HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the new flat rent standard required by the FY14 Appropriations Act and implemented by Notice PIH 2014-12 (see Memo, 5/23). The FY14 Act requires the standard for the flat rent option to be no less than 80% of the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the public housing agency’s (PHA’s) area. The FY14 Act also requires any flat rent increase for current residents that is greater than 35% to be phased in over a three-year period.
Current law requires public housing residents to have the choice annually of either paying an “income-based rent” or a “flat rent” not based on a household’s income. The purpose of the flat rent option is to reduce the economic pressure on higher-income tenants to move out of public housing as their income increases.
The FAQ addresses fourteen issues including:
- If a PHA’s new flat rent amount for current residents is too great to be reasonably phased in within the required three-year period, PHAs may delay the full impact beyond the initial three years.
- If a PHA amended its flat rent standard before PIH Notice 2014-12 was issued but did not meet all of the required steps in the Notice, and raised a family’s flat rent payment by more than 35%, the PHA must repay the family for any rent overcharges.
- Rents charged at a unit financed in part with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) may not exceed LIHTC maximum rents, which could be lower than 80% of the FMR. LIHTC maximum rents are 30% of 60% of the area median income, (AMI) or 30% of 50% of AMI.
The FAQ is at: http://1.usa.gov/1nwqUtk