U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 29, 2023

§ 965.501 - Applicability.

(a) This subpart E applies to public housing, including the Turnkey III Homeownership Opportunities program. This subpart E also applies to units assisted under sections 10(c) and 23 of the U. S. Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.) as in effect before amendment by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (12 U.S.C. 1706e) and to which 24 CFR part 900 is not applicable. This subpart E does not apply to Indian housing projects (see 24 CFR part 950).

(b) In rental units for which utilities are furnished by the PHA but there are no checkmeters to measure the actual utilities consumption of the individual units, residents shall be subject to charges for consumption by resident-owned major appliances, or for optional functions of PHA-furnished equipment, in accordance with § 965.502(e) and 965.506(b), but no utility allowance will be established.

§ 965.502 - Establishment of utility allowances by PHAs.

(a) PHAs shall establish allowances for PHA-furnished utilities for all checkmetered utilities and allowances for resident-purchased utilities for all utilities purchased directly by residents from the utilities suppliers.

(b) The PHA shall maintain a record that documents the basis on which allowances and scheduled surcharges, and revisions thereof, are established and revised. Such record shall be available for inspection by residents.

(c) The PHA shall give notice to all residents of proposed allowances, scheduled surcharges, and revisions thereof. Such notice shall be given, in the manner provided in the lease or homebuyer agreement, not less than 60 days before the proposed effective date of the allowances or scheduled surcharges or revisions; shall describe with reasonable particularity the basis for determination of the allowances, scheduled surcharges, or revisions, including a statement of the specific items of equipment and function whose utility consumption requirements were included in determining the amounts of the allowances or scheduled surcharges; shall notify residents of the place where the PHA's record maintained in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section is available for inspection; and shall provide all residents an opportunity to submit written comments during a period expiring not less than 30 days before the proposed effective date of the allowances or scheduled surcharges or revisions. Such written comments shall be retained by the PHA and shall be available for inspection by residents.

(d) Schedules of allowances and scheduled surcharges shall not be subject to approval by HUD before becoming effective, but will be reviewed in the course of audits or reviews of PHA operations.

(e) The PHA's determinations of allowances, scheduled surcharges, and revisions thereof shall be final and valid unless found to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law.

§ 965.503 - Categories for establishment of allowances.

Separate allowances shall be established for each utility and for each category of dwelling units determined by the PHA to be reasonably comparable as to factors affecting utility usage.

§ 965.504 - Period for which allowances are established.

(a) PHA-furnished utilities. Allowances will normally be established on a quarterly basis; however, residents may be surcharged on a monthly basis. The allowances established may provide for seasonal variations.

(b) Resident-purchased utilities. Monthly allowances shall be established. The allowances established may provide for seasonal variations.

§ 965.505 - Standards for allowances for utilities.

(a) The objective of a PHA in designing methods of establishing utility allowances for each dwelling unit category and unit size shall be to approximate a reasonable consumption of utilities by an energy-conservative household of modest circumstances consistent with the requirements of a safe, sanitary, and healthful living environment.

(b) Allowances for both PHA-furnished and resident-purchased utilities shall be designed to include such reasonable consumption for major equipment or for utility functions furnished by the PHA for all residents (e.g., heating furnace, hot water heater), for essential equipment whether or not furnished by the PHA (e.g., range and refrigerator), and for minor items of equipment (such as toasters and radios) furnished by residents.

(c) The complexity and elaborateness of the methods chosen by the PHA, in its discretion, to achieve the foregoing objective will depend upon the nature of the housing stock, data available to the PHA and the extent of the administrative resources reasonably available to the PHA to be devoted to the collection of such data, the formulation of methods of calculation, and actual calculation and monitoring of the allowances.

