Where to Find Public and Project-Based Housing Programs (HUD Properties)

Public housing is rental housing for families, older adults, and people with disabilities who have low incomes. Public housing in Iowa is often large multi-unit complexes but can also be single-family homes or small supportive housing arrangements (“group homes”).  The property owner is often the local public housing authority (PHA), but they may contract or transfer ownership of the property to a private landlord or organization.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives federal aid to PHAs to develop and manage public housing following public housing rules. People apply for public housing at their local PHA or by contacting the HUD Field Office. If eligible, people pay about 30 percent of their income on rent at public housing properties.

Find and apply for public housing through the local public housing authority or by contacting the Des Moines HUD Field Office at (515)284-4512.

For more help with HUD rental programs contact the Public and Indian Housing Information Resource Center at (800)955-2232.

Find specific public housing properties using the HUD Resource Locator interactive map:

  • A menu of options will pop up.
  • First, select the “Find Affordable Elderly and Special Needs Housing” icon. 
  • Next, zoom in on the map to find nearby public housing.
  • Public housing options will populate the map with orange icons. 
  • Click the icons for more information.

To find rural properties developed through the USDA:

  • Click on the “Home” icon near the top of the page. 
  • From the menu of options, select “Find Affordable Housing Opportunities Near Me.” 
  • USDA Rural Housing options will populate the map with green icons. 
  • Click the icons for more information.

Contact the landlord or property manager to ask about availability.