U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jul 16, 2024

§ 960.200 - Purpose.

(a) This subpart states HUD eligibility and selection requirements for admission to public housing.

(b) See also related HUD regulations in this title concerning these subjects:

(1) 1937 Act definitions: part 5, subpart D;

(2) Restrictions on assistance to noncitizens: part 5, subpart E;

(3) Family income and family payment: part 5, subpart F;

(4) Public housing agency plans: part 903;

(5) Rent and reexamination: part 960, subpart C;

(6) Mixed population developments: part 960, subpart D;

(7) Occupancy by over-income families or police officers: part 960, subpart E.

(8) Protection for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, 24 CFR part 5, subpart L (Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking).

[66 FR 28799, May 24, 2001, as amended at 73 FR 72344, Nov. 28, 2008; 75 FR 66262, Oct. 27, 2010; 81 FR 80815, Nov. 16, 2016]

§ 960.201 - Eligibility.

(a) Who is eligible? (1) Basic eligibility. An applicant must meet all eligibility requirements in order to receive housing assistance. At a minimum, the applicant must be a family, as defined in § 5.403 of this title, must be income-eligible, as described in this section, and must meet the net asset and property ownership restriction requirements in § 5.618 of this title. Such eligible applicants include single persons.

(2) Low income limit. No family other than a low income family is eligible for admission to a PHA's public housing program.

(b) Income used for eligibility and targeting. Family annual income (see § 5.609) is used both for determination of income eligibility under paragraph (a) and for PHA income targeting under § 960.202

(c) Reporting. The PHA must comply with HUD-prescribed reporting requirements that will permit HUD to maintain the data, as determined by HUD, necessary to monitor compliance with income eligibility and targeting requirement.

[66 FR 28799, May 24, 2001, as amended at 88 FR 9670, Feb. 14, 2023]

§ 960.202 - Tenant selection policies.

(a) Selection policies, generally. (1) The PHA shall establish and adopt written policies for admission of tenants.

(2) These policies shall provide for and include the following:

(i) Targeting admissions to extremely low income families as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

(ii) Deconcentration of poverty and income-mixing in accordance with the PHA Plan regulations (see 24 CFR part 903).

(iii) Precluding admission of applicants whose habits and practices reasonably may be expected to have a detrimental effect on the residents or the project environment;

(iv) Objective and reasonable policies for selection by the PHA among otherwise eligible applicants, including requirements for applications and waiting lists (see 24 CFR 1.4), and for verification and documentation of information relevant to acceptance or rejection of an applicant, including documentation and verification of citizenship and eligible immigration status under 24 CFR part 5; and

(v) Policies of participant transfer between units, developments, and programs. For example, a PHA could adopt a criterion for voluntary transfer that the tenant had met all obligations under the current program, including payment of charges to the PHA.

(b) Targeting admissions to extremely low income families—(1) Targeting requirement. (i) Not less than 40 percent of the families admitted to a PHA's public housing program during the PHA fiscal year from the PHA waiting list shall be extremely low income families. This is called the “basic targeting requirement.”

(ii) To the extent provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, admission of extremely low income families to the PHA's Section 8 voucher program during the same PHA fiscal year is credited against the basic targeting requirement.

(iii) A PHA must comply with both the targeting requirement found in this part and the deconcentration requirements found in part 903 of this chapter.

(2) Credit for admissions to PHA voucher program. (i) If admissions of extremely low income families to the PHA's voucher program during a PHA fiscal year exceeds the 75 percent minimum targeting requirement for the PHA's voucher program (see 24 CFR 982.201(b)(2)), such excess shall be credited (subject to the limitations in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section) against the PHA's basic targeting requirement for the same fiscal year.

(ii) The fiscal year credit for voucher program admissions that exceed the minimum voucher program targeting requirement shall not exceed the lower of:

(A) Ten percent of public housing waiting list admissions during the PHA fiscal year;

(B) Ten percent of waiting list admission to the PHA's Section 8 tenant-based assistance program during the PHA fiscal year; or

(C) The number of qualifying low income families who commence occupancy during the fiscal year of PHA public housing units located in census tracts with a poverty rate of 30 percent or more. For this purpose, qualifying low income family means a low income family other than an extremely low income family.

(c) Priority for tenant-based and project-based voucher families displaced due to HQS non-compliance. The PHA must adopt a preference for tenant-based and project-based families displaced due to HQS noncompliance in accordance with § 982.404(e)(2) and § 983.208(d)(6)(ii).

(d) Adoption and availability of tenant selection policies. These selection policies shall:

(1) Be duly adopted and implemented;

(2) Be publicized by posting copies thereof in each office where applications are received and by furnishing copies to applicants or tenants upon request, free or at their expense, at the discretion of the PHA; and

(3) Be consistent with the fair housing and equal opportunity provisions of § 5.105 of this title; and

(4) Be submitted to the HUD field office upon request from that office.

