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HUD PIH Does Not Count $400 Extra Unemployment Benefit as Income

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) clarified that public housing agencies (PHAs) must exclude from resident income calculations the $400 per week (or in some states $300 per week) extra unemployment benefit allowed under a Presidential Memorandum (PM) issued on August 8. This clarification is in an October 20 “PIH Announcements” emailed to a PIH listserv.

The PM authorized a $400 per week of additional unemployment benefit paid to claimants through the Federal Emergency Assistance Agency (FEMA) Lost Wages Assistance Program. FEMA contributes 75% ($300) and a state may contribute the remaining 25% ($100). Some states have opted to pay only the federal portion of $300 per week, while other states have opted to pay the federal portion plus the state portion that results in $400 per week.

PIH explains that FEMA assistance does not usually count as income. PIH will more formally add this to a future FAQ update, but in the meantime PHAs and residents may use the October 20 email as authorization of the $400 per week exclusion. PIH recently issued updated Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs, (see Memo, 10/13) so it will be awhile before this guidance is in a future FAQ update.

It should be noted that HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs has yet to provide similar guidance. Multifamily very recently published updates to its equivalent of PIH’s FAQ update (see separate article in this issue of Memo).

“PIH Announcements” (October 20) is at: https://bit.ly/2TgD7ul

More about public housing is on page 4-30 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.

More about Housing Choice Vouchers housing is on page 4-1 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.