HUD Seeks Comments on Rulemaking for Over-Income Public Housing Households

On February 3, HUD issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in the Federal Register to seek comments on how HUD can structure policies to ensure that individuals and families residing in public housing are in need of continued assistance from HUD.

An ANPR is a request for input and is not a formal stage in the rulemaking process. According to HUD’s recent ANPR, HUD is “considering rulemaking” on over-income families and individuals as a result of a 2015 report from HUD’s Office of Inspector General on this subject (see Memo, 8/3/2015). The 2015 report found that as many as 25,226 of the approximately 1.1 million households living in public housing had incomes greater than the maximum  (80% AMI) allowed to qualify for initial admission to public housing.

The current rule governing over-income families was published in 2004. This rule gives public housing agencies (PHAs) discretion to implement policies related to terminating assistance or evicting over-income families. The statute does not require or prohibit eviction of over-income families. With this ANPR, HUD is seeking input on whether to change the 2004 rule to require PHAs to terminate assistance and evict families with incomes that “significantly” exceed the income limits for a “sustained” period of time. Any such changes to the 2004 rule would be promulgated through a formal rulemaking process.

H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act,” which unanimously passed the House on February 2 (see separate article in this Memo), includes a provision to limit assistance for over-income households. For a household whose income is more than 120% of the area median income for more than two years, PHAs would be required to terminate assistance within six months or charge either the Fair Market Rent or the combined costs of operating and capital subsidies for the household’s unit, whichever is greater.

Comments on the ANPR are due March 4. Read the ANPR and submit comments at