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Public Housing

What is Public Housing?

Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible families/households, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to local housing agencies (HAs) that manage the housing for residents at rents they can afford. HUD furnishes technical and professional assistance in planning, developing, and managing these developments.

Who is eligible?

Public Housing is limited to income qualified families/households and disabled/elderly individuals. Our housing authority determines eligibility based on:

  1. Annual gross income
  2. Family status
  3. Criminal history

Income limits are set by HUD. (See table below)  Blount County is part of the Knoxville Metropolitan Area. Persons wanting to live in our public housing must have a gross household income at, or below, the “Low Income Limit” for the appropriate family/household size. For Broadway Towers the household income must be at or lower than the "Very Low Income Limit".

Income Limit Area Median Income FY 2019 Income Limit Category 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person

Knoxville, TN MSA

(Includes Blount County)

$66,600 Very Low (50%) Income Limits $24,500 $28,000 $31,500 $34,950 $37,750 $40,550 $43,350 $46,150
Extremely Low (30%) Income Limits $14,700 $16,910 $21,330 $25,750 $30,170 $34,590 $39,010 $43,430
Low (80%) Income Limits $39,150 $44,750 $50,350 $55,900 $60,400 $64,850 $69,350

Persons who are 18 or older and have a criminal record may be denied admission or evicted from our public housing developments.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in applying for public housing, you can download a printable application from our Downloads page, or contact our office.

When will I be notified?

After reviewing your application, if it appears that your family/household is eligible, your name will be placed on a waiting list. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, MHA will contact you by phone and/or by letter. If your family/household does not appear to be eligible when your application is reviewed, you will be notified by letter. You may speak with a housing authority representative regarding your application status in person (photo I.D. required) Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4 pm Eastern Standard Time. We do not provide applicant information over the phone.

Will I have to sign a Lease?

If you are offered an apartment and accept it, you will have to sign a lease with MHA. You will also have to pay rent for the days remaining in the current month and a security deposit of $250.00.

How is rent determined?

Your rent would be based on your family/household’s anticipated gross annual income less deductions, if any. HUD allows MHA to exclude from annual income the following allowances: $480 for each dependent; $400 for any elderly or disabled adult household member; and some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly or disabled person. Tenant rent is the higher of:

  1. 30% of adjusted monthly income, or
  2. 10% of gross monthly income, or
  3. The minimum rent of $50.00
  4. The maximum rent set by the market area.         As of June 1, 2019 the Flat/ceiling or maximum rents are :

    Efficiency            1 Bedroom        2 Bedroom         3 Bedroom         4 Bedroom         5 Bedroom        

    $549                    $693                    $846                    $1,097                $1,417                $1,629

Household income is reviewed at least annually and rents may be adjusted accordingly.


Certain types of pets are permitted with one pet per household. Proof of vaccinations and a $200 non-refundable pet fee is required. Large dog breeds are not permitted and a pet lease must be approved before your pet can be brought on to housing authority property. ( Does not apply to service animals.)