous.
- Does SPHA offer any programs to help with job training or education?
Yes, SPHA offers financial assistance to pay for training courses for Public Housing residents. SPHA also helps residents apply for college scholarships. You can learn more below.
Rent is due on the first of each month. If your rent payment is not received by the fifth of the month, a late fee will be added to the resident’s account. SPHA offers many convenient ways to pay rent:
- Rent is due on the first of each month. If your rent payment is not received by the fifth of the month, a late fee will be added to the resident's account.
- SPHA uses RentPayment from MRI Software to allow clients to pay rent.
Visit the Rent Payment page to pay your rent.
Program Forms and Information
Interim Change Form
The Interim Change Form should be completed at any time a tenant has a change in income and/or household composition.
Personal Declaration Form
The Personal Declaration Form is required for all new public housing residents prior to tenancy and thereafter at their annual recertification review.
If you would like to apply for a position in the Tenant Volunteer Incentive Program (TVIP), please contact your Management Office to find out if positions are available. If there is a position available, residents may complete this application. Participating residents receive Community Service hours or a stipend in exchange for conducting tasks that include but are not limited to, delivering notices, picking up the property, opening and closing the laundry rooms and pools, and cleaning the laundry room. You can also fill out our online form (online form coming soon).
Community Work Requirement
If you are required to complete community service hours each month as part of your lease, SPHA can help find volunteer opportunities for you. Click above for a list of community service resources that may help.
Income Limits and Verification
Income limits for public housing and vouchers are set by the government. They change every year and are different in different parts of the state and for different sized families.
SPHA may, upon request, provide a reasonable accommodation to help ensure that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability is excluded from participating in, or denied the benefit of, any agency program. Disabled residents may request an accommodation or physical modification of their unit, building, or surrounding grounds. The request should be made to the Property Management Office.
Public Housing Admissions & Continued Occupancy Policy
This is the policy that governs the administration and operations of SPHA’s Public Housing program.
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
SPHA believes that all people should have equal access to the housing of their choice and conducts our business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing law. For more information about fair housing and your rights, please visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing / Equal Opportunity website at hud.gov/fairhousing
Section 3 Training Request Form
If you are interested in receiving assistance with tuition for job-training courses or classes, please download and complete this form. See the “Education and Employment for Residents” section below for more instructions.
Education and Employment for Residents
Section 3 Resident Training Fund
Public Housing residents in good standing are eligible to receive assistance with tuition and/or costs associated with job-training courses or classes through SPHA’s Resident Training and Education Fund. To apply for assistance, download the Section 3 Training Request form, complete it, and bring it along with your student registration documentation to SPHA’s Leasing Office at 3940 55th Street North (between units 101 and 103), St. Petersburg, FL 33709. Once you complete the form and are verified as a resident in good standing, SPHA staff will contact the training provider/school to verify the class and to arrange payment for it. Please be advised that SPHA must deem the training to be appropriate and maintains complete discretion when making funding decisions.
With rising tuition costs and unemployment rates, SPHA understands that many of our residents simply cannot afford to pursue some educational opportunities. Our staff works to help interested students living in Public or Section 8 Housing apply for national and local collegiate scholarships.
- St. Petersburg College (SPC) Scholarships, including several Foundation Scholarships, are offered to SPHA public housing residents annually – spcollege.edu/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid/scholarships
- pTEC Scholarships
- Step Up For Student Scholarship Program
Social Services Programs
Do you need assistance with food, rent, or utilities? Are you interested in working one-on-one with a social services coordinator to help you identify and reach your life goals? Learn more about our social services programs and the resources they offer.