HUD Office of Multifamily Programs Reminds Owners About Obligations to Residents as Utility Costs Rise

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Programs (Multifamily), which oversees contracts with owners of private properties assisted with Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), distributed a flyer in anticipation of rising utility costs that could adversely affect residents. The flyer reminds owners and agents about their obligation to comply with Multifamily’s utility allowance calculation requirements and to improve energy efficiency. The flyer was released in response to a forecast by the U.S. Department of Energy that utility costs will reach a three-year high in 2022, affecting assisted households that pay some or all of their utility bills.

Owners of Multifamily-assisted properties for which HUD provides utility allowances on behalf of residents are reminded of the requirement to adjust their properties’ utility allowances every year at the time of annual and special adjustments of contract rents. Owners are also required to submit documentation and requests for increases in utility allowances to their Contract Administrators and to HUD when changes in utility rates result in cumulative increases in utility allowances of 10% or more from the most recently approved utility allowance. Owners must follow guidance in Notice H-2015-04 regarding the completion of a Multifamily Housing Utility Analysis and should review the associated Frequently Asked Questions.

The flyer suggests that owners ask residents to tell them about increases in their utility bills and any outstanding unit repairs that could affect energy efficiency and household utility costs. The flyer also recommends that owners encourage residents who have medical needs and extraordinary utility bills to seek reasonable accommodations for higher utility allowances.

Read the Multifamily flyer regarding utility allowances in the event of increased utility costs at:

Read more about Multifamily housing on page 4-64 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.