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Apply for Housing

Submitting An Application for Housing

Applying to live in one of our affordable housing properties is easy. Here is what we need from you to start the process:

  • Completed application
  • A current mailing address
  • Photo IDs for every household member 18 or older
  • Birth certificates for every household member 17 or under
  • Social Security cards for every household member.
  • Proof of income – 3 consecutive pay stubs or SSA benefits statement

Newly Renovated Project-Based Voucher Properties

The CHA has the following affordable housing properties available for rent.  These properties have been newly renovated to modern standards.  Tenants receive a rent subsidy through a Project-Based Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher which requires a special Project Based Voucher Application.

  • Stuart Parker Apartments (family site – 84 apartments)
  • Bear Creek Apartments (family site – 76 apartments)
  • Bryant Walkway Apartments (family site – 54 apartments)
  • Bryant Walkway II Apartments (family site – 36 apartments)
  • Paquin Tower (senior 55+ & disabled highrise – 200 apartments)
  • Oak Tower (senior 55+ highrise – 147 apartments)
  • McBaine Avenue Townhomes (5 ADA accessible apartments)
  • Project Based Voucher Application

Public Housing and Future Renovations

The CHA will be working to renovate our remaining Public Housing Apartments in the next 3-5 years.  We currently have 120 apartments located in our Providence Family Townhomes, located in the area of Providence Road and Park Avenue.  Apply to live in  the Providence Townhomes using our Affordable Housing Application.

 

 

Mailing Addresses

You must keep your mailing address current at all times.  We are required to contact you by mail and returned mail with no forwarding address may cause your application to be disqualified. All personally identifiable information will be kept confidential.

Background Checks

When we receive your application and identification documents, we run criminal background checks on every adult in the household. We also check to see if you owe money to any housing authorities and contact previous landlords to verify that you were a good tenant.

These things can cause your application to be denied:

  • Violent or drug-related criminal activity in the past five years;
  • Outstanding debts to housing authorities;
  • Prior terminations at housing authorities or a number of evictions; and
  • Negative reports from previous landlords.

If your application is denied for any reason, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision. For more information on denial hearings, please call 573-443-2556, ex. 1111.

Placement on the Waiting List

When you pass our background screening process, your application is placed on a waiting list for the housing properties for which you qualify.  These properties are listed above.

Our waiting lists have the following preferences:

  • Veteran Preference:  A preference is given to Veterans who have served in all branches of the U.S. military.
  • Working Preference:  A preference is given to families where at least one adult works 20 hours or more per week, or where the head of household, co-head or spouse has a disability or is elderly (55 or older). Families who qualify for a preference move up the wait list faster than other families.

Depending on availability of units, your wait could be six months or longer. To check your place on the wait list, bring your photo ID to the information window at 201 Switzler Street.

Orientation Session

Also, once you are found to be eligible to live in a CHA affordable housing property, you will attend an orientation session which will explain the lease, how to request repairs, what services are available to you, etc. The briefing is held at 201 Switzler Street, and includes a PowerPoint show, printed copies and a live person to answer your questions. 

Getting Ready to Move – Security Deposits & Utility Payments

While you wait for an apartment, save up for your security deposit and first month’s rent. If you are waiting for a townhouse, make sure to pay off any old utility bills. You do not have to be employed to live in our communities, but you will need to pay your security deposit and your monthly utility bills if you live at our family sites.

Setting a Move In Date

When your application is near the top of the list, we will mail you a letter with your manager’s name and contact information (make sure your mailing address is current). Contact your manager to set a date for your move-in appointment and to get your new address. Get the utilities turned on in your name at your new address before your appointment and fill out a change of address form at the post office.

If you or anyone in your family is a person with disabilities, and you require a specific accommodation in order to fully utilize our programs and services, please contact the housing authority.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the income limits to live in CHA housing?
How much will my Security Deposit be?

Security deposits vary depending on the property and the size of the apartment.  Security Deposits are money held in reserve while you live in CHA property as insurance against damages. When you move out of your home, CHA will total up any damage beyond ordinary wear and tear and take that amount out of your security deposit. If you leave your home in as good condition as you received it, you could get your entire security deposit back when you move out.

When do I pay my Security Deposit?

You may pay your Security Deposit by check or money order at any time after you are notified that an apartment is coming available for you. You will need at least $200 at the family sites or $150 at the Towers in order to move in. You will make monthly payments after you move in to pay up the rest of the security deposit. These payments usually take three to six months to complete. The security deposit is required whether or not you are employed.

How much will my first month’s rent be?

You need to call your manager to find out what your prorated rent will be for the first month. You will need to bring a check or money order for that amount to your move in. You will not be able to move in without it!

How much will my regular rent be?

Rent is based on 30% of the household’s adjusted annual income. To get a rough idea of your rent, add up your income – not including food stamps – multiply by 0.30 (30%) and divide the total by 12 months.

For example, suppose your income was $700/month:

Multiply your monthly income by 12 to get your annual income

  • $700 x 12 = $8,400.00

Multiply your total annual income by 30% (or .30)

  • $8,400.00 x .30 = $2,520.00

Divide $2,520.00 by 12 months to get your estimated rent

  • $2,520.00 / 12 = $210.00

Your rent would be $210.00 each month.

Do I have to pay utilities?

You will need to pay gas and electric costs at all the family sites.  Utilities are provided at Paquin Tower and Oak Towers.  Even if you are not employed, you will need to pay your monthly utility bills. CHA pays for water, sewer and trash. 

What are Utility Allowances?

You can think of a utility allowance as a special subsidy that helps residents pay their utility costs. Instead of handing residents money for utilities, CHA subtracts your utility allowance from the rent you owe.  If this results in a negative number, CHA will send that amount to the utility companies on your behalf. The utility allowance doesn’t pay all of your utility costs, but it helps reduce your payments.

For example, say you live in a two bedroom home in our Bear Creek Townhomes. The utility allowance for a two bedroom home in Bear Creek is $70.00. If you make enough money to pay $170 per month in rent, CHA will subtract your $70 utility allowance from $170 per month rent. This would leave $100.00 as the amount you would have to pay out of pocket to CHA each month.

Announcements

NOW LEASING - BEAR CREEK APARTMENTS

The CHA is accepting applications for the newly renovated Bear Creek Apartments.
• 1, 2, 3, & 4 Bedroom Units Available
• Modern Newly Renovated Units
• Rent Based on Income *
• Low Initial Security Deposit
• Energy Efficient & New Appliances
• Washer & Dryer Hookups
• Park & Laundry Facility
• Resident Services & Family Self-Sufficiency Programs
* Qualified applicants must be low-income.

Apply now at:

The Columbia Housing Authority
201 Switzler Street, Columbia
(573) 443-2556

You Should Know

CHA provides housing assistance to over 1,900 families in Columbia and Boone County.

Families pay 30% of their adjusted household income for rent.

Our Family Self-Sufficiency Programs help families develop five-year plans for self-sufficiency.

Contact Us

201 Switzler St.
Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 443-2556 phone
(800) 735-2966 TTY Relay

www.columbiaha.com