Public housing is housing stock that is owned by the government; federal public housing is owned by HUD and administered by local public housing agencies (PHAs). 

Additional public housing has not been built in decades. Advocates are thus focused primarily on preserving the public housing stock that remains. Issues facing today’s public housing include: generally well-run public housing agencies facing significant federal funding shortfalls; policies like demolition, disposition and the HOPE VI program that have resulted in the nationwide loss of public housing units; and calls for deregulation of public housing, through the expansion of the Moving to Work demonstration program and other efforts, that come at the expense of affordability, deep income targeting, resident participation, and programmatic accountability.

For more information on public housing, contact Sarah Saadian Mickelson, Senior Director of Policy, at or 202.662.1530 x228.

Additional Resources

Memo to Members and Partners Articles

October 21, 2019

NLIHC Publishes Tenant Talk: Protecting Public Housing from Political Storms

NLIHC released on October 17 the fall 2019 edition of Tenant Talk: Protecting Public Housing from Political Storms, a publication dedicated to low-income residents and their allies. This newest edition focuses on the issues faced by public housing residents, the history of public housing in the U.S…

October 17, 2019

Policy Update

Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Improve Public Housing For every 100 extremely low-income renter households in the U.S., there are only 37 available and affordable rental units. Public housing plays a crucial role in addressing the gap between affordable housing supply and demand, but decades of…

October 17, 2019

Our Homes, Our Votes Update

Affordable homes are built with ballots! That’s why NLIHC has launched Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020, a nonpartisan effort to engage renters, housing advocates, and candidates in the upcoming 2019 and 2020 elections.  Our country’s affordable housing crisis has reached historic heights, most…

October 17, 2019

Week of Action 2019

National Housing Week of Action 2019 was a great success! The third annual Our Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action proved to be another great success, with thousands of advocates raising their voices for affordable homes. Residents, organizations, and elected officials gathered at…