[66 FR 28799, May 24, 2001, as amended at 89 FR 38293, May 7, 2024]

§ 960.203 - Standards for PHA tenant selection criteria.

(a) The tenant selection criteria to be established and information to be considered shall be reasonably related to individual attributes and behavior of an applicant and shall not be related to those which may be imputed to a particular group or category of persons of which an applicant may be a member. The PHA may use local preferences, as provided in § 960.206.

(b) Under the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS), PHAs that have adopted policies, implemented procedures and can document that they successfully screen out and deny admission to certain applicants with unfavorable criminal histories receive points. (See 24 CFR 902.43(a)(5).) This policy takes into account the importance of screening to public housing communities and program integrity, and the demand for assisted housing by families who will adhere to lease responsibilities.

(c) In selection of families for admission to its public housing program, or to occupy a public housing development or unit, the PHA is responsible for screening family behavior and suitability for tenancy. The PHA may consider all relevant information, which may include, but is not limited to:

(1) An applicant's past performance in meeting financial obligations, especially rent;

(2) A record of disturbance of neighbors, destruction of property, or living or housekeeping habits at prior residences which may adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of other tenants; and

(3) A history of criminal activity involving crimes of physical violence to persons or property and other criminal acts which would adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of other tenants. (See § 960.204.) With respect to criminal activity described in § 960.204:

(i) The PHA may require an applicant to exclude a household member in order to be admitted to the housing program where that household member has participated in or been culpable for actions described in § 960.204 that warrants denial.

(ii) The PHA may, where a statute requires that the PHA prohibit admission for a prescribed period of time after some disqualifying behavior or event, choose to continue that prohibition for a longer period of time.

(4) PHA tenant selection criteria are subject to 24 CFR part 5, subpart L (Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking). In cases of requests for emergency transfers under VAWA, with the written consent of the victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the receiving PHA may accept and use the prior covered housing provider's determination of eligibility and tenant screening and all related verification information, including form HUD 50058 (Family Report).

(d) In the event of the receipt of unfavorable information with respect to an applicant, consideration shall be given to the time, nature, and extent of the applicant's conduct (including the seriousness of the offense).

(1) In a manner consistent with the PHA's policies, procedures and practices referenced in paragraph (b) of this section, consideration may be given to factors which might indicate a reasonable probability of favorable future conduct. For example:

(i) Evidence of rehabilitation; and

(ii) Evidence of the applicant family's participation in or willingness to participate in social service or other appropriate counseling service programs and the availability of such programs;

(2) Consideration of rehabilitation. (i) In determining whether to deny admission for illegal drug use or a pattern of illegal drug use by a household member who is no longer engaging in such use, or for abuse or a pattern of abuse of alcohol by a household member who is no longer engaging in such abuse, the PHA may consider whether such household member is participating in or has successfully completed a supervised drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully (42 U.S.C. 13661). For this purpose, the PHA may require the applicant to submit evidence of the household member's current participation in, or successful completion of, a supervised drug or alcohol rehabilitation program or evidence of otherwise having been rehabilitated successfully.

(ii) If rehabilitation is not an element of the eligibility determination (see § 960.204(a)(1)), the PHA may choose not to consider whether the person has been rehabilitated.

[66 FR 28799, May 24, 2001, as amended at 73 FR 72344, Nov. 28, 2008; 75 FR 66262, Oct. 27, 2010; 81 FR 80815, Nov. 16, 2016]

§ 960.204 - Denial of admission for criminal activity or drug abuse by household members.

(a) Required denial of admission—(1) Persons evicted for drug-related criminal activity. The PHA standards must prohibit admission of an applicant to the PHA's public housing program for three years from the date of the eviction if any household member has been evicted from federally assisted housing for drug-related criminal activity. However, the PHA may admit the household if the PHA determines:

(i) The evicted household member who engaged in drug-related criminal activity has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program approved by the PHA; or

(ii) The circumstances leading to the eviction no longer exist (for example, the criminal household member has died or is imprisoned).

(2) Persons engaging in illegal use of a drug. The PHA must establish standards that prohibit admission of a household to the PHA's public housing program if:

(i) The PHA determines that any household member is currently engaging in illegal use of a drug (For purposes of this section, a household member is “currently engaged in” the criminal activity if the person has engaged in the behavior recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that the behavior is current); or

(ii) The PHA determines that it has reasonable cause to believe that a household member's illegal use or pattern of illegal use of a drug may threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

(3) Persons convicted of methamphetamine production. The PHA must establish standards that permanently prohibit admission to the PHA's public housing program if any household member has ever been convicted of drug-related criminal activity for manufacture or production of methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing.

