HUD Issues Notice Related to Resident Income Verification

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued Notice PIH 2017-12, providing guidance regarding complying with the requirement to use the Enterprise Income Verification System (EIV). Advocates working with households who live in public housing or who receive voucher assistance might find the Notice instructive, even though it is oriented to public housing agency (PHA) staff.

Notice PIH 2017-12 supersedes and makes several technical corrections to PIH Notice 2010-19. HUD regulations at 24 CFR 5.233 require PHAs to use the EIV system to verify resident employment and income information before or during mandatory annual and interim reexaminations of household income and/or composition in order to reduce tenants’ under-reporting of income and improper subsidy payments. The EIV System is a web-based application that provides PHAs with employment, wage, unemployment compensation, and Social Security benefit information, derived from computer matching programs with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Notice describes a hierarchy of six ways to verify a household’s income. It also offers examples of how to address substantial differences ($2,400 annually) between EIV information and resident-provided documents or unreported income. If a resident has been underpaying rent, the PHA must immediately notify the resident and respond to any resident disagreement by following the PHA’s established grievance procedures.

If there is a rent underpayment, commonly referred to as “retroactive rent,” the resident must enter into a written repayment agreement. The monthly retroactive rent payment, plus the amount of rent the resident is paying, should not exceed 40% of the household’s monthly adjusted income. If the resident refuses to enter into a repayment agreement or fails to make payments, the PHA must terminate the household’s tenancy or assistance, or both.

Along with the Notice, HUD provides a two-page information guide, “What You Should Know About EIV,” that PHAs have the option of providing to residents.