Public Housing Frequently Asked Questions
I applied for Low-Income Public Housing with the City of Flagstaff Housing Authority, now what?
Please note this set of questions deals only with the Public Housing Waiting List. Starting November 19, 2019, all applications for Public Housing will be submitted online. Starting November 19, 2019, you will apply exclusively online at https://flagaz.myhousing.com/. If you require additional assistance, you may come to our office at 3481 North Fanning Drive in Flagstaff, Arizona during regular business hours. Documents such as birth certificates and social security cards are not required for the pre-application. These will be requested when you near the top of the waiting list.
Question: How will I know if I am on the Waiting List or not?
Answer: When you finished your online application, you received a confirmation number. If you received a confirmation number, you are on the waiting list. If you applied before November 19, 2019, you can check your status through our online portal. If you are in need of technical support, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you may come to our office at 3481 North Fanning Drive in Flagstaff, Arizona during regular business hours.
Q: What is my status or number on the Waiting List?
A: One reason we're launching an online applicant process is to allow us to better answer this question. For now, you can contact us in writing, including via email at email@example.com, to receive an update on your current status.
Remember: Those applicants with the residency preference will be housed before those that do not have it. In addition, our one bedroom waiting list has a preference for seniors or those with a disability.
Lastly, we will not disclose status or waiting list position over the phone.
Q: I've applied and now it says I'm in "Position zero" ("Position 0"). What does that mean?
A: Position zero is simply a placeholder until we sort our waiting list. The software the Flagstaff Housing Authority uses can sort the waiting list in different ways. Our waiting lists are sorted about once a month by preference(s) and then by application date and time. For more information on preferences, click here. If you are seeing position zero, it simply means we have sorted our waiting list since you applied.
Q: I am already on the Low Income Public Housing Waiting List; how do I apply for Section 8?
A: If you have applied for Low Income Public Housing and wish to apply for Section 8, you are encouraged to first register at the MyHousing Portal and then use the "Update My Application" menu item (right side of page on most computers, at the top of the screen on mobile devices). When you reach the My Lists, you can select the Section 8 waiting list to add yourself to it.
To register, you will need your waiting list ID number or confirmation number. If you have not received or have misplaced your waiting list ID number or confirmation number, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to our office at 3481 North Fanning Drive in Flagstaff. File information is not disclosed over the phone.
Q: What are the steps for receiving public housing?
A: These steps vary in length of time based on the length of our waiting lists and the rate at which units turn over.
- Pre-Application: This is the three page paper packet filled out in our office or sent to you. Starting November 19, 2019 at 8:00 am, all of our applications will be online through the MyHousing WebApp. You will receive a pre-qualification or denial letter after we receive your pre-application.
- Maintaining Your File: If there are changes to your file, update us within ten days. If your physical address or employment status changes, this may affect your residency preference (see below). Keep your mailing address updated as this is our primary means of contacting you. You may add or remove family members, which can affect the waiting lists for which you qualify (see below). Starting November 19, 2019, the MyHousing Portal will be the primary means of communicating with you.
- Full Application: When an applicant nears the top of the waiting list, they will receive the full application. This application includes a letter to help applicants secure public records requests for all residents aged 16 or older. It also includes a checklist of documents applicants will likely need to provide such as birth certificates, social security cards, photo IDs, pay stubs, and bank statements. If the application and documentation are not provided in full, the applicant may be removed. See below concerning removals.
- Review of Application and Documents: At this stage, we verify the documents provided, follow up with previous landlords, and estimate household income. Missing or incomplete documents are also requested at this time. As many of these steps include third parties such as landlords and employers, time for this step varies. An applicant may be denied due to various items discussed below.
- Eligibility Interview: Following the review, your file is passed to a housing services specialist who will schedule an interview with you. These interviews may be at 3481 N Fanning Dr or at 1 Brannen Circle, so read these letters carefully. If the applicant fails to attend the eligibility interview or does not submit requested paperwork within the time frame, then they will be removed from the waiting list.
