U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jul 20, 2024

FAMILY INCOME

§ 5.609 - Annual income.

(a) Annual income includes, with respect to the family:

(1) All amounts, not specifically excluded in paragraph (b) of this section, received from all sources by each member of the family who is 18 years of age or older or is the head of household or spouse of the head of household, plus unearned income by or on behalf of each dependent who is under 18 years of age, and

(2) When the value of net family assets exceeds $50,000 (which amount HUD will adjust annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) and the actual returns from a given asset cannot be calculated, imputed returns on the asset based on the current passbook savings rate, as determined by HUD.

(b) Annual income does not include the following:

(1) Any imputed return on an asset when net family assets total $50,000 or less (which amount HUD will adjust annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) and no actual income from the net family assets can be determined.

(2) The following types of trust distributions:

(i) For an irrevocable trust or a revocable trust outside the control of the family or household excluded from the definition of net family assets under § 5.603(b):

(A) Distributions of the principal or corpus of the trust; and

(B) Distributions of income from the trust when the distributions are used to pay the costs of health and medical care expenses for a minor.

(ii) For a revocable trust under the control of the family or household, any distributions from the trust; except that any actual income earned by the trust, regardless of whether it is distributed, shall be considered income to the family at the time it is received by the trust.

(3) Earned income of children under the 18 years of age.

(4) Payments received for the care of foster children or foster adults, or State or Tribal kinship or guardianship care payments.

(5) Insurance payments and settlements for personal or property losses, including but not limited to payments through health insurance, motor vehicle insurance, and workers' compensation.

(6) Amounts received by the family that are specifically for, or in reimbursement of, the cost of health and medical care expenses for any family member.

(7) Any amounts recovered in any civil action or settlement based on a claim of malpractice, negligence, or other breach of duty owed to a family member arising out of law, that resulted in a member of the family becoming disabled.

(8) Income of a live-in aide, foster child, or foster adult as defined in §§ 5.403 and 5.603, respectively.

(9)(i) Any assistance that section 479B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1087uu), requires be excluded from a family's income; and

(ii) Student financial assistance for tuition, books, and supplies (including supplies and equipment to support students with learning disabilities or other disabilities), room and board, and other fees required and charged to a student by an institution of higher education (as defined under Section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002)) and, for a student who is not the head of household or spouse, the reasonable and actual costs of housing while attending the institution of higher education and not residing in an assisted unit.

(A) Student financial assistance, for purposes of this paragraph (9)(ii), means a grant or scholarship received from—

(1) The Federal government;

(2) A State, Tribe, or local government;

(3) A private foundation registered as a nonprofit under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3);

(4) A business entity (such as corporation, general partnership, limited liability company, limited partnership, joint venture, business trust, public benefit corporation, or nonprofit entity); or

(5) An institution of higher education.

(B) Student financial assistance, for purposes of this paragraph (9)(ii), does not include—

(1) Any assistance that is excluded pursuant to paragraph (b)(9)(i) of this section;

(2) Financial support provided to the student in the form of a fee for services performed (e.g., a work study or teaching fellowship that is not excluded pursuant to paragraph (b)(9)(i) of this section);

(3) Gifts, including gifts from family or friends; or

(4) Any amount of the scholarship or grant that, either by itself or in combination with assistance excluded under this paragraph or paragraph (b)(9)(i), exceeds the actual covered costs of the student. The actual covered costs of the student are the actual costs of tuition, books and supplies (including supplies and equipment to support students with learning disabilities or other disabilities), room and board, or other fees required and charged to a student by the education institution, and, for a student who is not the head of household or spouse, the reasonable and actual costs of housing while attending the institution of higher education and not residing in an assisted unit. This calculation is described further in paragraph (b)(9)(ii)(E) of this section.

(C) Student financial assistance, for purposes of this paragraph (b)(9)(ii) must be:

(1) Expressly for tuition, books, room and board, or other fees required and charged to a student by the education institution;

(2) Expressly to assist a student with the costs of higher education; or

(3) Expressly to assist a student who is not the head of household or spouse with the reasonable and actual costs of housing while attending the education institution and not residing in an assisted unit.

