Public Housing Residents

Public housing is home to approximately 2.2 million seniors, low-income families and people with disabilities:


• Nearly 320,000 seniors rely on public housing and supportive services.  Elderly households represent 31% of all public housing households.

• 27% of public housing’s seniors are 80 years of age or older.*

• The median annual income for an elderly household in public housing is $10,000.*

• 72% of seniors rely on Social Security payments as their primary source of income.*

People with Disabilities

• Public housing is home to 308,000 households in which one or more members are living with a disability, representing 32% of all public housing households.

• 17,963 public housing households have a child with a disability.*

Families with Children

• 850,000 children live in public housing, representing 41% of all public housing residents.  Public housing provides not only a home, but also a host of services aimed at creating stability and increasing their opportunities for the future.

Low-Income Households

• The mean income for a public housing household is $11,295.

• On average, the income of public housing households is only 23.8% of the median income for their areas.*

• Close to 49% of non-elderly, non-disabled households obtain their primary source of income from wages.*

• The average household size is 2.2 people.

All data are from the HUD Resident Characteristics Report as of April 2006, except where noted with an asterisk (*).  Data marked with an asterisk (*) are from an extract of HUD’s Multifamily Tenant Characteristics System (MTCS) from 2001.  The 2001 extract was the most current extract available at the time of this writing.  Although this data is several years old, the profile of the population of public housing has likely not changed significantly in the past several years.