(4) Persons subject to sex offender registration requirement. The PHA must establish standards that prohibit admission to the PHA's public housing program if any member of the household is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a State sex offender registration program. In the screening of applicants, the PHA must perform necessary criminal history background checks in the State where the housing is located and in other States where household members are known to have resided. (See part 5, subpart J of this title for provisions concerning access to sex offender registration records.)

(b) Persons that abuse or show a pattern of abuse of alcohol. The PHA must establish standards that prohibit admission to the PHA's public housing program if the PHA determines that it has reasonable cause to believe that a household member's abuse or pattern of abuse of alcohol may threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

(c) Use of criminal records. Before a PHA denies admission to the PHAs public housing program on the basis of a criminal record, the PHA must notify the household of the proposed action to be based on the information and must provide the subject of the record and the applicant with a copy of the criminal record and an opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of that record. (See part 5, subpart J of this title for provisions concerning access to criminal records.)

(d) Cost of obtaining criminal record. The PHA may not pass along to the applicant the costs of a criminal records check.

§ 960.205 - Drug use by applicants: Obtaining information from drug treatment facility.

(a) Purpose. This section addresses a PHA's authority to request and obtain information from drug abuse treatment facilities concerning applicants. This section does not apply to information requested or obtained from drug abuse treatment facilities other than under the authority of section 6(t).

(b) Additional terms used in this section are as follows:

(1) Currently engaging in illegal use of a drug. Illegal use of a drug occurred recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that there is continuing illegal drug use by a household member.

(2) Drug abuse treatment facility. An entity:

(i) That holds itself out as providing, and provides, diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment with respect to the illegal drug use; and

(ii) That is either an identified unit within a general care facility; or an entity other than a general medical care facility.

(c) Authorization by household member for PHA to receive information from a drug abuse treatment facility. (1) The PHA may require each applicant to submit for all household members who are at least 18 years of age, and for each family head or spouse regardless of age, one or more consent forms signed by such household member that:

(i) Requests any drug abuse treatment facility to inform the PHA only whether the drug abuse treatment facility has reasonable cause to believe that the household member is currently engaging in illegal drug use;

(ii) Complies with the form of written consent required by 42 CFR 2.31; and

(iii) Authorizes the PHA to receive such information from the drug abuse treatment facility, and to utilize such information in determining whether to prohibit admission of the household member to the PHA's public housing program in accordance with § 960.203. (See the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2,and,with.)

(2) The consent form submitted for a proposed household member must expire automatically after the PHA has made a final decision to either approve or deny the admission of such person.

(d) PHA request for information from drug use treatment facility. (1) The PHA may request that a drug abuse treatment facility disclose whether the drug abuse treatment facility has reasonable cause to believe that the proposed household member is currently engaging in the illegal use of a drug (as defined in § 5.100 of this title).

(2) The PHA's request to the drug abuse treatment facility must include a copy of the consent form signed by the proposed household member.

(3) A drug abuse treatment facility is not liable for damages based on any information required to be disclosed under this section if such disclosure is consistent with section 543 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 290dd-2).

(4) The PHA is not obligated to request information from a drug treatment facility under this section, and is not liable for damages for failing to request or receive such information.

(5) A drug abuse treatment facility may charge the PHA a reasonable fee for information provided under this section. The PHA may not pass along to the applicant or tenant the costs of obtaining this information.

(e) Prohibition of discriminatory treatment of applicants. (1) A PHA may request information from a drug abuse treatment facility under paragraph (d) of this section only if the PHA has adopted and has consistently implemented either of the following policies, obtaining a signed consent form from the proposed household members:

(i) Policy A—Request for all families. Under Policy A, the PHA must submit a request for information to a drug abuse treatment facility in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section before admitting any family to the PHA's public housing program. For each such family, the request must be submitted for each proposed household member described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(ii) Policy B—Request for certain household members. Under Policy B, the PHA must submit a request to a drug abuse treatment facility only with respect to each proposed household member:

(A) Whose criminal record indicates prior arrest or conviction for any criminal activity that may be a basis for denial of admission under § 960.205; or

(B) Whose prior tenancy records indicate that the proposed household member:

(1) Engaged in the destruction of property;

(2) Engaged in violent activity against another person; or

(3) Interfered with the right of peaceful enjoyment of the premises of other residents.

(4) The policy adopted by the PHA must be included in the PHA administrative plan and the PHA plan.

(f) Records management and confidentiality. Each PHA that receives information from a drug abuse treatment facility under this section must establish and implement a system of records management that ensures that any information which the PHA receives from the drug abuse treatment facility about a person:

(1) Is maintained confidentially in accordance with section 543 of the Public Health Service Act (12 U.S.C. 290dd-2);

(2) Is not misused or improperly disseminated; and

(3) Is destroyed, as applicable:

(i) Not later than 5 business days after the PHA makes a final decision to admit the person as a household member under the PHA's public housing program; or

(ii) If the PHA denies the admission of such person as a household member, in a timely manner after the date on which the statute of limitations for the commencement of a civil action based upon that denial of admissions has expired without the filing of a civil action or until final disposition of any such litigation.

