Denied Public Housing Because Of Credit?

Last Updated: Dec 04, 2022

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Government assistance programs exist to alleviate socio-economic challenges for individuals. Perhaps it seems unfair that citizens who earn less than the average monthly income can be denied public housing assistance due to their credit report, but it is the unfortunate truth.

This article will highlight the importance of having a positive credit report, and it will also provide information on what to do if you are denied Public Housing.

Can You Be Denied Public Housing Because Of Credit Report Errors?

The good news is that your eligibility to receive government subsidies for housing is not based on your credit report, or credit score. The government is only interested in looking at your income and assets to determine whether you qualify for low-income housing or other government benefits related to housing subsidies such as vouchers.

property owners can decide to use your credit report as a gauge for the qualification of a potential renter. Landlords have the right to look at your payment history to gather information regarding any concerning data on the report, to determine the risk factor of renting to you.

Your credit does not have to be extremely high, as landlords are aware of the financial struggles that low-income families face. There may be a minimum credit score requirement, but this depends on the management company’s approval policies.

Does Low Income Housing Require A Credit Check?      

There are two main types of government assistance that require a credit check: Housing, and loans. The waters are slightly murky in the instance of Housing. It is integral that you understand WHEN you can be denied Public Housing.

The laws about public housing say that a housing authority sometimes must deny your application, and sometimes may deny your application. These laws are slightly different for state and federal public housing. When you receive a denial letter, you must read it carefully to pinpoint the reasons for the denial.  

What Are Credit Scores And Government Subsidies?

Credit companies calculate your credit score using information from your credit report. The information that affects your score includes:

  • Payment history,
  • Outstanding balances,
  • Length of credit history,
  • Applications for new credit accounts, and
  • Types of credit accounts (mortgages, car loans, credit cards).

Public housing is state-owned, affordable rental houses or apartments. It's intended for families with low incomes, seniors, and people with disabilities. Found nationwide, public housing comes in all sizes and types, from single-family houses to high-rise apartments. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers the program.

Your local public housing agency (PHA) will determine your eligibility for public housing based on:

  • Your annual gross income,
  • Whether you qualify as a senior, a person with a disability, or a family,
  • U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status, and
  • Other local factors.

Government Subsidies For Housing Include:

  • Federal and local public housing programs,
  • Housing Choice vouchers (formerly Section 8),
  • Rental assistance, and
  • Subsidized housing.

What Should My Credit Score Be To Receive Housing?

Credit scores are generally within the range of 350-850 points. According to sources online, including, the national average credit score is 690, and any score in the range of mid-600s and higher is considered "good credit."

Important note: "Good credit" does not determine eligibility to live in a unit. It is up to the landlord's or property manager's discretion to reject or accept your credit score. There is no set qualifier.

Bottom Line

Know your rights regarding public housing, specifically within your state. There are various subsidies available for housing low-income families, and individuals.  If your application for the public housing program is rejected due to your credit report, you have the right to dispute any inaccuracies, or incorrect information within a certain period.

There is no set minimum credit score required to apply for public housing, and your credit score should not harm your chances of being assisted. Unlike the government, landlords are able to do credit checks in order to determine the risk they may be taking by renting out their property.

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