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Housing: Earned Income Disregard

Quick Facts

If you live in public housing and go to work, then you may be entitled to a twelve (12) month rent freeze.

Public housing residents are eligible for this rent freeze if their income increased after they:

  1. were unemployed for one or more years, including those who worked and earned less than the equivalent of 500 hours at minimum wage in the previous 12 months ($2,575.00);
  2. participated in an economic self-sufficiency or other job training program; or
  3. received Work First financial assistance or services from the Department of Social Services during the previous six months.

After the first year, a public housing authority may count fifty percent (50%) of the increased earned income from work in calculating the tenant’s rent for the next 12 months.

REMINDER: This rule applies to public housing residents only. It does not apply to participants in any Section 8 housing assistance program, except disabled Section 8 voucher recipients.

If you think that you qualify for this rent freeze, then you should contact your housing authority and ask them to review your eligibility. If you are found ineligible and disagree with the decision, then you should contact your local Legal Aid of North Carolina Office.


To find other Legal Aid of North Carolina materials, including any materials mentioned in this document, go to If you need legal help please go to



Last Review and Update: Jul 05, 2012
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