(D) Student financial assistance, for purposes of this paragraph (b)(9)(ii), may be paid directly to the student or to the educational institution on the student's behalf. Student financial assistance paid to the student must be verified by the responsible entity as student financial assistance consistent with this paragraph (b)(9)(ii).

(E) When the student is also receiving assistance excluded under paragraph (b)(9)(i) of this section, the amount of student financial assistance under this paragraph (b)(9)(ii) is determined as follows:

(1) If the amount of assistance excluded under paragraph (b)(9)(i) of this section is equal to or exceeds the actual covered costs under paragraph (b)(9)(ii)(B)(4) of this section, none of the assistance described in this paragraph (b)(9)(ii) of this section is considered student financial assistance excluded from income under this paragraph (b)(9)(ii)(E).

(2) If the amount of assistance excluded under paragraph (b)(9)(i) of this section is less than the actual covered costs under paragraph (b)(9)(ii)(B)(4) of this section, the amount of assistance described in paragraph (b)(9)(ii) of this section that is considered student financial assistance excluded under this paragraph is the lower of:

(i) the total amount of student financial assistance received under this paragraph (b)(9)(ii) of this section, or

(ii) the amount by which the actual covered costs under paragraph (b)(9)(ii)(B)(4) of this section exceeds the assistance excluded under paragraph (b)(9)(i) of this section.

(10) Income and distributions from any Coverdell education savings account under section 530 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or any qualified tuition program under section 529 of such Code; and income earned by government contributions to, and distributions from, “baby bond” accounts created, authorized, or funded by Federal, State, or local government.

(11) The special pay to a family member serving in the Armed Forces who is exposed to hostile fire.

(12)(i) Amounts received by a person with a disability that are disregarded for a limited time for purposes of Supplemental Security Income eligibility and benefits because they are set aside for use under a Plan to Attain Self-Sufficiency (PASS);

(ii) Amounts received by a participant in other publicly assisted programs which are specifically for or in reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses incurred (e.g., special equipment, clothing, transportation, child care, etc.) and which are made solely to allow participation in a specific program;

(iii) Amounts received under a resident service stipend not to exceed $200 per month. A resident service stipend is a modest amount received by a resident for performing a service for the PHA or owner, on a part-time basis, that enhances the quality of life in the development.

(iv) Incremental earnings and benefits resulting to any family member from participation in training programs funded by HUD or in qualifying Federal, State, Tribal, or local employment training programs (including training programs not affiliated with a local government) and training of a family member as resident management staff. Amounts excluded by this provision must be received under employment training programs with clearly defined goals and objectives and are excluded only for the period during which the family member participates in the employment training program unless those amounts are excluded under paragraph (b)(9)(i) of this section.

(13) Reparation payments paid by a foreign government pursuant to claims filed under the laws of that government by persons who were persecuted during the Nazi era.

(14) Earned income of dependent full-time students in excess of the amount of the deduction for a dependent in § 5.611.

(15) Adoption assistance payments for a child in excess of the amount of the deduction for a dependent in § 5.611.

(16) Deferred periodic amounts from Supplemental Security Income and Social Security benefits that are received in a lump sum amount or in prospective monthly amounts, or any deferred Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits that are received in a lump sum amount or in prospective monthly amounts.

(17) Payments related to aid and attendance under 38 U.S.C. 1521 to veterans in need of regular aid and attendance.

(18) Amounts received by the family in the form of refunds or rebates under State or local law for property taxes paid on the dwelling unit.

(19) Payments made by or authorized by a State Medicaid agency (including through a managed care entity) or other State or Federal agency to a family to enable a family member who has a disability to reside in the family's assisted unit. Authorized payments may include payments to a member of the assisted family through the State Medicaid agency (including through a managed care entity) or other State or Federal agency for caregiving services the family member provides to enable a family member who has a disability to reside in the family's assisted unit.

