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Frequently Asked Questions


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Are appointments necessary?

No, they are not necessary to pick up an application. However, you must attend an interview appointment before being placed on the wait list.

Can I look at a unit before I apply?

The VBHA does not keep units open for viewing. Our maintenance staff works hard to prepare units as quickly as possible so that we may call the next person on the list. You will be given the opportunity to inspect the unit before you sign your lease agreement.

Do you allow pets?

The Family Pet Deposit is $200.00 with a monthly Pest Eradication Fee of $5.00. All pet deposits are due at move in. All pets must meet the guidelines in the VBHA Pet Policy.

Do you run background checks?

Yes. We are not able to house some people with criminal history related to domestic violence, drug charges and sex crimes.

Do you run credit checks?

Yes. Poor credit does not automatically disqualify you from participation in the program. In most cases, your credit report is not a factor. We typically only consider negative history as it applies to previous landlords and local utility companies.

How are the number of bedrooms determined?

1-Bedroom 3-People are the maximum
2-Bedroom 5-People are the maximum
3-Bedroom 7-People are the maximum
4-Bedroom 9-People are the maximum

How long is the wait for housing?

The wait on each list varies, and it is not possible to give you an exact time. It is best that you ask at the time you complete your application so we might give you an estimated answer based on where your application or name is on the waiting list. At this time the waitlist is exceptionally short. 

How much is the Public Housing Security Deposit?

The Security Deposit is no more than $160.

How much will rent be?

Rent is based on 30% of the adjusted income. VBHA has a minimum rent of $50.

One Bedroom units currently rent for a flat fee of $417 per month.
Two Bedroom units currently rent for a flat fee of $549 per month.
Three Bedroom units currently rent for a flat fee of $760 per month.
Four Bedroom units currently rent for a flat fee of $897 per month.

The tenant pays the gas and electric and VBHA pays for the water, sewer and trash removal.

What amenities are close to the Van Buren Housing Authority?

We are a scattered complex so not all of our units are close to all of the amenities listed. We are located within walking distance of Summit Medical Center, Bank OZK, the Van Buren Public Library, some schools, restaurants, gas stations, churches, shopping and drug stores. Within a short distance from VBHA you will find the Van Buren Police Department, court house, municipal complex, grocery stores, child care centers and the Pointer Football Field just to mention a few places.

Within walking distance:

  • Summit Medical Center
  • Bank of the OZK
  • Van Buren Public Library
  • Some schools
  • Restaurants
  • Service stations
  • Churches
  • Shopping
  • Drug stores

Within a short distance from us:

  • Court house
  • Municipal complex
  • Grocery stores
  • Child care centers
  • Pointer Football Field
What are the maximum income eligibility guidelines for Public Housing?

1-person - $29,650   5-people - $45,700 
2-people - $33,850   6-people - $49,100
3-people - $38,100   7-people - $52,500
4-people - $43,300   8-people - $55,850

What are units furnished with?

All units are furnished with:

  • Gas range
  • Refrigerator
  • Large pantry in kitchen
  • Plenty of kitchen cabinets
  • Washer and dryer hook-ups
  • Smoke alarm
  • Cable ready
  • Phone jacks
  • Some units are equipped with flip down windows
  • Plenty of closets
  • Outdoor locked storage units
  • Small patio

A bus shelter is provided for the school children at all sites.

All of the local schools have storm shelters.

What are your hours of operation?

Office Hours are Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Lobby Hours are Monday - Thursday 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

What documents do I need to bring with me?

You will need to bring the following items with you to your interview:

  • Original picture I.D. for all persons over 18
  • Original Social Security cards for all members of the household
  • Proof of current income
  • Six months of checking or savings account information
  • Rental references: name and address of landlords for the past 3 years
  • Official State Birth Certificates for children under 18 years of age
  • Marriage License, Divorce Decree or Separation Statement
  • Proof of any assets
  • All documents related to your pet (City tag, Rabies tag, shot records, Pet Service Agreement)
What if I don't have any income?

Having no income does not disqualify you for Public Housing. However, you will be required to demonstrate the ability to pay the minimum rent and utilities.

What is the application process?

Come into the office and get an application. If you are unable to come to the office, you may call and request an application be mailed to you.

Once you have filled out the entire application and gathered the documents on page 2 of the application, you will call the office at 479-474-6901 to schedule your interview. Your application will begin processing at this time and, if approved, you will be placed on the wait list.

Please arrive on time for this appointment and bring in all the requested documents. If you do not provide the requested documents, your appointment may be rescheduled so that you may gather the documents.

