A notice issued by HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) on January 22 outlines temporary provisions to lower some administrative requirements for public housing agencies (PHAs) that administer Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers. According to Notice PIH 2013-3, HUD recognizes that decreased Congressional appropriations have strained PHAs’ ability to provide housing assistance, while the need for affordable housing has increased.
The notice offers PHAs four opportunities to lessen administrative tasks:
- To determine annual income of program participants, the notice offers PHAs the option of using a household’s income from the previous 12 months, instead of projecting income for the upcoming year.
- To verify that a household has assets less than $5,000, the notice offers PHAs the option of allowing the household to self-certify, instead of requiring the PHA to obtain documentation.
- For elderly and disabled households with fixed incomes, instead of requiring PHAs to verify income and calculate rent each year, the notice offers PHAs the option of using a published cost of living adjustment to the household’s previously verified income. Fixed income sources include Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Supplemental Security Disability Insurance, and pension plans.
- For vouchers, if it is necessary to have a rent payment standard greater than 110% of the fair market rent (FMR) to provide a reasonable accommodation for a household that includes a person with a disability, the notice offers PHAs the option of using a rent payment standard of 120% without seeking HUD approval.
The provisions of Notice PIH 2013-3 expire after March 31, 2014. The notice states that HUD intends to pursue more permanent changes to provide PHAs greater administrative flexibility.
Versions of the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act, the Affordable Housing and Self-Sufficiency Improvement Act, and HUD’s annual budget request to Congress have included language to authorize changes in each of the areas covered by this notice.
Groups, including NLIHC and the National Housing Trust, have inquired of HUD when flexibilities such as those provided by PIH Notice 2013-3 may be available to project-based Section 8 tenants and owners or agents.
Click here for Notice PIH 2013-3.