(20) Loan proceeds (the net amount disbursed by a lender to or on behalf of a borrower, under the terms of a loan agreement) received by the family or a third party (e.g., proceeds received by the family from a private loan to enable attendance at an educational institution or to finance the purchase of a car).

(21) Payments received by Tribal members as a result of claims relating to the mismanagement of assets held in trust by the United States, to the extent such payments are also excluded from gross income under the Internal Revenue Code or other Federal law.

(22) Amounts that HUD is required by Federal statute to exclude from consideration as income for purposes of determining eligibility or benefits under a category of assistance programs that includes assistance under any program to which the exclusions set forth in paragraph (b) of this section apply. HUD will publish a notice in the Federal Register to identify the benefits that qualify for this exclusion. Updates will be published when necessary.

(23) Replacement housing “gap” payments made in accordance with 49 CFR part 24 that offset increased out of pocket costs of displaced persons that move from one federally subsidized housing unit to another Federally subsidized housing unit. Such replacement housing “gap” payments are not excluded from annual income if the increased cost of rent and utilities is subsequently reduced or eliminated, and the displaced person retains or continues to receive the replacement housing “gap” payments.

(24) Nonrecurring income, which is income that will not be repeated in the coming year based on information provided by the family. Income received as an independent contractor, day laborer, or seasonal worker is not excluded from income under this paragraph, even if the source, date, or amount of the income varies. Nonrecurring income includes:

(i) Payments from the U.S. Census Bureau for employment (relating to decennial census or the American Community Survey) lasting no longer than 180 days and not culminating in permanent employment.

(ii) Direct Federal or State payments intended for economic stimulus or recovery.

(iii) Amounts directly received by the family as a result of State refundable tax credits or State tax refunds at the time they are received.

(iv) Amounts directly received by the family as a result of Federal refundable tax credits and Federal tax refunds at the time they are received.

(v) Gifts for holidays, birthdays, or other significant life events or milestones (e.g., wedding gifts, baby showers, anniversaries).

(vi) Non-monetary, in-kind donations, such as food, clothing, or toiletries, received from a food bank or similar organization.

(vii) Lump-sum additions to net family assets, including but not limited to lottery or other contest winnings.

(25) Civil rights settlements or judgments, including settlements or judgments for back pay.

(26) Income received from any account under a retirement plan recognized as such by the Internal Revenue Service, including individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), employer retirement plans, and retirement plans for self-employed individuals; except that any distribution of periodic payments from such accounts shall be income at the time they are received by the family.

(27) Income earned on amounts placed in a family's Family Self Sufficiency Account.

(28) Gross income a family member receives through self-employment or operation of a business; except that the following shall be considered income to a family member:

(i) Net income from the operation of a business or profession. Expenditures for business expansion or amortization of capital indebtedness shall not be used as deductions in determining net income. An allowance for depreciation of assets used in a business or profession may be deducted, based on straight line depreciation, as provided in Internal Revenue Service regulations; and

(ii) Any withdrawal of cash or assets from the operation of a business or profession will be included in income, except to the extent the withdrawal is reimbursement of cash or assets invested in the operation by the family.

(c) Calculation of Income. The PHA or owner must calculate family income as follows:

(1) Initial occupancy or assistance and interim reexaminations. The PHA or owner must estimate the income of the family for the upcoming 12-month period:

(i) To determine family income for initial occupancy or for the initial provision of housing assistance; or

(ii) To determine family income for an interim reexamination of family income under §§ 5.657(c), 960.257(b), or 982.516(c) of this title.

(2) Annual Reexaminations. (i) The PHA or owner must determine the income of the family for the previous 12-month period and use this amount as the family income for annual reexaminations, except where the PHA or owner uses a streamlined income determination under §§ 5.657(d), 960.257(c), or 982.516(b) of this title.

(ii) In determining the income of the family for the previous 12-month period, the PHA or owner must take into consideration any redetermination of income during the previous 12-month period resulting from an interim reexamination of family income under §§ 5.657(c), 960.257(b), or 982.516(c) of this title.