- Pre-Lease Briefing and Maintaining Applicant File: After the eligibility interview, applicant files are passed to the housing manager. An pre-lease briefing is scheduled; all adults in the household must attend the pre-lease briefing, which will be held at 3481 N Fanning Dr. In addition, applicants must maintain an up-to-date file concerning pay stubs, bank statements, and other changes. Failure to attend the pre-lease briefing or maintain a file will result in removal from the waiting list.
- Unit Offer: Some time following the briefing, a unit offer will be made. The unit offer is made when it is clear that a particular unit is suitable for and will become available to an applicant. Typically, this unit is still occupied or in need of maintenance before move in, which can take weeks or months. When responding a unit offer, a third of the deposit is required. An applicant must continue to respond to any requests for documentation or risk removal.
- Move In: When the unit is ready, the applicant is given a move in appointment with the housing services specialist and they may move in. Upon move in, another third of the deposit is required. The final third can be paid with first month's rent or sooner.
Q: Do you have any emergency housing options available?
A: The City of Flagstaff Housing Authority does not have emergency housing available. We house applicants off of the waiting list based on the date and time of application. Applicants must submit an application to be placed on the waiting list in order to receive housing. If you are seeking emergency housing, see the Flagstaff Resource Guide and visit with the Front Door of Coconino County, the one-stop for those experiencing homelessness.
Q: When will I receive an offer of a unit? Can you expedite my application due to my circumstances? What is the Waiting List screening process?
A: You’ll receive an offer when you’re at the top of the list and a unit is available. When your application is near the top of the list, you will receive the full application packet. Get it back to the Flagstaff Housing Authority by the deadline in your letter with all requested documents. After we’ve reviewed your application you will have an interview with our staff followed by a pre-lease briefing. If you do not have a residency preference, you will have an indeterminate wait and may never near the top of the waiting list.
No, we do not expedite applications due to individual circumstances. Each applicant family must be placed on the waiting list and go through the eligibility interview process based on the date and time they applied in order to receive housing.
Q: What do you mean, “Preference”?
A: We give preference to those who live or work in Flagstaff. If you do not have a residency preference, you will have an indeterminate wait and may never near the top of the waiting list. Your residency preference status on the Waiting List is based on whether your primary residence is in Flagstaff, an adult household member works or is self-employed at least twenty (20) hours a week in Flagstaff, or an adult household member has an offer of work in Flagstaff. If this changes for you it may change your position on the waiting list once you report. For one-bedroom units, there is an additional preference for seniors (people of 62 years or older), people with one or more disabilities, or both.
If your situation changes, please update your information through the Portal. Your preference status can change while you’re on the waiting list. Check the Applicant Portal to see updates on recently housed applicants, https://flagaz.myhousing.com/Account/Login.
Q: I applied and have not received a letter or a phone call.
A: Prior to November 19, 2019, we send a pre-eligibility letter through the US Postal Service. Starting on November 19, 2019, we will send an automatic email confirmation to the email you listed in your application. The Flagstaff Housing Authority does not request or disclose information over the phone.
Q: After I apply, why does it take so long to receive assistance?
A: The Flagstaff Housing Authority has only 265 public housing units. We can’t offer assistance to a new family until one who is currently housed moves out of one of these units. By responding clearly, completely, and quickly to requests for information, you can help us house your family as promptly as possible. Be sure to keep your information up to date so that you are on the appropriate waiting lists and have the appropriate preferences.
Q: Why should I update my application? How do I change my address or phone number? How do I add another household member? How do I update my income/report a new job?
A: You should update your information so that we can contact you quickly when you near the top of the list and that you are on the correct waiting list. If you fail to update your email and mailing addresses, you may miss the opportunity to be housed and/or may be removed from the waiting list. At which point you would have to reapply, losing your original application date and time. You can update your information by submitting changes in writing through email to email@example.com; writing to us at 3481 North Fanning Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86004; or coming to our office and submitting a change report. The Flagstaff Housing Authority does not make changes or disclose information over the phone.
It can take up to three business days or longer to approve changes, especially when our staff our on leave, such as around holidays. You cannot make additional updates until our staff resolve any pending changes.
Q: If I have a felony will that automatically make me ineligible? What about rental history or other criminal activity?
