Public Housing

What is Public Housing?
Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low and moderate income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered duplex and quad apartments to high-rise apartments for elderly families.  These units are owned and operated by the North Central Housing Authority (NCHA).  Rent in these units is set for each family based on their anticipated annual adjusted income.
To learn more about NHCA Public Housing Locations Click Here.

Who is Eligible?
Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. NCHA determines your eligibility based on: 1) annual gross income; 2) whether you qualify as elderly, a person with a disability, or as a family; and 3) U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status.
If you are eligible, the NCHA will check your background through a series of standard screening tests designed to protect the safety of our current residents and property.  At minimum, we screen 1) criminal history in the past three years; 2) references from past landlords. Based on this screening, NCHA will deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other residents or on the public housing environment.
Income limits vary by county, please click here to learn more.

Where the office is located?
NCHA main office is located in Devils Lake, click here to learn more.

How do I apply?
If you are interested in applying for public housing, you must fill out an application with the North Central Housing Authority. With this, we will require a copy of a government (city, state, or federal) issued picture ID and social security card for every person on your application who is 18 years of age or older. If application will qualif, we will place you on our waiting list. To contact this department, you may call the NCHA during business hours. The Contact Information is listed here.

What is the application process?
The applications process follows the steps below (Note: this is only intended as a summary of the process and may not be all-inclusive):

1) Application – the family fills out an Application in order to be placed on the waiting list.

2) Waiting List – the family is placed on the waiting list according to application date, local preference, bedroom size, and accessibility needs.

3) Selection – the rate of selection is based on vacancy rate.  Families at the top of the waiting list will be selected to fill current vacancy needs. Once a family has been selected, they will be notified by mail.  They will also be advised in their selection letter of the next steps they need to take in order to continue the application process. If a family fails to respond to the selection, their file will be closed.

4) Standard Screening -This process involves an in-depth examination of the family’s history in order to determine their suitability for housing within NCHA. NCHA will conduct local criminal check on household members to the extent allowed by North Dakota State law for record within the past three (3) years. Additional screening on rental history (including evictions). Based on this screening, NCHA will deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other residents or on the public housing environment.  These standard screening procedures are intended to protect the safety of our current residents and property.

5) Interview & Placement– Once an applicant passes the preliminary screening, Public Housing manager will schedule a time and date for interview for every family who passes standard screening. At interview, the staff member will then determine what documents will be needed such as: income verification; landlord references; marriage license; proof of citizenship; etc. If there are any documents required by the agency that an applicant does not bring with them at the time of interview, they will be given a reasonable amount of time to return with these documents.  The staff member will give the applicant a check list of items needed with a deadline date to return their paperwork. Once all paperwork has been returned and verified, and the applicant is found eligible, the file will then be placed in a ready pool. Applicants will then be offered vacancies as they become available.  Units are offered based on oldest application date and how long a person’s file has been complete.

What if I need to make changes to my application Information?
All changes to application information must be made in writing.  If you have changed your mailing address, family members, income etc., you may fill out a change form at our office or send a letter by mail requesting the change.  If we require additional documentation of this change, we will advise you of what is required.

When will I be Notified?
All official notification will be made by mail.  Once your name is reached on the top of waiting list, NCHA will mail you a selection letter.  This will advise you of the next step in the application process. If, at any time, it is determined that you are ineligible, NCHA will mail a denial letter to you, telling you why you have been denied and advising you of how you may request an informal hearing.

How Long is the Waiting List?
The length of the waiting list varies depending on the number of vacancies we have and how many people are applying for housing.  The waiting list also varies depending on which bedroom size you qualify for.

Are there any Local Preferences?
There are several local preferences that can affect your placement on the waiting list, click here to learn more about Waiting List details.

The North Central Housing Authority will provide equal accessibility to all persons meeting the family definition as stated in HUD’s Equal Access Rule, See 24 CFR 5.403.

More detailed Information can be found in the Admissions and Continued Occupancy Plan click here to Download.