Private vs. Government-Assisted Housing: An overview

It is very important that you understand the difference between private and government-assisted housing, because depending on what type of housing you live in will affect your rights. There are very specific legal requirements for how a government-assisted housing provider can access, look at, and consider your criminal record, and different requirements for what a private landlord can access, look at, and consider.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE TERMS USED IN THE HOUSING CHAPTER: We use the term “government-assisted” housing throughout this Chapter to refer to housing programs and owners of housing that receive money from the federal government. We do not use “public housing” to talk about any and all housing that gets government money because there is actually a specific program run by the government called the “Public Housing” program. So when we use the term “Public Housing,” we are referring to the specific Public Housing program, NOT all housing that receives government support.