How Public Housing Programs Work

Public Housing programs are a form of housing tenure in which the ownership of the property belongs to a government administrative authority that can either be central or local. The aim is to provide affordable housing to the citizens of a country. Public housing programs can be thought of as the solution for housing inequality.

There are a couple of types of public housing.

Rental Housing

In rental housing, the houses are owned by the government authority. It can be owned by the federal but under the authority of the local government. People who lie in a specific salary bracket, which can vary according to a country’s economic situation, are eligible for this type of housing. They can submit an application, and after their credentials are verified, they are allotted a house according to their need. This means that houses are allotted keeping in view various factors which include the income of the family, the number of family members. The houses are allotted according to the requirement of the applicants. This implies that families with fewer members get smaller houses and vice versa.

The tenants of the house pay the rent to the housing authority. In this case, the local housing authority is the ‘landlord’ of the rented houses. It is responsible for the maintenance of the houses. This prevents the people in need from having to face difficult landlords when they rent privately and unfair evictions.

Housing on Instalments:

Another category of housing is housing on instalments. Under government schemes. People can actually own their own homes even if they don’t have all the money at once. Many times, governments offer housing schemes through which eligible people, have the opportunity to buy their own houses in instalments. This means that they have to pay a certain amount of money every month for a few years until they’ve completed the payment. The costs of houses in such schemes isn’t very high as they are in the private sector.

Public Housing In Different Countries

Public housing does not work in a uniform way throughout the world. There are different policies in different countries. For instance, in the United States, public housing is managed by the Federal Housing and Urban Development Department. It can be called Subsidized Housing and is administered by federal state and local agencies to provide subsidized rental assistance to low-income households.

In Saudi Arabia, under the reforms of Vision 2030, the government has launched Housing programs that aim to provide affordable housing to its citizens. The program aims to ensure at least 70% ownership of housing units by Saudi citizens by 2025. If you visit Saudi Arabia by that year, you will hopefully find the level of satisfaction of the citizens to be at least 80%.


Public housing does not work uniformly around the world, but every country has a common goal, which is to provide its citizens with the housing they can afford.

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