Application Information

Persons interested in applying for CMHA Public Housing may do so by completing an application at the location listed below:

CMHA Administrative Campus
8120 Kinsman Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44104
(216) 361-3700
Directions to this location

Submit Pre-Application online

Download the Public Housing Reasonable Accommodation Application (PDF)

What To Bring When Applying

All applicants for CMHA public housing must be 18 years of age or older, or an emancipated minor, and must provide the following information when making application:

  • Picture ID for each person 18 years of age or older (current state ID or driver's license)
  • Birth certificates and social security cards for each adult and child who will be living in the apartment. (additional information on replacement social security cards and related information)
  • Present and past landlords. Please provide the names, addresses (street, city, state, zip code), and phone numbers of all landlords for the past 5 years.
  • Applicants who have lived in public housing or Housing Choice Voucher Program housing previously, need to provide the address and dates of their residence.
  • Divorced applicants must provide a copy of the divorce decree.
  • Pregnant or disabled applicants must provide a doctor's statement.

CMHA will also need to verify applicants' income and assets. Please provide documentation for any of the following items that apply:

  • Employment Income
  • School Verification
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Annuity(ies)
  • Foreclosure
  • Child Support Orders
  • Social Security Income
  • Pension (Retirement)
  • Bank Account Verification
  • TANF Benefits Printout
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Railroad Retirement
  • Home Value (Tax statements/appraisals)
  • Unemployment Benefits
  • No-Income Statement
  • Self-Employment Verification


Approximate waiting list times vary by bedroom size, type of unit (family vs. High Rise) and admission preferences. An Intake Specialist contacts applicants once their name comes to the top of the waiting list for the appropriate bedroom size. Applicants should contact CMHA if there is a change in their address or any other information previously provided to CMHA which might affect their waiting list status.

Designated Housing

Applicants age 62 or older at the time of application may obtain an on the spot eligibility interview on a walk-in basis at CMHA’s Applications Office.

When Are Applicants Notified of Eligibility?

Once CMHA determines applicants are eligible, they are notified in writing and their names put on a waiting list, unless CMHA is able to offer housing immediately. CMHA contacts applicants once their names reach the top of the list. Any applicants determined to be ineligible will receive an explanation telling them why, but are free to request an informal hearing on the decision.

Do Applicants Have To Sign A Lease?

All applicants must sign a lease if they are offered and accept housing with CMHA (a security deposit may be required). Prospective residents should review the lease with a CMHA representative to gain a better understanding of their responsibilities as a tenant as well as CMHA's responsibilities as a landlord.

Are There Any Selection Preferences?

CMHA has implemented local preferences in tenant selection from the waiting list. A "preference" is an existing situation which qualifies an applicant for a priority position on the waiting list once the applicant has been determined eligible for HUD-assisted housing.

A preference does not guarantee admission. The applicant must still meet or exceed the Authority's tenant screening criteria for eligibility. Each claimed preference is equally weighted. Preferences are not ranked in any order. Preferences will be given to applicants who are otherwise eligible and who, at the time all other eligibility factors/information is verified, meet the criteria.

Public Housing program preferences will consist of seven high priority preferences for:

  • victims of natural disasters,
  • involuntary displacement,
  • successful completion of a substance abuse treatment or supportive housing program housed within or in partnership with CMHA,
  • individuals aging out of foster care,
  • enrollment in the County’s Pay for Success Intervention Model for Family Unification,
  • transfers from other CMHA managed housing programs, and
  • homeless families with children:

and three standard priority preferences for:

  • homelessness,
  • working families and those unable to work because of age (elderly) or disability (disabled), and
  • Veterans and veterans’ families.

for the following local CMHA preferences:

  1. Involuntary displacement. (disaster, government action, action of housing owner, inaccessibility, property disposition.)
  2. Successful completion of a residential substance abuse treatment program and continued drug- and alcohol-free status by the head of household.
  3. Substandard housing.
  4. Homelessness.
  5. Veterans and veteran's families.
  6. Those currently enrolled in educational, training, or upward mobility programs.
  7. Working Families. (Defined to mean families where the head of household or spouse is working at least 20 hours per week, without regard to the level of earnings.)
  8. Age 62 and over or disabled/handicapped.
  9. Full-time student in an accredited institution or skills-based training program

Fair Housing Information

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:

  • Race or color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18)
  • Disability

Fair Housing Links

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Provides assistance for those who have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and believe their rights have been violated.

The National Fair Housing Advocate Online

  • A resource designed to serve both the fair housing advocacy community and the general public with timely news and information regarding the issues of housing discrimination.

Cleveland Tenants Organization (CTO)