Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have unresolved concerns or questions, please contact Customer Care

How many developments does the NHA have?

The NHA has 45 developments in almost every neighborhood in the City of Newark. There are 10 elderly/disabled and 34 family developments, which include scattered site development throughout the city.

What areas are included in the City of Newark?

The City of Newark includes the neighborhoods of the West Ward, South Ward, North Ward, Central Ward and Ironbound.

Can anyone apply for housing in the family public housing program?

Yes, anyone can apply in the family program when the waiting list is open. 

Certain categories of applicants receive priority position on the waitlist, and there are income limits applied to all applicants.  The application's waitlist position can also be affected by the number of available units and matching of unit size and applicant's required space.

What size unit is appropriate for my household?

The NHA is required to follow certain occupancy guidelines that limit the number of residents according to the number of bedrooms. The following is a basic guide:Occupancy Guidelines: HUD Notice of Policy, Dec. 18, 1998 Federal Register

Families of the appropriate size shall occupy apartment units. This policy maintains the usefulness of the apartments, while preserving them from excessive wear and tear and underutilization.

Minimum and Maximum Number of Persons-Per-Unit Standard

Number of Bedrooms |

Min Persons/Unit |

Max Persons/Unit


(Largest Unit Size) |

(Smallest Unit Size)




1 Bedroom



2 Bedrooms



3 Bedrooms



4 Bedrooms



5 Bedrooms



The following principles govern the size of apartment for which a family will qualify. Generally two people are expected to share a bedroom. Units will be so assigned that:

1.         An adult is an individual who is eighteen years of age or older

 2.         Children of the same sex regardless of age will share a bedroom; 

 3.         Children of the opposite sex will not be required to share a bedroom; 

 4.         Adults of the opposite sex, other than spouses, will not be required to share a bedroom; although they may do so at the request of the family;

 5.         Adult members of the same sex, regardless of age, share a bedroom;

 6.         Adult members who are spouses or domestic partners, or in an interdependent relationship share a bedroom;

 7.         Live-in aides may be assigned a separate bedroom. See policy in Chapter Four regarding family members of live-in aides.

 8.         The head of household shall not be required to share a bedroom with anyone other than a spouse, domestic partner or individual with whom the head of household claims to have an interdependent relationship, although they may do so at the request of the family.

 9.         Adults, except for the head of household, will be required to share a bedroom with a minor household member of the same sex.

 10.      Single person families in elderly and mixed housing developments will be allocated a zero or one bedroom apartment according to the apartment make up at the development;

11.      Foster children will be included in determining apartment size;

12.      An unborn child will not be counted as a person in determining apartment size.  A single pregnant woman may be assigned to a one bedroom apartment;

13.      NHA will count for apartment size determination a child who is temporarily away from the home because the child has been placed in foster care, kinship care, or is away at school, so long as the family can document that the child will be living with the family;

14.      One bedroom units in designated elderly properties will be leased first to couples

15.      Generally, two (2) people are expected to share a bedroom.

16.      The largest apartment size that a family may be offered would be one bedroom per family member considering family size and composition.

17.      Exceptions to the largest permissible apartment size may be made in case of Reasonable Accommodations for a person with disabilities.

18.      NHA will not accept applications from households if the family composition is such that NHA would not be able to offer an appropriately sized apartment without overcrowding.  For example, if the largest apartment size available at NHA is a 4 bedroom apartment, NHA would not accept an application from a family with 10 household members.

19.      Existing NHA households who are participants in the DCP&P program will not have their apartments downsized when children are separated from the home if they are in compliance with DCP&P program requirements.   Where these households are in compliance with DCP&P program requirements, NHA will not force these families to move to a smaller apartment as a result of the separation.  NHA will allow these families to retain their current apartment size so that reunification can occur.   Where NHA households participate in the DCP&P program and are not in compliance with DCP&P program requirements, NHA will downsize the apartment when children are separated from the family.

Can I apply for both the family public housing program and rental assistance (Section 8)?

Yes, but two separate applications must be completed, and the waiting list must be open.

Can I apply for both the family public housing program and elderly/disabled housing?

Yes, but you must meet all the requirements for the elderly/disabled public housing program. Separate applications must be used for each program. Applicants who are qualified for elderly/disabled public housing may select up to three elderly/disabled developments and the city wide family list.

Can I choose the family development I would like to live in?

Yes, an applicant may choose up to 3 site-based Waiting Lists (if the site-based Waiting List is open) or the 1st Available Apartment option, on which to place their name. Applicants may choose to be listed on up to 3 Site Based Waiting Lists. An applicant may change their listing on SBWLs only if the waiting list is open. However, if a change is made, the applicant will be assigned a new date and time of application.

