Public Housing Resident Organizing and Participation Toolkit

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Guide 1: Organizing and Running Resident Councils


When neighbors in public housing come together and form an organization to improve their housing and community you create a resident council.

Resident councils provide a way for you to work and negotiate with the housing authority, work on community concerns, and get to know your neighbors. This guide will walk you through how to form a duly-elected resident council, the responsibilities and opportunities of resident councils, and structure.

Key Points

  • Resident councils work to improve residents’ quality of life and satisfaction and to create a positive living environment
  • Resident councils may actively participate through a partnership with the housing authority to advise and assist in all aspects of public housing operations
  • To be recognized by the local housing authority and HUD as a “duly-elected resident council,” your organization must follow certain guidelines which are spelled out in this guide
  • Across the country, public housing residents are having big impacts in their communities through resident councils

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