Public Housing

The ORHA Public Housing program is income-based housing.  It was established to provide quality affordable rental housing opportunities for eligible extremely low-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. In income-based housing, residents generally pay about 30% of their income for rent and utilities. 

ORHA determines how much your rent will be based on your income and any eligible deductions and exclusions.  Residents are responsible to pay their rent on time, pay their utilities, maintain the unit in good condition and notify ORHA of any changes in income or family composition.

The Oak Ridge Housing Authority manages 128 public housing units, scattered sites in Oak Ridge.

If you are interested in applying for ORHA Public Housing you can contact Kari King, Public Housing Manager at 865.482.1006 or via email at

Frequently Asked Questions

  • chevron_right
    Are there preferences for Public Housing?

    Within each preference, the oldest application is processed first. For Public Housing, ORHA uses the following preferences and scores:

    1. Families displaced by government action through no fault of their own or displaced from the Voucher Program due to reductions in federal funding. (100 points)
    2. Families who meet the homeless criteria under the HUD category 1 Literally Homeless definition, who are referred by homelessness providers or families who are fleeing domestic violence. (100 points)
    3. Families where the head, spouse, or co-head is a Military Veteran, elderly (62 or older), or disabled. (25 points)
    4. Families where the head, spouse, or co-head is employed at least 20 hours per week. (25 points)
    5. All other eligible applicants based on date and time of application.

    Applicants may qualify for more than one preference. Assistance is offered based on the type of unit required and the time and date of application. (Oldest first).

  • chevron_right
    Who is eligible for Public Housing?

    Public housing is limited to income-qualified families/households, elderly individuals, and persons with disabilities. In addition, our housing authority determines eligibility based on:

    • Annual gross income
    • Family background information – this includes current and prior landlords, personal references, and performance meeting financial obligations (especially rent)
    • Criminal history

    You will also need to provide references, verify your income, and provide social security cards and birth certificates for all household members.

  • chevron_right
    What are the income limits?

    Income limits are set by HUD. (See table below). Persons wanting to live in ORHA public housing must have a gross income at or below the income limit for the appropriate family/household size.

    FY 2024 Income Limits for Anderson County

    Household Size














  • chevron_right
    Are Pets Allowed?

    Certain types and sizes of pets are permitted. Proof of vaccinations, spay/neuter documentation, and payment of a $200.00 pet deposit will be required before the pet can be brought onto ORHA property. This does not apply to service animals.