Out of a $75 million FY12 Appropriations Act provision for tenant protection vouchers, $10 million was set aside for low income households in low-vacancy areas who may have to pay more than 30% of their income for rent at three types of HUD-assisted multifamily properties (see Memo, 11/18/11). The tenant protection assistance may be enhanced vouchers or project-based vouchers. Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Scott Brown (R-MA) introduced this provision in response to advocates identifying at-risk tenants.
A notice intended to implement this provision, PIH 2012-19, had many flaws identified by advocates (see Memo, 3/23/12) and was withdrawn by HUD when the Senators raised the advocates’ concerns. A proposed notice PIH 2012-39 was issued that was an improvement, but still had a number of shortcomings noted by advocates (see Memo, 10/12/12).
A final notice, PIH 2013-08, was issued on April 12, 2013. It has one improvement. Instead of limiting assistance to residents who would be paying more than 40% of their income for rent, a three-tiered system is established. First priority would still go to residents who would have to pay more than 40% of their income for rent, but if funds remain, then a second tier priority would assist household who would have to pay more than 35% of their income. A third tier would cover, if funds are available, households who would have to pay more than 30% of their income.
Key problems were not addressed in the final notice, including:
- Instead of making the full $10 million available as provided in the FY12 Appropriations Act, HUD is only setting aside $4 million (down from $6 million in PIH 2012-19). As in the previous notices, HUD states that because the $10 million is a set aside within $75,000,000 appropriated for all tenant protection needs, such as tenants displaced by public housing demolition, the department wants to ensure resources are available for other tenant protection assistance needs. However, if tenant protection vouchers are not needed for other situations, the notice indicates that HUD may add to the $4 million.
- The notice still requires owners to request tenant protection vouchers and does not provide a mechanism for tenants to make a request if the owner does not. Owners only have until June 14, 2013 to apply.
PIH Notice 2013-8 is at http://1.usa.gov/17O8Dl3 (PDF).