Application Process
Van Buren Housing Authority administers the Public Housing Program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The family must meet the low or extremely low-income guidelines published yearly by the Department of Urban Development (HUD):

1-person - $29,650   5-people - $45,700 
2-people - $33,850   6-people - $49,100
3-people - $38,100   7-people - $52,500
4-people - $43,300   8-people - $55,850

Applications are available on this website, at our office, or at your county Department of Human Services office. We can mail applications upon request.
To request an application by mail, call 479-474-6901

Submitting an Application
To apply for rental assistance, the family must complete an application and be placed on the waiting list. The length of time on the waiting list is determined by the number of families currently on the list.

The applicant must complete the application and turn in all required documents at the scheduled interview.

The following information and documents are required when turning in the application for housing assistance:

  • Original picture I.D. for all persons over 18
  • Original Social Security cards for all members of the household
  • Proof of current income
  • Rental references: name and address of landlords for the past 3 years
  • Official State Birth Certificates for children under 18 years of age
  • Proof of any assets

Once the Housing Authority has processed and approved the application, the applicants name is placed on the waiting list.

The applicant is required to call into the office each week in order for their application to stay active. Once placed on the waiting list they may be asked to call in monthly.

Length of the waiting list is determined by the number of families currently on the list and the number of vacant units available.

If your address changes while you are on the waiting list, you must send our office a written statement with your new address. It is important that we have your correct mailing address, if a letter is sent to inform you that there is an opening for assistance, you have only have 7 days to call our office or your name will be removed from the list and you will need to re-apply and be placed at the bottom of the list. Our agency is not responsible for undelivered mail.

Apartment Offers
Once an apartment becomes available, the Housing Authority will notify the applicant by mail and phone if available. The applicant will have 7 days to contact the office or they will be removed from the list and will have to re-apply to be placed at the bottom of the list.

Upon acceptance of the offer, an appointment time will be set up to sign the Lease and all of the required documents. The appointment time will take between 45 minutes - 60 minutes. The applicant and all adult members of the household are required to be at this appointment. If the appointment is missed with no notification, the unit will be offered to the next person on the list.

At this time, the applicant will also be informed what rent and security deposit amounts will be due at the appointment. Rent is based on 30% of adjusted income or the Flat Rent amount. The Van Buren Housing Authority accepts checks or money orders only.

Payments must be adjusted during the term of rental assistance if there are any changes in income, family size or allowances. Any and all changes must be reported in writing within 10 days of occurrence. Failure to notify our office of any changes will result in repayment of back rent amounts due, utility allowances paid to you that you were not entitled to, and if not resolved will result in termination of assistance.

Before the scheduled appointment time, the tenant-paid utilities, gas and electric, are required to be turned on. The Housing Manager will call before the appointment time to verify that the applicant has contacted the Utility Companies for connection. IF the applicant shows up to the appointment and has NOT contacted the Utility Companies, the appointment will be rescheduled if possible or the unit will be offered to the next person on the list.

Inspections

You will do your own move in inspection prior to rents and security deposits being collected. 

What is the difference between Public Housing and Section 8 Housing?

Public Housing (VBHA) has its own housing units which it offers to applicants. Section 8 Housing is where the applicant has to find a house or apartment that accepts vouchers. The VBHA does not accept Section 8 Vouchers. The Crawford County Section 8 phone number is 479-474-0512.

What type of units are available?

We have 198 family units scattered throughout the complex.

  • 10 units are 1-bedroom at 600 sq. ft.
  • 14 units are 3-bedroom at 1057 sq. ft.
  • 4 units are 1-bedroom at 720 sq. ft.
  • 10 units are 3-bedroom at 1058 sq. ft.
  • 28 units are 2-bedroom at 816 sq. ft.
  • 2 units are 4-bedroom at 1232 sq. ft.
  • 12 units are 2-bedroom at 941 sq. ft.
  • 3 units are 4-bedroom at 1124 sq. ft.
  • 10 units are 2-bedroom at 921 sq. ft.
  • 1 unit is a 4-bedroom at 1130 sq. ft.
  • 28 units are 3-bedroom at 964 sq. ft.

Eight of the family units are designated as handicap apartments that are 100% handicap friendly. All of the Handicap units are equipped with:

  • Emergency call switches in the bathrooms and bedrooms.
  • Easy access to the kitchen, bathroom sinks, thermostat and light switched.
  • Roll-in shower stall with a hand held shower head.
What utilities are included in rent?

The water and trash are included, you will be required to pay gas and electric.

Where is your public housing office located?

1701 Chestnut Street, Van Buren, Arkansas 72956
Call 479-474-6901 for driving directions.