Housing Authorities in Tennessee

State of Housing in TennesseeA total of $13,861,717 was awarded to Tennessee this year to support local housing and service programs. The bulk of this award is earmarked for recovery programs from the damage caused by severe storms.

Housing Trust Fund

The Housing Trust Fund provides funds for the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of rental homes and for homeownership for extremely low- and very low-income families.The Fund provides funding to developers to preserve, rehabilitate and construct housing, primarily for extremely low-income families. At least 80 percent of the funds must be used for the production, preservation, rehabilitation, or operation of rental housing. Up to 10 percent can be used for the following homeownership activities for first-time homebuyers: production, preservation, and rehabilitation; down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, and assistance for interest rate buy-downs.

Emergency Repair (ERP) Program

This program provides grants to low income, elderly homeowners who are 60 years or older to correct, repair, or replace an essential system and/or a critical structural problem so that they can continue to live in their homes without risks or dangers. Examples of repairs are: roofs, electrical systems, plumbing systems, septic systems, heating and air systems, and structural repairs to floors or walls. The repairs must be done by a contractor licensed for the type of repair work being performed.

Homeowner Eligibility - Applicants must meet all of the following requirements: The applicant must be at least 60 years of age and must occupy the property to be repaired as her/her principal residence.The applicant must have an ownership interest in the property to be repaired.If the property to be repaired is a manufactured housing unit, it is notState of Housing in Tennessee necessary for the elderly homeowner to own the manufactured unit and the land on which it sits; the elderly homeowner must, however, have title to the manufactured unit.

Manufactured Homes

Home buyers are given financing for the purchase of manufactured homes or lots. The loans are made by private lending institutions. The maximum loan amount is $69,678 for a manufactured home, $92,904 for a manufactured home and a suitably developed lot, and $23,226 for a developed lot. The maximum limits for combination home and lot loans may be increased up to 85 percent in designated high-cost areas. The maximum loan term varies from 15 to 25 years, depending on the type of loan. Most manufactured home loans are financed through purchases by lenders of retail installment contracts between homebuyers and manufactured home dealers.

Multifamily Housing Service Coordinators

This program provides funding for service coordinators who assist elderly individuals and persons with disabilities, living in federally assisted multifamily housing and in the surrounding area, to obtain needed supportive services from community agencies. Independent living with assistance is a preferable, lower cost housing alternative to institutionalization for many frail older persons and persons with disabilities. HUD provides funding through three mechanisms:

  • A national competition with other properties for a limited amount of grant funding,
  • The use of the development's residual receipts or excess income, or
  • Budget-based rent increases or special rent adjustments.

Self-Help Housing Property Disposition

The property must be used for self-help housing for low-income persons. Residents of the property must make a substantial contribution of labor toward the construction, rehabilitation, or refurbishment of the property. HUD has the right to take the property back if it is not used in accordance with program requirements.

Housing Choice Voucher Program

Section 8 or housing choice voucher is a rent subsidy that gives an eligible person some choice about where to live. The local housing authority or a state housing agency gives the tenant a certificate or voucher that says the government will subsidize the person's rent payments. The tenant will pay no more than a third of his/her income on rent, with the government paying the rest. A family may be allowed to pay a little more out of personal income to meet the higher rent charged in some areas or complexes. Eligibility for housing choice vouchers or Section 8 is limited to:

  • Very low-income families;
  • Low-income families previously assisted under the public housing, Section 23, or Section 8 project-based housing programs;
  • Low-income families that are non-purchasing tenants of certain homeownership programs;
  • Low-income tenants displaced from certain Section 221 and 236 projects; or
  • Low-income families that meet PHA-specified eligibility criteria.

For the Section 8 subsidy to apply, housing must have been inspected and meet HUD standards.

Family Self-Sufficiency Program

State of Housing in TennesseeThe Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is administered by public housing agencies (PHAs) with the help of program coordinating committees (PCCs). The PCC usually consists of representatives of local government, employment and job training agencies, welfare agencies, nonprofit providers, local businesses, and assisted families.