§ 960.206 -

(a) Establishment of PHA local preferences. (1) The PHA may adopt a system of local preferences for selection of families admitted to the PHA's public housing program. The PHA system of selection preferences must be based on local housing needs and priorities as determined by the PHA. In determining such needs and priorities, the PHA shall use generally accepted data sources. Such sources include public comment on the PHA plan (as received pursuant to § 903.17 of this chapter), and on the consolidated plan for the relevant jurisdiction (as received pursuant to part 91 of this title).

(2) The PHA may limit the number of applicants that qualify for any local preference.

(3) PHA adoption and implementation of local preferences is subject to HUD requirements concerning income-targeting (§ 960.202(b)), deconcentration and income-mixing (§ 903.7), and selection preferences for developments designated exclusively for elderly or disabled families or for mixed population developments (§ 960.407).

(4) The PHA must inform all applicants about available preferences and must give applicants an opportunity to show that they qualify for available preferences.

(b) Particular local preferences—(1) Residency requirements or preferences. (i) Residency requirements are prohibited. Although a PHA is not prohibited from adopting a residency preference, the PHA may only adopt or implement residency preferences in accordance with non-discrimination and equal opportunity requirements listed at § 5.105(a) of this title.

(ii) A residency preference is a preference for admission of persons who reside in a specified geographic area (“residency preference area”). A county or municipality may be used as a residency preference area. An area smaller than a county or municipality may not be used as a residency preference area.

(iii) Any PHA residency preferences must be included in the statement of PHA policies that govern eligibility, selection and admission to the program, which is included in the PHA annual plan (or supporting documents) pursuant to part 903 of this chapter. Such policies must specify that use of a residency preference will not have the purpose or effect of delaying or otherwise denying admission to the program based on the race, color, ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, or age of any member of an applicant family.

(iv) A residency preference must not be based on how long an applicant has resided or worked in a residency preference area.

(v) Applicants who are working or who have been notified that they are hired to work in a residency preference area must be treated as residents of the residency preference area. The PHA may treat graduates of, or active participants in, education and training programs in a residency preference area as residents of the residency preference area if the education or training program is designed to prepare individuals for the job market.

(2) Preference for working families. The PHA may adopt a preference for admission of working families (families where the head, spouse, or sole member, is employed). However, an applicant must be given the benefit of the working family preference if the head and spouse, or sole member is age 62 or older, or is a person with disabilities.

(3) Preference for person with disabilities. The PHA may adopt a preference for admission of families that include a person with disabilities. However, the PHA may not adopt a preference for persons with a specific disability.

(4) Preference for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The PHA should consider whether to adopt a local preference for admission of families that include victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

(5) Preference for single persons who are elderly, displaced, homeless or a person with disabilities. The PHA may adopt a preference for admission of single persons who are age 62 or older, displaced, homeless, or persons with disabilities over other single persons.

(6) Preference for non-public housing over-income families. The PHA may adopt a preference for admission of non-public housing over-income families paying the alternative non-public housing rent and are on a NPHOI lease who become an income-eligible low-income family as defined in § 5.603(b) of this title and are eligible for admission to the public housing program.

(c) Selection for particular unit. In selecting a family to occupy a particular unit, the PHA may match characteristics of the family with the type of unit available, for example, number of bedrooms. In selection of families to occupy units with special accessibility features for persons with disabilities, the PHA must first offer such units to families which include persons with disabilities who require such accessibility features (see §§ 8.27 and 100.202 of this title).

(d) Housing assistance limitation for single persons. A single person who is not an elderly or displaced person, or a person with disabilities, or the remaining member of a resident family may not be provided a housing unit with two or more bedrooms.

(e) Selection method. (1) The PHA must use the following to select among applicants on the waiting list with the same priority for admission:

(i) Date and time of application; or

(ii) A drawing or other random choice technique.

(2) The method for selecting applicants must leave a clear audit trail that can be used to verify that each applicant has been selected in accordance with the method specified in the PHA plan.

[66 FR 28799, May 24, 2001, as amended at 81 FR 80815, Nov. 16, 2016; 88 FR 9670, Feb. 14, 2023]

§ 960.208 - Notification to applicants.

(a) The PHA must promptly notify any applicant determined to be ineligible for admission to a project of the basis for such determination, and must provide the applicant upon request, within a reasonable time after the determination is made, with an opportunity for an informal hearing on such determination.

(b) When a determination has been made that an applicant is eligible and satisfies all requirements for admission, including the tenant selection criteria, the applicant must be notified of the approximate date of occupancy insofar as that date can be reasonably determined.