A: No, felonies do not immediately make applicants ineligible. Low-Income Public Housing applicants will be screened for tenant suitability. We review criminal activity related to drug, disturbance and/or violent activity documented through police reports, landlord references or convictions. This will include credit, landlord reference, and criminal background checks. Sex offenders under lifetime registration requirements are disqualified under federal law.
Reasons for disqualification include, but are not limited to:
- Drug or alcohol related activities or evictions,
- Gang related activity,
- Violent crimes,
- Past evictions or poor landlord references,
- Debts owed to previous landlords or Public Housing Authorities,
- Delinquent utility debts, and
- Property tax liens.
Efforts to repay past delinquencies and successful completion of drug or alcohol abuse programs will be taken into account when determining tenant suitability. Lack of credit history is not cause for disqualification. If you are denied admission, you have the right to request a Grievance Hearing. Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you cannot be denied because you were a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Click for VAWA paperwork.
Q: How will I know what size of home I can apply for?
A: The City of Flagstaff Housing Authority can only honor requests for at least one (1) person or couple per bedroom and no more than two (2) people per bedroom except as a reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodations may include a room for medical equipment or for a live-in aide.
You may request a change in bedroom size once every twelve months after your initial application or following a change in family composition. That means, if you applied on January 1st of this year, you can change your bedroom size on January 1st of next year. A family composition change includes (but is not limited to) someone on the application getting married or divorced, a family member becoming pregnant, or a family member moving away for school or work. If you are communicating a family composition change, consider if a change in bedroom size is appropriate and you may request that change in the same report. You must still qualify for the new bedroom size (one person per bedroom, no more than two, couples share a room).
Q: My family includes citizens and/or permanent resident non-citizens. My family also includes non-citizens who are not Permanent Residents. Are we still eligible for Section 8/Low-Income Public Housing?
A: Yes. HUD regulations prohibit assistance to ineligible family members, but mixed-eligibility households may receive assistance from either Section 8 or Low-Income Public Housing. However, assistance will be provided on behalf of family members who are eligible. Income from both eligible and ineligible household members are included in calculating household rent responsibility. Both eligible and ineligible household members are included in the household size when determining the appropriate income limit and eligible number of bedrooms.
Concerning Low-Income Public Housing and §13.5 of the Admissions and Continued Occupancy Plan, a household that includes ineligible family members receives a proportional reduction in their rental rental subsidy which leads to a higher rent burden. For example, a four person family where three individuals are eligible and one is not will receive 75% of the rental subsidy of a four person family where all four individuals are eligible.
Q: I have been removed. What can I do?
A: Applicants are removed from the waiting list if they fail to respond to forms or requests for documentation by the deadline, for failing to check in at least every twelve months, and for voluntary removal. Maintaining an updated applicant file, including an accurate mailing address, is the applicant's responsibility. If your address has changed, notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to 3481 North Fanning Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86004. If you were removed for failing to respond to requests for documentation, you may typically appeal this removal by providing the requested documentation within ten days of your removal.
If you are outside your appeal deadline, you will have to re-apply to get onto the waiting list. Applications are not expedited due to previous removal or previous submission of documents.
Q: I have been denied. What can I do?
A: If you are denied admission, you have the right to request a Grievance Hearing. Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA, click here for a PDF), you cannot be denied because you were a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Grievance Hearing requests are addressed to Kurt Aldinger, Public Housing Manager, who can be reached at email@example.com.
Q: How will I know how much rent I will be responsible for?
A: Your rent will be based on your family income. In most cases, you will pay approximately 30% of your adjusted income toward rent. When there is a change in household income that may change your rent. When you attend a pre-lease briefing, we will give you an estimate of your rent.
Q: Where are the homes I can rent?
A: The City of Flagstaff Housing Authority owns and maintains East Flagstaff Housing (Siler Homes and Scattered Sites in zip code 86004) and Flagstaff Housing West (Brannen Homes and Scattered Sites in zip code 86001). Click here for a map of Flagstaff Housing West, here for a map of East Flagstaff Housing.
As part of the pre-application you opted for one or both waiting lists. If you applied for only one waiting list, you can apply for the second; however the new application will have a new date and time while the first application date and time will be preserved.
Do you have another question? Do you have a recommendation for what we should add to this page? Let us know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org!