Public Housing Program
HUD writes and publishes regulations in order to implement public housing laws enacted by Congress. HUD contracts with the Public Housing Authority (PHA) to administer programs in accordance with HUD regulations and provides an operating subsidy to the PHA. The PHA must create written policies that are consistent with HUD regulations. Among these policies is the PHA's Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP). The ACOP must be approved by the board of commissioners of the PHA.
The job of Columbia Housing pursuant to HUD regulations is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing, in good repair, to low-income families at an affordable rent. Columbia Housing screens applicants for public housing and, if they are found eligible and accepted, Columbia Housing offers the applicant a unit. If the applicant accepts the offer, Columbia Housing will enter into a contract with the applicant known as the lease. At this point, the applicant becomes a tenant of the public housing program.
In the context of the public housing program, a tenant is defined as the adult person(s) other than a live-in aide who (1) executed the lease with Columbia Housing as lessee of the dwelling unit, or, if no such person now resides in the unit, (2) who resides in the unit, and who is the remaining head of household of the tenant family residing in the dwelling unit. The Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook refers to tenants as "residents." The terms "tenant" and "resident" are used interchangeably in Columbia Housing policy. Additionally, the policy uses the term "family" or "families" for residents or applicants, depending on context.
Since Columbia Housing owns the public housing development, Columbia Housing is the landlord. Columbia Housing must comply with all of the legal and management responsibilities of a landlord in addition to administering the program in accordance with HUD regulations and Columbia Housing policy.
Columbia Housing receives its operating subsidy for the public housing program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Columbia Housing is not a federal department or agency. A Public Housing Agency (PHA) is a governmental or public body, created and authorized by state law to develop and operate housing and housing programs for low-income families. Columbia Housing enters into an Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) with HUD to administer the public housing program. Columbia Housing must ensure compliance with federal laws, regulations, and notices and must establish policy and procedures to clarify federal requirements and to ensure consistency in program operation.