Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Can I apply for a Section 8 housing through THA offices?

A. No. Section 8 housing is handled through the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. More information on Section 8 housing can be found by calling the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs at: (609) 292-4080 or by visiting:


Q. How can I request a record from the Trenton Housing Authority?

A. To obtain records, please fill out a Open Public Records Act Request Form and follow the instructions on that document.


Q: Where is the Trenton Housing Authority Admissions & Occupancy Office Located?

A: The Trenton Housing Authority Administration/Community Center is located at 875 New Willow Street, Trenton, NJ 08638. We can also be reached by phone at: (609) 278-5000.


Q: What are hours of Operation?

A: The office is open Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30 am - 4:30 pm


Q: What qualifies me as an applicant?

A: You must be 18 years of age or older.



  • Emancipated minors who qualify under State law will be recognized as head of household if there is a court order recognizing them as an emancipated minor.
  • Persons who are married are legally and recognized as adults under state law.
  • Heads of household, where at least one member of the household is either a citizen or an eligible non-citizen. (Note: The qualifying factors of eligibility will not be verified until the family is in a position on the waiting list to be offered a housing unit.)


    Q: Can I re-apply if I owe a balance from previous tenancy?


    A: Previous outstanding debts to this THA resulting from a previous tenancy in the public housing program should be paid in full prior to admission. No payment agreement will be accepted.


    Q: What credentials are required when filling out an application?


    • Social Security cards for head of household and all family members age 6 or older, or written verification that they do not have social security card.
    • Birth Certificates for head of household and all other family members.
    • Eligible immigrants must produce credentials i.e. Green Cards, etc.


    Q: How do you determine what size apartment families will require?


    • Head of household and spouse (or significant other) share a bedroom.
    • Two sons or two daughters who are less than 17 years of age may share a bedroom.
    • Parents have separate bedroom from children of the opposite sex who are more than five (5) years of age.
    • Whenever possible, no more than two (2) persons are to occupy one (1) bedroom.


    Q: What are some reasons an application will be withdrawn from the wait list?

    A: If an applicant:

    • Does not have current contact information i.e. address, telephone.
    • Is not a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant.
    • Has drug-related criminal activity.
    • Poor rental history.


    Q. How can I be added to the waiting list?

    A. You can learn more about the application and waiting list process for public housing by calling the THA Admissions Office at: 609-278-5007


    Q: How long is the wait list?

    A: The THA wait list is two (2) to five (5)years. For larger 3 and 4 bedroom units, the wait list may be longer.


    Q: How are application ranked on the waiting list?

    A: Applicants will be ranked on the waiting list based upon the following:

    1) Date and time the pre-application is received;

    2) The size and type of unit they require;

    3) Employment status—preference is given to families where the head, spouse or sole member is employed and has been employed for 24 month.  This preference is also automatically extended to elderly families or a family whose head or spouse meets the HUD/Social Security definition of disability (this should be linked to the actual definition--

    4) Involuntary Displacement—preference will be given to families who have been involuntarily displaced and are not living in standard, permanent replacement housing.  

    Involuntary Displacement:
    Families are considered to be involuntarily displaced if they are required to vacate housing as a result of one of the following situations:

    • A disaster (fire, flood, earthquake, etc.) that has caused the unit to be inhabitable;
    • Federal, State or local government action related to code enforcement, public improvement or development;
    • Action by a housing owner—other than a rent increase—which is beyond the applicant's ability to control and occurs despite the applicant having met all previous conditions of occupancy.

    Definition of Standard Replacement Housing:
    Standard replacement housing is defined as housing that is decent, safe and sanitary and is adequate for the family size and that the family is occupying pursuant to a written or oral lease of occupancy agreement.

    5) Substandard Housing—preference will be given to applicants living in substandard housing

    Definition of Sub-Standard Housing:
    Applicants who live in substandard housing are families whose dwelling meets one or more of the following criteria, provided that the family did not cause the condition:

    • Is dilapidated, as cited by officials of code enforcement, and does not provide safe and adequate shelter;
    • Has one or more critical defects or a combination of defects requiring considerable repair;
    • Endangers the health, safety and well-being of the family;
    • Does not have operable indoor plumbing;
    • Does not have a useable flush toilet for the exclusive use of the family;
    • Does not have a useable bathtub or shower unit for the exclusive family use;
    • Does not have an adequate, safe source of heat,
    • Has been declared unfit for habitation by a government agency; or
    • Has a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised public or private shelter providing temporary accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters and transitional housing), or an institution providing temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or a public or private place not ordinarily used as a sleeping accommodations for human beings.

    6) Welfare to Work/Education Training—preference is given to families who are graduates or participants in educational and training programs designed to prepare the individual for the job market.

    7) Disability—preference is extended to disabled persons or families with a disabled member.  Proof of disability will be required at time of selection.  HUD regulations prohibit admission preferences for specific types of disabilities.


    Q: Can applicants choose the complex or site where they want to live?

    A: No, housing complex assignments are given based on apartment vacancy and the needs of the family.  However, the THA is considering developing a site-based waiting list for housing in the future.


    Q: How much is the rent?

    A: The following are two (2) types of family choice rents.

    • Income-Based rent is 30 percent of the family's monthly-adjusted income.
    • Flat rent is based on the rental value of the apartment, which is determined by a market study conducted by Trenton Housing Authority.


    Q: Can tenants have pets?

    A: Yes. There is a $10.00 registration fee; a $100.00 Additional Security Deposit for pets, and tenant must register the pet and ensure that you have all appropriate shot records for your pets. 



    Q: Where do I pay my rent?

    A: Rent is NOT collected at the manager's office.  Rent is mailed to a lockbox maintained by the U.S. Postal Service. The lockbox address is: Trenton Housing Authority, P.O. Box 48337, Newark, NJ 07101-4837


    • A rent statement and return envelope is mailed to all residents on or around the 25th of each month.
    • The resident is to mail the statement along with check or money order in the return envelope. The resident MUST mail in the exact amount shown on rent statement.  If check bounces, the resident must mail all future payments in money order form.
    • Checks and money orders are then sent to the bank where the payments are processed and the payment information is submitted to the THA, and the payments are credited to the residents' accounts.
    • Rent is due the 1st of each month, and is deemed late after the 5th business day of the month in which the rent is due.
    • Resident will incur a $30.00 late fee for bounced checks, and a $25.00 fee for late rent payments.


    Q: What is THA's 'Selection and Suitability' Criteria in the housing admissions process?

    A: All applicants undergo a thorough review of their current and past behavior to ensure they meet THA's 'selection and suitability' criteria.  Through this behavior assessment, applicants must demonstrate their ability to comply with essential elements of a lease to show that they are suitable for housing assistance.  Specifically, their current and past behavior must show their ability to:

    • Pay rent and other charges as required by the lease in a timely manner;
    • Care for and avoid damaging the unit and common areas;
    • Use facilities, appliances and equipment in a reasonable manner;
    • Create no health or safety hazards and report maintenance needs in a timely manner;
    • Not interfere with the rights and peaceful enjoyment of others and avoid damaging the property of others;
    • Engage in NO criminal activity or alcohol abuse;
    • Engage in NO drug-related criminal activity on or off the THA premises;
    • Not contain a household member subject to the lifetime sex offender registration requirement under a State Sex Offender Registration Program;
    • Comply with rules and program requirements o HUD and THA;
    • Comply with local health and safety codes



    Q: How do I apply for low-rent housing?


    A: For your answer go to this page: Apply for Housing.  


    Q: How can I apply for Hope VI housing?

    A: Please go to the following link for additional information: Hope VI /Penrose Housing.