Indian Housing

Indian housing assistance (modernization or operating assistance for housing previously developed or operated pursuant to a contract between HUD and an Indian housing authority):

  • Development of additional affordable housing;
  • Housing-related services for affordable housing;
  • Management services for affordable housing;
  • Safety, security, and law enforcement measures and activities appropriate to protect residents of affordable housing from crime; and
  • Housing activities under model programs designed to carry out the purposes of the Act, if specifically approved by HUD, as appropriate.

Lead Hazard Control

This program promotes preventive measures to correct multiple safety and health hazards in the home environment. It addresses childhood lead-based paint poisoning and other childhood diseases associated with poor housing conditions such as exposure to moisture, mold, poor air quality, lead paint, residential application of pesticides, the presence of allergens, vermin, dust, and other substances that contribute to asthma, and hazardous conditions that increase the risk of injury.

The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing

The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers (VAMCs) and community-based outreach clinics.After determining which areas of the country have the highest number of homeless Veterans, the VA Central Office identifies VA facilities in the corresponding communities. HUD then selects PHAs near to the identified VA facilities, taking into consideration the PHAs’ administrative performance, and sends the PHAs invitations to apply for the vouchers.

Weatherization Assistance Program

Tennessee's Weatherization Assistance Program has been transferred to the administration of Tennessee Housing Development Agency. The Weatherization Assistance Program is designed to assist low-income households in reducing their fuel costs while contributing to national energy conservation through increased energy efficiency and consumerState of Housing in Tennessee education. Households that include young children, elderly or disabled members are given priority for service. Weatherization measures provided will reduce heat loss and energy costs by improving the thermal efficiency of dwelling units occupied by low-income households. Examples of common weatherization measures that may be provided are weather stripping, caulking, and adding of insulation to attics, walls and floors.


Income limits for public housing and vouchers change every year and are different in different parts of the state and for different sized families. Often, the income limits for a housing program appear right on the application itself.

Income Limits for Housing Subsidy in Tennessee

FY 2013 Very Low-Income (50%) Limit (VLIL)
Income Limit Information Median Family Income 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
FY 2013 VLIL $54,300 $19,000 $21,700 $24,450 $27,150 $29,300 $31,500 $33,650 $35,850
FY 2013 Extremely Low-Income (30%) Limit (ELIL)
Income Limit Information 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
FY 2013 ELIL $11,400 $13,050 $14,650 $16,300 $17,600 $18,900 $20,200 $21,500
FY 2013 Low-Income (80%) Limit (LIL)
Income Limit Information 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
FY 2013 LIL $30,400 $34,750 $39,100 $43,450 $46,900 $50,400 $53,850 $57,350

Tenants residing in elderly/handicapped public housing pay 30% of net income and do not pay for any utilities.Tenants residing in the family public housing development pay 30% of net income and pay for some utilities.Applicants for public housing, rent subsidy, or other housing assistance must also pass a criminal background check. They may be given priority if they are:

  • Persons who are homeless due to natural disasters.
  • Persons who are homeless due to public action.
  • Persons with emergency needs (such as domestic violence victims, persons with medical emergencies, or homeless persons facing an immediate threat to their health and safety.
  • Veterans and local residents

Unemployment Rate in Tennessee

The unemployment rate for Tennessee rose 0.2 percentage points in April 2013 to 8.0%. The state unemployment rate was 0.5 percentage points higher than the national rate for the month. It peaked in June 2009 at 11.0% and is now 3.0 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 7.6% in December 2012, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.4 percentage points.

Unemployment RateMarch 2013Month/MonthYear/Year
National 7.5% -0.1 -0.6
Tennessee 8.0% +0.2 -0.1

A state’s unemployment rate generally affects its housing waiting lists. The higher the unemployment rate, the longer the waiting lists are. The demand for housing and rent subsidy programs usually exceeds the available supply of funds. Please ask your housing agency for details of the programs you want to join.