Public Housing Can Be the Stepping Stone to Your Next Chapter – And There Is No Shame in That

Public Housing BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of BELatina.

For anyone who has been recently looking to purchase a home in the United States, finding a home for the same (low) price seen even three years ago has been a struggle. Prices from almost every type of property — single-family homes, condos, even apartments — have reached an astonishing high.

This is what I have learned being a potential first-time buyer in this current market. In order to make an offer competitive, buyers are increasingly having to offer sellers more than the listing prices. Then, if a property is appraised at a lower amount than what the buyer has to offer to be competitive, the buyer must pay the difference between the appraised value of the home and what they have offered. Money in this amount that is asked of the buyer, not to mention the down payment or closing costs, is not readily available to many first-time homebuyers, especially those who are low-income.

If prices of homes are sky-rocketing and there is a shortage of homes to buy, more and more folks are looking to rent. However, many landlords have taken advantage of the housing market as it currently stands and have raised rents through the roof. These record-high rental rates are being observed in almost every city in the country, from New York City in the northeast to Phoniex in the southwest.

All this is to say that fulfilling the basic need of having a roof over your head has certainly become an incredible feat in this day in age. Without having home-buying or renting to turn to easily, many folks should consider public housing as their next best option.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development explains that public housing is available to “eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.” The types of properties available are largely diverse and depend on the city you’re looking into living. Some homes might be single-family homes, or some might be apartments in small complexes. 

Regardless, public housing frequently receives many critiques based on false assumptions, like that of public housing being largely unsafe. Unlike what some media often portray, folks who live in public housing are not constantly trying to leave public housing. In fact, several are generally pleased with their homes, and many “want to see it strengthened, improved and expanded.”

Considering the affordable housing crisis unfolding across the country, looking into public housing or other local housing resource is something that could help you find your next home. If you are interested in or have questions about public housing in your area, contact your local public housing agency here, which has the contact information for all local agencies.