(iii) The PHA or owner must make adjustments to reflect current income if there was a change in income during the previous 12-month period that was not accounted for in a redetermination of income.

(3) Use of other programs' determination of income. (i) The PHA or owner may, using the verification methods in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section, determine the family's income prior to the application of any deductions applied in accordance with § 5.611 based on income determinations made within the previous 12-month period for purposes of the following means-tested forms of Federal public assistance:

(A) The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant (42 U.S.C. 601, et seq.).

(B) Medicaid (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.).

(C) The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.).

(D) The Earned Income Tax Credit (26 U.S.C. 32).

(E) The Low-Income Housing Credit (26 U.S.C. 42).

(F) The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children (42 U.S.C. 1786).

(G) Supplemental Security Income (42 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.).

(H) Other programs administered by the Secretary.

(I) Other means-tested forms of Federal public assistance for which HUD has established a memorandum of understanding.

(J) Other Federal benefit determinations made in other forms of means-tested Federal public assistance that the Secretary determines to have comparable reliability and announces through the Federal Register.

(ii) If a PHA or owner intends to use the annual income determination made by an administrator for allowable forms of Federal means-tested public assistance under this paragraph (c)(3), the PHA or owner must obtain it using the appropriate third-party verification. If the appropriate third-party verification is unavailable, or if the family disputes the determination made for purposes of the other form of Federal means-tested public assistance, the PHA or owner must calculate annual income in accordance with 24 CFR part 5, subpart F. The verification must indicate the tenant's family size and composition and state the amount of the family's annual income. The verification must also meet all HUD requirements related to the length of time that is permitted before the third-party verification is considered out-of-date and is no longer an eligible source of income verification.

(4) De minimis errors. The PHA or owner will not be considered out of compliance with the requirements in this paragraph (c) solely due to de minimis errors in calculating family income. A de minimis error is an error where the PHA or owner determination of family income deviates from the correct income determination by no more than $30 per month in monthly adjusted income ($360 in annual adjusted income) per family.

(i) The PHA or owner must still take any corrective action necessary to credit or repay a family if the family has been overcharged for their rent or family share as a result of the de minimis error in the income determination, but families will not be required to repay the PHA or owner in instances where a PHA or owner has miscalculated income resulting in a family being undercharged for rent or family share.

(ii) HUD may revise the amount of de minimis error in this paragraph (c)(4) through a rulemaking published in the Federal Register for public comment.

[88 FR 9657, Feb. 14, 2023]

§ 5.611 - Adjusted income.

Adjusted income means annual income (as determined under § 5.609) of the members of the family residing or intending to reside in the dwelling unit, after making the following deductions:

(a) Mandatory deductions. (1) $480 for each dependent, which amount will be adjusted by HUD annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, rounded to the next lowest multiple of $25;

(2) $525 for any elderly family or disabled family, which amount will be adjusted by HUD annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, rounded to the next lowest multiple of $25;

(3) The sum of the following, to the extent the sum exceeds ten percent of annual income:

(i) Unreimbursed health and medical care expenses of any elderly family or disabled family; and

(ii) Unreimbursed reasonable attendant care and auxiliary apparatus expenses for each member of the family who is a person with a disability, to the extent necessary to enable any member of the family (including the member who is a person with a disability) to be employed. This deduction may not exceed the combined earned income received by family members who are 18 years of age or older and who are able to work because of such attendant care or auxiliary apparatus; and

(4) Any reasonable child care expenses necessary to enable a member of the family to be employed or to further his or her education.

(b) Additional deductions. (1) For public housing, the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and the Section 8 moderate rehabilitation programs (including the moderate rehabilitation Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) program), a PHA may adopt additional deductions from annual income.

(i) Public housing. A PHA that adopts such deductions will not be eligible for an increase in Capital Fund and Operating Fund formula grants based on the application of such deductions. The PHA must establish a written policy for such deductions.

