What is the difference between Public Housing
and Section 8 or HUD?
Public Housing is where the
applicant lives in developments managed by Charleston-Kanawha
Housing and the rent is 30% of income with ALL utilities included
in the rent. (With the exception of cable and telephone).
Section 8 or HUD is where the applicant
would go out into the private sector to find their own housing
and would be responsible for any or all utilities at the
request of the landlord. HUD assists with the payment of
How does one apply for Public Housing?
Obtain an application by coming into our office at 1701 5th Ave (Family Enrichment
Center) or through the mail.
Find out more.
How long is the
waiting list for Public Housing?
Currently the waiting list is about 2 to 4 months (Multiple Bedrooms), 2 to
8 months (1 Bedroom).
Can a person apply
for Public Housing and Section 8 at the same time?
Yes; but no one can be on both programs
at the same time. You can live in the public housing developments
until you get the voucher for section 8; give a
to public housing to move out; to use the section 8 voucher.
I apply for Section 8?
You must first complete a pre-application for assistance to
have you name placed on Charleston-Kanawha Housing’s
waiting list. A pre-application may be obtained by:
(PDF, 30K) one from this website;
2. By calling 304-348-6451, ext. 202 and one will be mailed
to you; or
3. By completing one in person at either our Family Enrichment
Center location at 1705 7th Avenue or our Littlepage office
at 1809 Washington Street, West in Charleston. Your name will
be placed on the list according to the date and time you applied.
When your name reaches the top, and there is sufficient funding,
you will be called in for an orientation in preparation for
getting a voucher. The average time on the waiting list is
ten months to a year.
What are the income limits?
Income limits are established annually by HUD annually. Initially,
CH will accept applications from families with income of up
to 80% of the area median income (low), but HUD requires 75%
of the families receiving assistance to be below 30% of the
area income (very,very low). Income is calculated before taxes,
known as “gross income”. It is the total of all
income received by all family members over a 12-month period.
May cousins, friends or others be
added to the household after the voucher is issued?
Yes, but changes in the composition of your household that
occur during the period between the issuance of a voucher
and lease-up must be reported to CKH as they may affect the
family’s eligibility and/or share of the rental payment.
During the term of the lease, all additions to the family,
except the birth of a baby, adoption, or court awarded custody,
must first be approved by your landlord, in writing, and must
be reported to CKH for approval. All adults being added to
the program must pass CKH’s admissions criteria.
My voucher has expired. How
do I get an extension?
Vouchers are issued for 120 days. CKH will only approve an
extension as a reasonable accommodation for a person with
disabilities. No other extensions will be granted and the
family will have to reapply on the waiting list.
Is there a rule
about renting from your mother, father or other relatives?
The owner (including a principal or other interested party)
may not be the parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister
or brother of any member of the assisted family. Renting from
a family member may be approved as a reasonable accommodation
for a family member who is a person with disabilities. If
CKH grants such approval, the owner and family will be notified
Does CKH pay the security deposit?
No. The security deposit is paid by the tenant
When should I pay
a security deposit?
Talk with the owner to determine when and if you must pay
a security deposit. Get the return policy in writing, just
in case you never sign a lease. Typically, security deposits
are one month’s rent.
Who pays the utilities?
The owner and the tenant must decide who will be responsible
for the payment of specific utilities. These responsibilities
are outlined in the lease and contract.