Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to local housing agencies (such as the Gastonia Housing Authority) that manage the housing for low-income residents at rents they can afford. HUD furnishes technical and professional assistance in planning, developing and managing these developments.


GHA is responsible for the management and operation of its local public housing program as follows:

  1. Assures compliance with leases. The lease must be signed by both parties;
    Sets charges such as security deposit, excess utility consumption, and damages to unit)
  2. Perform periodic reexaminations of the family's income at least once every 12 months
  3. Transfers families from one unit to another, in order to correct over/under crowding, repair or renovate a dwelling, or because of a resident's request to be transferred
  4. Terminates leases when necessary
  5. Maintains its developments in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition

GHA also provides other services such as a homeownership program for qualified families; employment training opportunities, and other special training and employment programs for residents and support programs for the elderly.

Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals. GHA determines your eligibility based on:

  1. Your annual gross income
  2. Whether you qualify as elderly
  3. Whether you are a person with a disability
  4. Your family status
  5. U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status

If you are eligible, GHA will check your references to make sure you and your family will be good tenants. GHA 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.

You must submit a completed application to GHA. This can be done by:

  1. Completing the online application and submitting electronically to the site manager in the development(s) where you wish to live
  2. Obtaining a written application from the property manager at the development where you wish to live
  3. Downloading a written application from the GHA website, completing the application and taking to the site where you wish to live


You will be required to provide GHA with a criminal report and copies of your birth certificate(s) and wage statements and other income documentation to verify the information given on your application. GHA 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 GHA.


GHA will send you a letter informing you whether your application was accepted or rejected. If GHA determines that you are eligible, your name will be put on a waiting list. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, GHA will contact you to come in for an Occupancy Class. If it is determined that you are ineligible, the letter will explain the reason and you may request an informal hearing.


If you are offered a house or apartment and accept it, you will have to sign a lease and pay a security deposit and the first month’s prorated rent. GHA will fully explain the lease and all requirements to you before you move in. This will give you a better understanding of your responsibilities as a tenant and GHA’s responsibilities as a landlord.


GHA has established the following preferences:

  1. Gaston County Residents Elderly/Disabled-4 points
  2. Gaston County Resident Families-3 points
  3. Gaston County Residents Single-2 points
  4. Non Gaston County-1 point


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 GHA to exclude from annual income the following allowances:

  1. $480 for each dependent
  2. $400 for any elderly family, or a person with a disability
  3. Some medical deductions for families headed by an elderly person or a person with disabilities.

Based on your application, the GHA 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 resident’s portion of rent (TTP) is the highest of the following, rounded to the nearest dollar:

  1. 30 percent of the monthly adjusted income. (Monthly Adjusted Income is annual income less deductions allowed by the regulations)
  2. 10 percent of monthly income
  3. A minimum rent of $50.00


In general, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the lease and all other rules and requirements.