(ii) HCV, moderate rehabilitation, and moderate rehabilitation Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) programs. A PHA that adopts such deductions must have sufficient funding to cover the increased housing assistance payment cost of the deductions. A PHA will not be eligible for an increase in HCV renewal funding or moderate rehabilitation program funding for subsidy costs resulting from such deductions. For the HCV program, the PHA must include such deductions in its administrative plan. For moderate rehabilitation, the PHA must establish a written policy for such deductions.

(2) For the HUD programs listed in § 5.601(d), the responsible entity must calculate such other deductions as required and permitted by the applicable program regulations.

(c) Financial hardship exemption for unreimbursed health and medical care expenses and reasonable attendant care and auxiliary apparatus expenses. (1) Phased-in relief. This paragraph provides financial hardship relief for families affected by the statutory increase in the threshold to receive health and medical care expense and reasonable attendant care and auxiliary apparatus expense deductions from annual income.

(i) Eligibility for relief. To receive hardship relief under this paragraph (c)(1), the family must have received a deduction from annual income because their sum of expenses under paragraph (a)(3) of this section exceeded 3 percent of annual income as of January 1, 2024.

(ii) Form of relief. (A) The family will receive a deduction totaling the sum of the expenses under paragraph (a)(3) of this section that exceed 5 percent of annual income.

(B) Twelve months after the relief in this paragraph (c)(1)(ii) is provided, the family must receive a deduction totaling the sum of expenses under paragraph (a)(3) of this section that exceed 7.5 percent of annual income.

(C) Twenty-four months after the relief in this paragraph (c)(1)(ii) is provided, the family must receive a deduction totaling the sum of expenses under paragraph (a)(3) of this section that exceed ten percent of annual income and the only remaining relief that may be available to the family will be paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

(D) A family may request hardship relief under paragraph (c)(2) of this section prior to the end of the twenty-four-month transition period. If a family making such a request is determined eligible for hardship relief under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, hardship relief under this paragraph ends and the family's hardship relief shall be administered in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section. Once a family chooses to obtain relief under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, a family may no longer receive relief under this paragraph.

(2) General. This paragraph (c)(2) provides financial relief for an elderly or disabled family or a family that includes a person with disabilities that is experiencing a financial hardship.

(i) Eligibility for relief. (A) To receive hardship relief under this paragraph (c)(2), a family must demonstrate that the family's applicable health and medical care expenses or reasonable attendant care and auxiliary apparatus expenses increased or the family's financial hardship is a result of a change in circumstances (as defined by the responsible entity) that would not otherwise trigger an interim reexamination.

(B) Relief under this paragraph (c)(2) is available regardless of whether the family previously received deductions under paragraph (a)(3) of this section, is currently receiving relief under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, or previously received relief under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(ii) Form and duration of relief. (A) The family will receive a deduction for the sum of the eligible expenses in paragraph (a)(3) of this section that exceed 5 percent of annual income.

(B) The family's hardship relief ends when the circumstances that made the family eligible for the relief are no longer applicable or after 90 days, whichever comes earlier. However, responsible entities may, at their discretion, extend the relief for one or more additional 90-day periods while the family's hardship condition continues.

(d) Exemption to continue child care expense deduction. A family whose eligibility for the child care expense deduction is ending may request a financial hardship exemption to continue the child care expense deduction under paragraph (a)(4) of this section. The responsible entity must recalculate the family's adjusted income and continue the child care deduction if the family demonstrates to the responsible entity's satisfaction that the family is unable to pay their rent because of loss of the child care expense deduction, and the child care expense is still necessary even though the family member is no longer employed or furthering his or her education. The hardship exemption and the resulting alternative adjusted income calculation must remain in place for a period of up to 90 days. Responsible entities, at their discretion, may extend such hardship exemptions for additional 90-day periods based on family circumstances.

(e) Hardship policy requirements. (1) Responsible entity determination of family's inability to pay the rent. The responsible entity must establish a policy on how it defines what constitutes a hardship under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, which includes determining the family's inability to pay the rent, for purposes of determining eligibility for a hardship exemption under paragraph (d) of this section.

