To apply for public housing, you must first fill out an application to be placed on a waiting list. Within 6-8 weeks from the date of receipt of your application, you will be mailed a "Application Receipt Letter" from the NHA. That notice certifies that your application has been processed and confirms your placement on the preliminary waiting list based only on the "preference system" and family composition information you provided. This notice will contain your client control number, which should be used for ALL future correspondence with the NHA.
The Occupancy Department will contact you for screening when you are on the top of the waitlist. All applicants must successfully complete the screening process in order to be placed in a public housing unit.
For your convenience you can check your application status and update your contact information online at www.newarkha.org/wl 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also access your account at the designated computer terminals between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday at NHA's Central Office Lobby (located at 500 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey). If you wish to speak to an NHA representative, please call (973) 273-6127 between 9am-12pm Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Fri, and on Tues from 1pm-4pm.
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 twenty 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 familes receive preference.
- Disabled Preference The head of household, spouse or co-head is a person with disabilities.
This preference is a stand-alone preference and will not be layered upon NHA's 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.
- DCP&P Preference: Eligible families referred to NHA by the Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P): The Newark Housing Authority wishes to establish a local preference for eligible families referred to NHA by DCP&P. NHA wishes to assist DCP&P 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 DCP&P referrals on an annual basis.
- Chadwick Development Preference: NHA may establish site specific preference at its Chadwick Development site. The preference will be for qualified disabled or chronically homeless individuals referred by Rutgers-University Behavioral Health Care (RUBHC). The preference will be limited to 15 one-bedroom units and will be pursuant to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between NHA and RUBHC. RUBHC 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 RUBHC.
This preference is a stand-alone preference and will not be layered upon NHA’s existing preference structure. For example, an elderly, homeless individual would not be admitted before a homeless individual referred by RUBHC for the Chadwick Development preference. All referrals for this preference are subject to NHA admissions screening requirements. Additionally, applicants who are admitted via the Chadwick Development Preference must comply with the terms of the NHA Lease and will be subject to lease termination and/or eviction for failure to comply.
- Millennium Way Preference: NHA may establish a site specific preference at its Millennium Way site. The preference will be for qualified disabled or chronically homeless individuals referred by Rutgers-University Behavioral Health Care (RUBHC). The preference will be limited to 12 one-bedroom units and 3 two bedroom units and will be pursuant to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between NHA and RUBHC. RUBHC 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 RUBHC.
This preference is a stand-alone preference and will not be layered upon NHA’s existing preference structure. For example, an elderly, homeless individual would not be admitted before a homeless individual referred by RUBHC 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.
Persons meeting NHA income qualifications are those whose annual income at the time of admission does not exceed the Low Income Limits for Newark, New Jersey. To be considered as low income, the total income cannot exceed 80% of area median income ($89,100). In order to be eligible for housing, household income must not exceed the following limits for your family size.
Placement and Right of Refusal
Applicants may refuse to accept a housing offer for "Good Cause". Good Cause includes situations in which an applicant is willing to move, but is unable to do so at the time of the housing offer, or the applicant demonstrates that acceptance of the offer would cause undo hardship not related to consideration of the applicant's race, color, national origin, etc. Note: This policy is applicable to offers made to applicants from site-based waiting lists and to transfer offers.
Examples of good cause for refusal of an apartment offer include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The apartment is not ready for move-in at the time of the offer of housing. "Ready for move-in" means the apartment has no Housing Quality Standard deficiencies and is broom clean
- Inaccessibility to source of employment, education, or job training, children's day care, or educational program for children with disabilities, so that accepting the apartment offer would require the adult household member to quit a job, drop out of an educational institution or job training program, or take a child out of day care or an educational program for children with disabilities. (This option is not available to applicants on the site-based waiting list)
- The family satisfactorily demonstrates to NHA that accepting the offer will place a family member's life, health or safety in jeopardy. The family should offer specific and compelling documentation such as restraining orders, other court orders, or risk assessments related to witness protection from a law enforcement agency. Reasons offered must be specific to the family. Refusals due to location alone do not qualify for this good cause exemption
- A health professional verifies temporary hospitalization or recovery from illness of the principal household member, other household members (as listed on final application) or live-in aide necessary to the care of the principal household member
- The unit is inappropriate for the applicant's disabilities
- The family does not need the accessible feature in the apartment offered and does not want to be subject to a 30-day notice to move
- The apartment has lead-based paint and the family includes children under the age of six
- The offer is not for one of the site-based waiting lists the applicant selected.
