Information on Admissions Process
When a person or family wishes to reside in public housing operated by the Franklin County Housing Authority, they must submit an application that provides the Housing Authority with the information needed to determine eligibility. The application requires that the applicant provides copies of birth certificates and social security numbers and permanent resident cards if applicable for all family members.
An application for admission to the Franklin County Housing Authority can be filled out online, or can be obtained in person or mailed to you by contacting the office at 436 West Washington Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201. The telephone number for the office is 717-263-4200 and the fax number is 717-263-1329. The office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Completed applications must be submitted online or returned to the Housing Authority by mail, or submitted in person during normal business hours. Applications must be complete in order to be accepted by the Housing Authority for processing. If an application is incomplete, the Housing Authority will return the application to the family and it will not be accepted until it is completed.
The Housing Authority will place all eligible families that apply for public housing on a waiting list. When a unit becomes available, the Housing Authority will select families from the waiting list in accordance with HUD requirements and Housing Authority policies as stated in its Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy and the annual plan.
Placement on the waiting list does not indicate that the family is, in fact, eligible for admission. Conducting background checks and collecting past landlord reports will make the final determination of eligibility and qualification for preferences. Applicants will be placed on the waiting list according to the Housing Authority preference(s) and the date and time their complete application is received by the Housing Authority.
The Housing Authority uses an accumulative or aggregate point system in which applicants have more than one preference and each preference is added together.
Victims of Domestic Violence: (3 points) The Housing Authority will offer a local preference to families or individuals that have been subjected to or victimized by a member of the family or household within the past six (6) months. The Housing Authority will require evidence that the family has been displaced as a result of fleeing violence in the home. Families are also eligible for this preference if there is proof that the family is currently living in a situation where they are being subjected to or victimized by violence in the home.
To qualify for this preference, the applicant must certify that the abuser will not reside with the applicant unless the Housing Authority gives prior written approval.
The Housing Authority will approve the return of the abuser to the household under the following conditions:
If the abuser returns to the family without approval of the Housing Authority, the Housing Authority will terminate the lease.
- The Housing Authority verifies that the abuser has received therapy or counseling that appears to minimize the likelihood of recurrence of violent behavior.
- A counselor, therapist or other knowledgeable professional recommends, in writing, that the individual be allowed to reside with the family.
Homelessness: (2 points) Applicants who lack a fixed regular and adequate nighttime residence; AND have a primary nighttime residence that is supervised public or private shelter providing temporary accomodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters and transitional housing), or an institution providing temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or a public or private place not ordinarily used as a sleeping accomodation for human beings.
Families who are being involuntarily displaced and required to vacate housing as a result of a disaster such as fire, flood, earthquake, etc., federal state or local government action related to code enforcement, public improvement or development, or an action by a housing owner which is beyond the applicant’s having met all previous conditions of occupancy and is other than a rent increase.
Families who are residing with friends or relatives on a temporary basis will be included in the homeless definition only if it is verified that there is a possibility that the person with whom they are residing may be evicted due to the violation of their lease by having them there. This definition will only be applied if a verifiable statement from the landlord is provided. This statement must be signed and dated, and must include complete address and phone number for the landlord. Self-certified statements from family and friends will not be included.
Substandard Housing Preferences: (2 points) Applicants who live in substandard housing are families whose dwelling meets one or more of the following criteria (provided that the family did not cause the condition):
Is dilapidated, as verified by local officials or by Housing Authority staff inspection, and does not provide safe, adequate shelter; has one or more of the following critical defects or a combination of defects requiring considerable repair; endangers the health, safety, and well-being of family:
Families living in overcrowded conditions will not be included in the substandard definition.
- Does not have operable indoor plumbing.
- Does not have usable flush toilet in the unit for the exclusive use of the family.
- Does not have usable bathtub or shower in unit for exclusive family use.
- Does not have adequate, safe electrical service.
- Does not have an adequate, safe source of heat
- Should, but does not, have a kitchen. Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Housing is not substandard solely because it does not contain sanitary and/or food preparation facilities in the unit.
Non-Suitability of Current Residency: (2 points) When a member of the family has lack of mobility or other impairment that makes the person unable to use critical elements of their current residence, and the owner/landlord refuses to or is not legally obligated to make changes to the unit. Critical elements are: entry and egress of unit and building and/or access to a sleeping area, a full bathroom or a kitchen.
Working Preference: (2 points) for families where the head, spouse or sole member is employed and has been employed for six (6) months. This preference is automatically extended to elderly families or a family whose head or spouse meets the HUD/Social Security definition of disablity. This includes families who are graduates of or participants in educational and training programs designed to prepare the individual for the job market. In order to bring higher income families into public housing, the Housing Authority will establish a preference for "working" families, where the head, spouse, co-head, or sole member is employed at least 20 hours per week. As required by HUD, families where the head and spouse, or sole member is a person age 62 or older, or is a person with disabilities, will also be given the benefit of the working preference.
Local Residency Preference: (1 point) For families who have lived, worked, who have been attending school or participating in training programs in the jurisdiction for six months or longer.
Veteran Preference: (1 point) Veterans or surviving spouses of veterans or those currently enlisted in any of the armed forces of the United States.
Graduates of Transitional Housing Programs: (1 point) For applicants who are currently participating in or have graduated from transitional housing programs whose completion of the program will cause displacement.
HUD is required by law to set income limits that the Housing Authority must use to determine the eligibility of applicants for HUD’s assisted housing programs, including the public housing program. The income limits are published annualluy and are based on HUD estimates of median family income in a particular area or county, with adjustments for family size. Listed below are the 2013 limits.
Franklin County, Pennsylvania FY 2013 (Eff. 12/11/12) Income Limits
||FY 2013Income Limit Category
||Very Low (50%) Income Limits
|Extremely Low (30%) Income Limits
|Low (80%) Income Limits
The Housing Authority must verify all information provided by the family. Based on verified information related to the eligibility requirements, including Housing Authority suitability standards, the Housing Authority must make a final determination of eligibility.
When a determination is made that a family is eligible and satisfied all requirements for admission, including tenant selection criteria, the applicant will be notified of the approximate date of occupancy insofar as that date can be reasonably determined.