A paragraph early in Notice PIH 2011-3 reminds PHAs that they must comply with fair housing laws. This includes affirmatively furthering fair housing by identifying and addressing impediments to fair housing choice, “including helping families use their vouchers to move to non-minority concentrated areas both within its jurisdiction and through portability moves [to other jurisdictions].”
Unlike previous guidance that dealt exclusively with households moving to another PHA’s jurisdiction, PIH 2011-3 also addresses moves within a PHA to a higher cost unit, one for which the PHA would have to pay a higher subsidy amount to cover the difference between greater rent charged by a private owner and what the household must pay.
As with previous guidance, a PHA can only deny a household’s request to move to a higher cost area or to a higher cost unit if the PHA can document that it does not have sufficient funds. The updated Notice adds that PHAs must establish policies in their Administrative Plans that state the course of action they will take with households denied portability if sufficient funds do become available.
The penalties for PHAs that improperly deny requests to move on the basis of insufficient funding increased from a 5% reduction to a 10% reduction in administrative fees for two quarters. However, previous guidance stated that HUD “will” impose such a sanction, while the new guidance is weakened to state that HUD “may” impose such a sanction.
PIH Notice 2011-3 is at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/publications/notices.