(2) Family notification. The responsible entity must promptly notify the family in writing of the change in the determination of adjusted income and the family's rent resulting from the hardship exemption. The notice must also inform the family of when the hardship exemption will begin and expire (i.e., the time periods specified under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section or within 90 days or at such time as the responsibility entity determines the exemption is no longer necessary in accordance with paragraphs (c)(2)(ii)(B) or (d) of this section).

[88 FR 9659, Feb. 14, 2023]

§ 5.612 - Restrictions on assistance to students enrolled in an institution of higher education.

No assistance shall be provided under section 8 of the 1937 Act to any individual who:

(a) Is enrolled as a student at an institution of higher education, as defined under section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002);

(b) Is under 24 years of age;

(c) Is not a veteran of the United States military;

(d) Is unmarried;

(e) Does not have a dependent child;

(f) Is not a person with disabilities, as such term is defined in section 3(b)(3)(E) of the 1937 Act and was not receiving assistance under section 8 of the 1937 Act as of November 30, 2005; and

(g) Is not otherwise individually eligible, or has parents who, individually or jointly, are not eligible on the basis of income to receive assistance under section 8 of the 1937 Act.

[70 FR 77743, Dec. 30, 2005, as amended at 73 FR 49333, Aug. 21, 2008]

§ 5.613 - Public housing program and Section 8 tenant-based assistance program: PHA cooperation with welfare agency.

(a) This section applies to the public housing program and the Section 8 tenant-based assistance program.

(b) The PHA must make best efforts to enter into cooperation agreements with welfare agencies under which such agencies agree:

(1) To target public assistance, benefits and services to families receiving assistance in the public housing program and the Section 8 tenant-based assistance program to achieve self-sufficiency;

(2) To provide written verification to the PHA concerning welfare benefits for families applying for or receiving assistance in these housing assistance programs.

[65 FR 16717, Mar. 29, 2000]

§ 5.615 - Public housing program and Section 8 tenant-based assistance program: How welfare benefit reduction affects family income.

(a) Applicability. This section applies to covered families who reside in public housing (part 960 of this title) or receive Section 8 tenant-based assistance (part 982 of this title).

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply for purposes of this section:

Covered families. Families who receive welfare assistance or other public assistance benefits (“welfare benefits”) from a State or other public agency (“welfare agency”) under a program for which Federal, State, or local law requires that a member of the family must participate in an economic self-sufficiency program as a condition for such assistance.

Economic self-sufficiency program. See definition at § 5.603.

Imputed welfare income. The amount of annual income not actually received by a family, as a result of a specified welfare benefit reduction, that is nonetheless included in the family's annual income for purposes of determining rent.

Specified welfare benefit reduction.

(1) A reduction of welfare benefits by the welfare agency, in whole or in part, for a family member, as determined by the welfare agency, because of fraud by a family member in connection with the welfare program; or because of welfare agency sanction against a family member for noncompliance with a welfare agency requirement to participate in an economic self-sufficiency program.

(2) “Specified welfare benefit reduction” does not include a reduction or termination of welfare benefits by the welfare agency:

(i) at expiration of a lifetime or other time limit on the payment of welfare benefits;

(ii) because a family member is not able to obtain employment, even though the family member has complied with welfare agency economic self-sufficiency or work activities requirements; or

(iii) because a family member has not complied with other welfare agency requirements.

(c) Imputed welfare income. (1) A family's annual income includes the amount of imputed welfare income (because of a specified welfare benefits reduction, as specified in notice to the PHA by the welfare agency), plus the total amount of other annual income as determined in accordance with § 5.609.

(2) At the request of the PHA, the welfare agency will inform the PHA in writing of the amount and term of any specified welfare benefit reduction for a family member, and the reason for such reduction, and will also inform the PHA of any subsequent changes in the term or amount of such specified welfare benefit reduction. The PHA will use this information to determine the amount of imputed welfare income for a family.

