The Public Housing Program provides subsidized housing to qualified low-income families, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities. The Program is intended for low-income persons and families who would find it difficult or impossible to afford rental housing at market rates.

Through this Program, Carbondale Housing Authority (CHA) owns and manages 344 rental housing units in 6 locations within the city of Carbondale. CHA receives financial support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which allows us to lease units at affordable rents.

Waiting List and Selection Process

How do I apply for Public Housing?

All applications must be completed in our office located at 2 John St., Carbondale, PA. Our office hours are 8:30-4:00 pm, Monday – Friday. However, applications will not be given out after 3:30 pm.

What do I need to bring with me to apply?

Please have your Social Security card and birth certificate for all members of your household listed on your application. In addition, a valid picture ID is required for everyone over 18 years of age. You will not be permitted to fill out an application without these items.

Is there a Waiting List?

Our waiting list for Public Housing and Section 8 are currently both accepting applications. If you are eligible, your application will be logged and you will be placed on the waiting list in the order of date and time received and preferences claimed.

How long is the wait?

Wait times will vary depending on preferences, and availability of the unit size required. For these reasons, we do not give out position numbers or wait time. You will be notified by telephone when a unit is available, so please be sure to contact the Housing Authority if you have a change in phone number or mailing address, or if your family composition changes.

How do I get selected?

Once a unit becomes available, your information will be verified and eligibility determined. Eligibility criteria includes income, family status, rental history, criminal history and financial responsibility.

What happens if I reject a unit?

If you reject a unit, we will keep your application on the waiting list, but the date and time of your application will be changed to the date and time the unit was rejected.


How is my rent calculated?

By law, a tenant family pays no more than 30% of its adjusted household income for rent, including utilities. Rent is based on the family’s annual income as defined by HUD. (Please note that employment income of family members under the age of 18, or who are full-time students is not included.) Annual income generally includes, but is not limited to, employment income, welfare assistance (excluding food stamps), social security and disability payments, income from the operation of a business, interest, dividends, child support, pension or retirement payments, and unemployment compensation. Deductions from income are given as follows:

  • $480 for each dependent
  • $400 for elderly or disabled family members

Medical expense deductions are allowed for the amount that exceeds 3% of annual income for elderly or disabled family members.

Is there a minimum rent?

The minimum rent is $50, except in cases of extreme hardship.

What is a flat rent?

The flat rent is the maximum amount that will be charged for a unit according to bedroom size. Flat rents are adjusted annually based on the fair market rents established by HUD for the local area.

What utilities are included in my rent?

Heat, electricity, water and trash collection are included with your rent. The tenant is responsible for telephone and television service. (Note: satellite dishes are not permitted on the premises.) Surcharges for air conditioners, microwaves, washers, dryers and dishwashers will be added to your monthly rent.

Can I change from flat rent to income-based rent?

Yes. Annual recertifications are performed every year and tenants are required to bring in proof of their income. If a family is on the flat rent, recertifications are only performed every 3 years, but the tenant may request a calculation of their rent at any time.


What is the landlord\tenant relationship for public housing?

As the landlord, the Housing Authority is required to provide a decent, safe and sanitary dwelling that accurately accommodates each family accepted for admission. We offer a flexible month to month lease. A security deposit of the lower of $100 or one month’s rent is required at the time of admission, along with the first month’s rent. Rent is due by the 7th of each month. Tenants are required to pay their rent on time, keep their units clean and uncluttered, and respect the rights of their neighbors.

What happens if I violate the lease?

Violating the lease will result in a warning and an informal hearing at the office of the Housing Authority may be requested. In cases of serious lease violations, such as illegal drugs or violent criminal behavior, a termination letter can be issued immediately.

No Smoking Policy

Out of concern for the effect that second hand smoke has on those with respiratory or other health related conditions, the elderly populations in general, children, non-smoking adults, as well as the general fire hazard and maintenance issues, smoking is banned on all Carbondale Housing Authority (CHA) properties.

This includes any outdoor or exterior areas owned by CHA, including sidewalks, parking areas, porches, decks and patios.
This policy applies to anyone on CHA property including tenants, their guests, contract employees, or any individual on our property for any reason.

Tenants who violate this policy are at risk for eviction.
Any tenant who disconnects their smoke alarm will be subjected to a $50 fine. Repeated violations may result in eviction.