Public and Indian Housing

Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook



Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook


The purpose of the Public Housing Occupancy guidebook is to provide an easy-to-use, one-stop resource to assist public housing agencies (PHAs), families and other stakeholders in the administration of the public housing program. The guidebook consolidates into one document the most up-to-date guidance and requirements outlined in multiple publications: regulatory requirements, PIH Notices, Federal Register Notices, and other forms of guidance issued by HUD. The guidebook chapters, except when based on statutory or regulatory authority or law, do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.

One major improvement readers will find in the new guidebook chapters is a footnote with a citation whenever the word “must” is used. In many policy areas, HUD allows PHAs the flexibility to make local policy decisions, so it is important to note when a policy must be adopted as required by HUD. For example, where “may” or “HUD encourages” is used, this notes where PHAs have discretion or where HUD has identified common practices to assist in simplifying administration for PHAs.

To ensure HUD continually provides the most up-to-date guidance on evolving program policies and procedures, the Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook chapters will be living documents on HUD’s website. Individual chapters will be amended as policies are refined.

Chapter Titles

Fair Housing and Nondiscrimination Requirements, Coming soon

Eligibility Determination and Denial of Assistance

Waiting List & Tenant Selection

Income Determination


Lease Requirements

Grievance Procedures


Pet Ownership


Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirement

Benefits of the Guidebook
  • To provide a one-stop resource for PHAs, families and other stakeholders
  • To serve as a forum for the most up to date guidance on program regulation, policy and procedures
  • To identify areas where PHAs have discretion to set their own policies

Navigating the Guidebook

If you are looking for information, potentially included in a specific chapter that has yet to be published, please do not hesitate to seek guidance from your local HUD field office, 24 CFR Part 960, PIH Notices or by viewing other pertinent HUD websites, such as:

For further information on local resources and how to locate your nearest HUD office and PHA, please click on the following link:

Some of the HUD-required forms are included in the guidebook for PHAs’ convenience. Program forms also may be found on HUD’s Client Information Policy Systems (HUDCLIPS) website at: