Ask A Lawyer: Differences Between Public and Subsidized Housing

Dear Ask A Lawyer:

I am in need of housing. I am unsure of where to start.  There are so many questions. What is the difference between public housing and subsidized housing? How do I apply?

Signed,

Looking for a place to rest

Dear Looking for a place to rest

While looking for a place to live can seem daunting at first, there are many agencies that can help you out. The first step is to figure out what your needs are. Then look for a place that accommodates those needs that you can afford.

To answer your next question, the main difference between public and subsidized housing is who your landlord is.

If you live in public housing, the housing authority owns your building and is your landlord.

Subsidized housing is owned and operated by private owners who receive subsidies in exchange for renting to low- and moderate-income people.

Public housing and subsidized housing are different programs and they have different rules.

Apply for public housing by contacting your local housing authority. The largest housing authorities in Erie County are the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) at 855-6711, the Lackawanna Municipal Housing Authority (LMHA) at 823-2551, the Kenmore Housing Authority (KHA) at 874-6000, and the Tonawanda Housing Authority (THA) at 692-3555. The addresses are listed in your local telephone book.

Apply for subsidized housing by contacting: Rental Assistance Corporation of Buffalo (RAC) 470 Franklin Street Buffalo, New York 14202 (716) 882-0063 Belmont Housing Resources for WNY (Belmont) 1195 Main Street Buffalo, New York 14209 (716) 884-7791 Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) Occupancy and Marketing Department 245 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo, New York 14222 (716) 855-6774

There are also a number of other subsidized housing apartment complexes in Buffalo and Erie County. You may obtain a list by contacting the Housing Unit of Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. at 847-0650. The Housing Unit accepts a limited number of calls each day, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Good Luck,

Ask A Lawyer

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