District residents who lived in certain federally subsidized housing projects four years ago have until Jan. 31 to apply for an average of $500 in rent refunds.

More than 5,700 District residents who paid illegal rent increases are owed refunds, but so far only 15 percent have filed.

The $60 million in refunds are the result of a class action suit filed in 1975 against the Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of an estimated 500,000 tenants in 5,000 housing projects across the country.

Persons who lived in HUD Section 236 housing between Feb. 1, 1975 and Sept. 30, 1977, may be eligible for the refunds.

Those who do not file claims by the Jan. 31 deadline will not receive refunds.

Claim forms may be obtained from Secion 236 project managers or by calling, toll free, 800-824-7980.

Ninety of the projects are in the Washington area.

Persons who lived in the following projects in the District between Feb. 1, 1975 and Sept. 30, 1977 may be eligible:

Azeeze Bates Court, Benning Road Apartments, Brentwood Village Apartments, Capitol Manor, Capitol Towers, Capitol View Plaza, Columbia Heights Village, E Street Apartments.

Eastern Avenue Apartments, Edgewood Terrace Apartments, Section II, Fairmont Square, Foster-House, 46th Street Apartments, Gibson Plaza, Glen Arms Apartments, Glendale Gardens Inc.

Golden Rule Apartments, Golden Rule Center, Hedin House, Immaculate Conception Community, Langston Lane, Lincoln Apartments, Lincoln-Westmoreland, Mayfair Mansions, Park Road Apartments.

Parkway-Overlook East, Pentacle Apartments, S Street Apartments, Samuel Keysey Garden Apartments, Sayles Place Homes, SCORD I, Valley Wind, Shaw Urban Renewal -- Parcel 15, Southern Avenue Inc.

Stoneridge I & II, Trenton Terrace, Twelfth Street Apartments, Tyler House, Urban Village, Washington Apartments.