Apartment Refusal Without Good Cause:
When an applicant rejects the final apartment offer without "good cause", the NHA will remove the applicant's name from the waiting list and send notice to the family of such removal. The applicant may reapply for assistance if the waiting list is open. If the waiting list closed, the applicant must wait until the NHA opens the waiting list to reapply.
As an applicant nears the top of the waiting list, he or she will receive written notification of a personal interview. This interview will take place with an NHA staff member. Included with the notification will be a list of verifying documents that the applicant must bring to the personal interview. This is part of what is commonly referred to as screening. It is important that the applicant brings his or her documents listed below to the personal interview:
- Original birth certificate or adoption papers for yourself and all persons who will live with you
- Original Social Security card(s)
- Marriage certificate
- Picture identification
- Six current pay stubs, unemployment stubs, child support receipt, etc., for all persons who will live with you
- Six current bank statements, savings passbook or any other documentation relating to your assets for all persons who will live with you
- Current income for every family member (Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, TANF, VA or Pension award letters)
- Notarized letter for all adult members with no source of income
- Child care expenses - exclusions and deductions
- Current rent receipt and gas and electric bill
- Receipts for out-of-pocket monthly medical expenses for disabled and elderly only. (If you are disabled and do not receive Social Security for Supplemental Security Income, please bring the name and address of your doctor or health care provider)
- Enrollment verification for members of your household age 18 or older that are enrolled in school
- Appropriate documentation of United States citizenship or Eligible non-citizenship status for all household members
The NHA also checks an applicant's immigration status, housing history, criminal record and verifies income to help determine if an applicant is eligible for housing.
NHA will close the waiting list, in whole or in part, if the NHA has enough applicants on the waiting list to fill projected vacancies for the next 24 months. The NHA may close the list completely, or restrict intake by preference, type of project, or by size and type of dwelling apartment.
NHA will make assessments, as deemed necessary, to determine the need to close the waiting list. If the number of applicants on the waiting list is equal to or greater than the average number of move-ins over a two-year period (taking into consideration unit refusal rates), the waiting list may be closed.
When the waiting list is closed, in whole or in part, NHA will not maintain a list of individuals who wish to be notified when the waiting list is reopened.
Opening the Waiting List - If the number of applicants on the waiting list drops below the average number of move-ins over a two-year period (taking into account unit refusals), NHA may reopen the waiting list and begin taking new applications.
NHA will announce the reopening of the Waiting List at least 10 business days prior to the date applications will first be accepted. If the list is only being reopened for certain categories of families, this information will be contained in the notice. The notice will specify where, when, and how applications are to be received.
The NHA will give public notice by publishing the relevant information in suitable media outlets when opening and closing the Waiting List.
Screening for Eligibility
NHA will perform criminal background checks through local law enforcement for all adult household members. In order to obtain access to the records, every applicant family is required to submit a consent form signed by each adult household member.
The applicant will not pay for the costs of a criminal records check.
If the results of the criminal background check indicate there may have been past criminal activity, but the results are inconclusive, NHA will request a disposition of charges from the applicant.
NHA will perform criminal background checks to determine whether any household member is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender program in the state where the housing is located, as well as, in any other state where a household member is known to have resided.
If NHA denies admission based on a criminal record or on lifetime sex offender registration information, NHA will notify the household. The notification will include the nature of the crime on which the denial is based and the opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of the information. NHA will provide the applicant/resident family a copy of the documentation obtained by NHA on which the denial of assistance decision is based at the request of the applicant/resident family.
Notification of Selection
NHA will notify the family by first-class mail when it is selected from the waiting list. The notice will inform the family of the following:
- Date, time and location of the scheduled application interview, including any procedures for rescheduling the interview
- who is required to attend the interview
- Documents that must be provided at the interview to document the legal identity of household members
- Documents that must be provided at the interview to document eligibility for a preference, if applicable
- Other documents and information that should be brought to the interview.
If a notification letter is returned to NHA with no forwarding address, the family will be removed from the waiting list without further notice. Such failure to act on the part of the applicant prevents NHA from making an eligibility determination; therefore no informal hearing will be offered.