Housing Programs
Doing business with HACM



The Public Housing program is a federal program that provides decent and safe rental housing assistance for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

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Public housing units are owned and managed by HACM. The units may be grouped in a single community (such as multi-family developments) or distributed throughout the county in "scattered sites".


Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. The Housing Authority (HACM) 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 HACM will check your references to make sure you and your family will be good tenants. HACM will deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other tenants or on the project's environment or who fails a criminal background screening.

HACM uses income limits developed by HUD. HUD sets the low income limits at 80% and very low income limits at 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which you choose to live. Income limits vary from area to area so you may be eligible at one HA but not at another.  HACM can provide you with the income levels for your area and family size, or you can also find the income limits here on the internet.


If you are interested in applying for public housing, stop by HACM main office in Salinas or other HACM site offices in the County to pickup an application or click here to Download.


The application must be written. Either you or a HACM representative will fill it out. HACM usually needs to collect the following information to determine eligibility:

  • Names of all persons who would be living in the unit, their sex, date of birth, and relationship to the family head;
  • Your present address and telephone number;
  • Family characteristics (e.g., veteran) or circumstances (e.g., living in substandard housing) that might qualify the family for tenant selection preferences;
  • Names and addresses of your current and previous landlords for information about your family's suitability as a tenant;
  • An estimate of your family's anticipated income for the next twelve months and the sources of that income;
  • The names and addresses of employers, banks, and any other information the HA would need to verify your income and deductions, and to verify the family composition;
  • A HACM staff member also may visit you in your home to interview you and your family members to see how you manage the upkeep of you current home.

After obtaining this information, the HACM representative will describe the public housing program and its requirements, and answer any questions you might have.


Yes, the HACM representative will request whatever documentation is needed (e.g., birth certificates, tax returns) to verify the information given on your application. HACM will also rely on direct verification from your employer, etc. You will be asked to sign a form to authorize release of pertinent information to HACM including criminal background and landlord references.


HACM has to provide written notification. If HACM determines that you are eligible, your name will be put on a waiting list, unless HACM is able to assist you immediately. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, HACM will contact you. If it is determined that you are ineligible, HACM will say why and, if you wish, you can request an informal hearing.


If you are offered a house or apartment and accept it, you will have to sign a lease with the HACM. You will have to give the HACM a security deposit. You and the HA representative should go over the lease together. This will give you a better understanding of your responsibilities as a tenant and the HACM's responsibilities as a landlord.


The Housing Authority of the County of Monterey has established a written system of preferences for housing in Conventional Low-rent Public Housing Program. Giving preference to specific groups of families enables the Housing Authority to direct limited housing resources to the families with the greatest housing needs. Since the demand for housing assistance often exceeds the limited resources available to HUD and the local Housing Authority, long waiting periods are common. In fact, HACM may close its waiting list when there are more families on the list than can be assisted in the near future. Applicants will be pulled from the waiting list for housing from one of the following two categories:

Local Preferences - 50% of applicants will be housed from this category

  • applicants actively enrolled in a case management, job training program, transitional housing or other self-sufficiency program;
  • victims of disasters;
  • applicants who reside in substandard housing or who are involuntarily displaced as a result of code enforcement activities as determined by local code enforcement program officials;
  • elderly applicants or households headed by an elderly person or applicants with household members who are mentally/physically/developmentally disabled;
  • working families.

The remaining 50% of applicants are to be housed by date and time of application with additional points for veterans and local residents.


Your rent, which is referred to as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP) in this program, is based on your family's anticipated gross annual income less deductions, if any.
HUD regulations allow HACM to exclude from annual income the following allowances:

  • $480 for each dependent;
  • $400 for any elderly family, or family headed by a person with a disability;
  • Some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly person or a person with disabilities.

Based on your application, the HACM representative will determine if any of the allowable deductions should be subtracted from your annual income. Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received from the family head and spouse, and each additional member of the family 18 years of age or older. The formula used in determining the TTP is the highest of the following, rounded to the nearest dollar:

  • 30 percent of the monthly adjusted income. (Monthly Adjusted Income is annual income less deductions allowed by the regulations);

  • 10 percent of monthly income;

  • welfare rent, if applicable;

  • a minimum rent of $50.


HACM is responsible for the management and operation of its local public housing program. HACM also operates other types of housing programs.

On-going functions may consist of:
  • assuring compliance with leases. The lease must be signed by both parties;
  • setting other charges (e.g., security deposit, Maintenance or pet fees, and damages to unit);
  • performing periodic reexaminations of the family's income at least once every 12 months;
  • transferring families from one unit to another in order to correct over/under crowding, repair or renovate a dwelling, or because of a resident's medical or employment needs;
  • terminating leases when necessary;
  • maintaining the development in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition.


In general, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the lease. You will not be required to move if your income increases and exceeds the income limits set for the program. However, most residents will be able to find private, affordable housing in the community as their family's income increases.

Housing Authority of Monterey County
123 Rico Street
Salinas, CA 93907
phone (831)775-5000
TDD 831-754-2951
fax (831)424-9153


© 2005 Housing Authority of Monterey County. All rights reserved