How do I apply?

The forms necessary to apply for family public housing would be available at 500 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey if the list is open. Please Note that at this time the Family Waiting List is Currently Closed.

What happens after I apply?

Normally, within 6 to 8 weeks from the date of receipt, you will be mailed an "Application Receipt Letter" from NHA. This notice certifies that your application has been processed and confirms your placement on the preliminary waiting list. This notice will contain your client control number. This number should be used for ALL future correspondence with the NHA.

What is a client control number?

A client control number is a number assigned to every NHA applicant and resident. NHA staff will request this number anytime an applicant or resident speaks with a NHA staff member. It can also be used to check on an applicant's place on the waiting list.

Does the NHA check an applicant's past history in order to determine if he/she is eligible for housing?

Yes. The NHA checks an applicant's past rental history and also does a criminal records check on person 18 and older to help determine if an applicant is eligible for housing. If an applicant is determined ineligible for housing, the applicant has the right to request an Informal Hearing with the NHA. For more information on requesting an Informal Hearing, applicants may contact the NHA Occupancy Department.

I have already applied for public housing and am wondering what my placement on the waiting list or my status is. How do I check my status?

You can check your status on the waiting list and update your contact information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at You may also contact the Occupancy Department at (973) 273-6127, or TTY at (800) 601-1478 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between the hours of 9am-12pm and Tuesday 1pm-4pm.

How long does it take to receive a housing offer from the NHA?

The amount of time it takes to receive NHA housing unit offer depends on the level of priority, date of application, unit size needed and current demand. Therefore, it is very difficult for the NHA to predict how long a housing offer will take.

What will I be expected to pay for rent?

Residents of NHA public housing are expected to pay 30% of their total household income for rent. Residents can also elect to pay a flat rent in the federally funded developments. The current flat rents are based on Market Area and Property Type.

For example (flat rent):

Number of Bedrooms






1 Bedrooms



2 Bedrooms



3 Bedrooms



4 Bedrooms



5 Bedrooms




What is the Preferences System?


Preferences establish the order of applicants on the waiting list. An admission preference does not guarantee admission. NHA may elect to establish site specific preferences.

General Preference Categories:

  • Upward Mobility All applicant families with at least one adult member who can document employment of at least 20 hours per week, full-time student status or involvement in job training, including job training undertaken as a requirement for persons receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) qualify for this preference. Elderly and disabled individuals qualify for this preference. Job training includes vocational skills training, job skills training, job preparedness and/or on-the-job training. Applicant must be able to provide documentation from the training entity to support clearly defined training goals and objectives.


  • Elderly Preference The head of household, spouse or co-head is 62 years old or older. These families receive preference.


  • Disabled Preference The head of household, spouse or co-head is a person with disabilities.


Other Preferences:

  • DYFS Preference Eligible families referred to NHA by the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). The Newark Housing Authority wishes to establish a local preference for eligible families referred to NHA by DYFS. NHA wishes to assist DYFS program referrals where lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the separation, or threat of imminent separation, of children from their families or in the prevention of reunifying the children with their families. NHA will admit 20 eligible DYFS referrals on an annual basis.


  • Millennium Way Preference NHA may establish a site specific preference at its Millennium Way site. The preference will be qualified disabled or chronically homeless individuals referred by University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) participating in UMDNJ's University Behavioral Healthcare (UBHC) program. Such individuals will be referred pursuant to discussions with NHA and will be limited to twelve 1-bedroom units and three 2-bedroom units. UMDNJ will provide verification of the factors related to eligibility for this preference in a format acceptable to the Newark Housing Authority. Referrals will be time and date stamped by UMDNJ.

This preference is a stand-alone preference and will not be layered upon NHA existing preference structure. For example, an elderly, homeless individual would not be admitted before a homeless individual referred by UMDNJ for the Millennium Way Preference. All referrals for this preference are subject to NHA admissions screening requirements. Additionally, applicants who are admitted via the Millennium Way Preference must comply with the terms of the NHA Lease and will be subject to lease termination and/or eviction for failure to comply.

Special Admission - Disaster

NHA will select applicants from the Waiting List by date and time of application and preference, except when a situation is a federally or locally declared disaster or civil disturbance, in which case the Executive Director has the discretion to waive date and time of application in selection. Any determination by the Executive Director to waive the date and time of application must be in writing stating the maximum number of applications that will be processed under these provisions or any limits on the time for the waiver, with such a waiver being approved for form and legal sufficiency by NHA General Counsel.