(d) In establishing allowances, the PHA shall take into account relevant factors affecting consumption requirements, including:

(1) The equipment and functions intended to be covered by the allowance for which the utility will be used. For instance, natural gas may be used for cooking, heating domestic water, or space heating, or any combination of the three;

(2) The climatic location of the housing projects;

(3) The size of the dwelling units and the number of occupants per dwelling unit;

(4) Type of construction and design of the housing project;

(5) The energy efficiency of PHA-supplied appliances and equipment;

(6) The utility consumption requirements of appliances and equipment whose reasonable consumption is intended to be covered by the total resident payment;

(7) The physical condition, including insulation and weatherization, of the housing project;

(8) Temperature levels intended to be maintained in the unit during the day and at night, and in cold and warm weather; and

(9) Temperature of domestic hot water.

(e) If a PHA installs air conditioning, it shall provide, to the maximum extent economically feasible, systems that give residents the option of choosing to use air conditioning in their units. The design of systems that offer each resident the option to choose air conditioning shall include retail meters or checkmeters, and residents shall pay for the energy used in its operation. For systems that offer residents the option to choose air conditioning, the PHA shall not include air conditioning in the utility allowances. For systems that offer residents the option to choose air conditioning but cannot be checkmetered, residents are to be surcharged in accordance with § 965.506. If an air conditioning system does not provide for resident option, residents are not to be charged, and these systems should be avoided whenever possible.

§ 965.506 - Surcharges for excess consumption of PHA-furnished utilities.

(a) For dwelling units subject to allowances for PHA-furnished utilities where checkmeters have been installed, the PHA shall establish surcharges for utility consumption in excess of the allowances. Surcharges may be computed on a straight per unit of purchase basis (e.g., cents per kilowatt hour of electricity) or for stated blocks of excess consumption, and shall be based on the PHA's average utility rate. The basis for calculating such surcharges shall be described in the PHA's schedule of allowances. Changes in the dollar amounts of surcharges based directly on changes in the PHA's average utility rate shall not be subject to the advance notice requirements of this section.

(b) For dwelling units served by PHA-furnished utilities where checkmeters have not been installed, the PHA shall establish schedules of surcharges indicating additional dollar amounts residents will be required to pay by reason of estimated utility consumption attributable to resident-owned major appliances or to optional functions of PHA-furnished equipment. Such surcharge schedules shall state the resident-owned equipment (or functions of PHA-furnished equipment) for which surcharges shall be made and the amounts of such charges, which shall be based on the cost to the PHA of the utility consumption estimated to be attributable to reasonable usage of such equipment.

§ 965.507 - Review and revision of allowances.

(a) Annual review. The PHA shall review at least annually the basis on which utility allowances have been established and, if reasonably required in order to continue adherence to the standards stated in § 965.505, shall establish revised allowances. The review shall include all changes in circumstances (including completion of modernization and/or other energy conservation measures implemented by the PHA) indicating probability of a significant change in reasonable consumption requirements and changes in utility rates.

(b) Revision as a result of rate changes. The PHA may revise its allowances for resident-purchased utilities between annual reviews if there is a rate change (including fuel adjustments) and shall be required to do so if such change, by itself or together with prior rate changes not adjusted for, results in a change of 10 percent or more from the rates on which such allowances were based. Adjustments to resident payments as a result of such changes shall be retroactive to the first day of the month following the month in which the last rate change taken into account in such revision became effective. Such rate changes shall not be subject to the 60 day notice requirement of § 965.502(c).

§ 965.508 - Individual relief.

Requests for relief from surcharges for excess consumption of PHA-purchased utilities, or from payment of utility supplier billings in excess of the allowances for resident-purchased utilities, may be granted by the PHA on reasonable grounds, such as special needs of elderly, ill or disabled residents, or special factors affecting utility usage not within the control of the resident, as the PHA shall deem appropriate. The PHA's criteria for granting such relief, and procedures for requesting such relief, shall be adopted at the time the PHA adopts the methods and procedures for determining utility allowances. Notice of the availability of such procedures (including identification of the PHA representative with whom initial contact may be made by residents), and the PHA's criteria for granting such relief, shall be included in each notice to residents given in accordance with § 965.502(c) and in the information given to new residents upon admission.