Federally-Subsidized Housing


IMPORTANT: This is an excerpt from the 2016 Landlord-Tenant Law in Oregon booklet. The booklet is available on this site. All Resources referred to below are available on this website. This information is for general educational use only. It is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you have a specific legal question, you should contact an attorney. The information included here is accurate as of March 2016. Please remember that the law is always changing through the actions of the courts, the legislature, and agencies.

TIME LIMIT WARNING: Under state and federal laws there are time limits for taking action to enforce your rights. Most lawsuits related to the rental agreement and the Oregon Residential Landlord and Tenant Act must be filed (started in court) within one year of the incident. There may be other — shorter — time limits that apply in other cases. Ask a lawyer about the time limits that could apply in your situation.

Questions & Answers

What rights do I have if I live in federally-subsidized housing?

If you live in a housing authority project or have some other kind of federally-subsidized housing, such as a Section 8 voucher, the rules described here protect you. You have additional rights set out in your rental agreement, federal law, federal regulations, and court decisions. If you live in subsidized housing and have questions about your rights, contact a lawyer. See the Resource ‘Find Legal Help for contact information on legal aid services in your area.

Tenants in federally-subsidized housing generally pay 30% to 35% of their income as rent or a portion of the total rent in an amount determined by the agency or organization providing rental assistance.

Tenants have a right to use their federal housing just like they would use a private home. Tenants may have guests. Landlords have no right to intrude on a tenant’s privacy just because the tenant is in federal housing.

How do I get into federally-subsidized housing?

Some subsidized housing is owned by the housing authority; some subsidized housing is owned by private landlords. You should call both the housing authority and the property manager of the buildings owned by private landlords to get on the waiting list. Low-income families and individuals can be eligible. Eligibility varies from building to building.

If the housing authority or landlord refuses to put your name on the waiting list, you may ask for a hearing or a conference. If you think that the landlord does not have a waiting list, that the landlord does not want to rent to you for any reason, or if you have questions about federally subsidized housing, contact a lawyer. See the Resource ‘Find Legal Help for contact information on legal aid services in your area.

There are also loans from Rural Housing (formerly, FmHA) or the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that help low-income and disabled persons to buy homes without a large down payment and with low monthly payments. Call Rural Housing or HUD. The numbers are listed in most local phone books. Information is also available online at www.rd.usda.gov and www.hud.gov.

Last Review and Update: Aug 17, 2016
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