Bristol Housing Authority

Welcome to Bristol Housing Authority

FAQs about Housing Programs

What is subsidized housing?

Subsidized housing refers to housing units that are funded entirely or partially by the government.

What is public housing?

Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered single family houses to high-rise apartments for elderly families. There are approximately 1.2 million households living in public housing units, managed by some 3,300 HAs. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to local housing agencies (HAs) 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. (Source:

Will I have to sign a lease?

If you are offered a house or apartment and accept it, you will have to sign a lease with the housing authority. You may have to give the housing authority a security deposit. You and the BHA representative should go over the lease together. This will give you a better understanding of your responsibilities as a tenant and the housing authority's responsibilities as a landlord.

Are there any selection preferences?

Aside from qualifying for housing, preference is given to elderly, non-elderly disabled, veterans, the homeless, victims of domestic violence, overcrowding, those who live or work in Bristol, and/or those displaced due to natural disaster. 

How is rent determined?

Rent is determined based on household income. Typically, renters pay about 30% of adjusted income, or 10% of gross household income. Rent is calculated in accordance with HUD regulations. Details can be found on your lease agreement.

How long can I stay in public housing?

In general, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the lease.
If, at reexamination your family's income is sufficient to obtain housing on the private market, the housing authority may determine whether your family should stay in public housing. You will not be required to move unless there is affordable housing available for you on the private market. (Source:

What if someone in my family does not have a photo ID?

Photo IDs must be submitted by everyone in your household over the age of 18.

What if someone in my family does not have a social security number/card?

All members of your family are required to have a social security card, if they have a social security number. If you cannot find your card, or you've never had a social security number, copies of your green card, or a receipt showing you have purchased a replacement social security card will be accepted. In the chance that someone in your family does not have a social security number, a signed certification must be submitted to verify they have no number.

What if someone in my family does not have a birth certificate?

Birth certificates must also be submitted by everyone in your family.