(3) A family's annual income includes imputed welfare income in family annual income, as determined at the PHA's interim or regular reexamination of family income and composition, during the term of the welfare benefits reduction (as specified in information provided to the PHA by the welfare agency).

(4) The amount of the imputed welfare income is offset by the amount of additional income a family receives that commences after the time the sanction was imposed. When such additional income from other sources is at least equal to the imputed welfare income, the imputed welfare income is reduced to zero.

(5) The PHA may not include imputed welfare income in annual income if the family was not an assisted resident at the time of sanction.

(d) Review of PHA decision—(1) Public housing. If a public housing tenant claims that the PHA has not correctly calculated the amount of imputed welfare income in accordance with HUD requirements, and if the PHA denies the family's request to modify such amount, the PHA shall give the tenant written notice of such denial, with a brief explanation of the basis for the PHA determination of the amount of imputed welfare income. The PHA notice shall also state that if the tenant does not agree with the PHA determination, the tenant may request a grievance hearing in accordance with part 966, subpart B of this title to review the PHA determination. The tenant is not required to pay an escrow deposit pursuant to § 966.55(e) for the portion of tenant rent attributable to the imputed welfare income in order to obtain a grievance hearing on the PHA determination.

(2) Section 8 participant. A participant in the Section 8 tenant-based assistance program may request an informal hearing, in accordance with § 982.555 of this title, to review the PHA determination of the amount of imputed welfare income that must be included in the family's annual income in accordance with this section. If the family claims that such amount is not correctly calculated in accordance with HUD requirements, and if the PHA denies the family's request to modify such amount, the PHA shall give the family written notice of such denial, with a brief explanation of the basis for the PHA determination of the amount of imputed welfare income. Such notice shall also state that if the family does not agree with the PHA determination, the family may request an informal hearing on the determination under the PHA hearing procedure.

(e) PHA relation with welfare agency. (1) The PHA must ask welfare agencies to inform the PHA of any specified welfare benefits reduction for a family member, the reason for such reduction, the term of any such reduction, and any subsequent welfare agency determination affecting the amount or term of a specified welfare benefits reduction. If the welfare agency determines a specified welfare benefits reduction for a family member, and gives the PHA written notice of such reduction, the family's annual incomes shall include the imputed welfare income because of the specified welfare benefits reduction.

(2) The PHA is responsible for determining the amount of imputed welfare income that is included in the family's annual income as a result of a specified welfare benefits reduction as determined by the welfare agency, and specified in the notice by the welfare agency to the PHA. However, the PHA is not responsible for determining whether a reduction of welfare benefits by the welfare agency was correctly determined by the welfare agency in accordance with welfare program requirements and procedures, nor for providing the opportunity for review or hearing on such welfare agency determinations.

(3) Such welfare agency determinations are the responsibility of the welfare agency, and the family may seek appeal of such determinations through the welfare agency's normal due process procedures. The PHA shall be entitled to rely on the welfare agency notice to the PHA of the welfare agency's determination of a specified welfare benefits reduction.

[65 FR 16717, Mar. 29, 2000]

§ 5.617 - Self-sufficiency incentives for persons with disabilities—Disallowance of increase in annual income.

(a) Applicable programs. The disallowance of earned income provided by this section is applicable only to the following programs: HOME Investment Partnerships Program (24 CFR part 92); Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (24 CFR part 574); Supportive Housing Program (24 CFR part 583); and the Housing Choice Voucher Program (24 CFR part 982).

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply for purposes of this section.

Baseline income. The annual income immediately prior to implementation of the disallowance described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section of a person with disabilities (who is a member of a qualified family).

Disallowance. Exclusion from annual income.

Previously unemployed includes a person with disabilities who has earned, in the twelve months previous to employment, no more than would be received for 10 hours of work per week for 50 weeks at the established minimum wage.

Qualified family. A family residing in housing assisted under one of the programs listed in paragraph (a) of this section or receiving tenant-based rental assistance under one of the programs listed in paragraph (a) of this section.

(1) Whose annual income increases as a result of employment of a family member who is a person with disabilities and who was previously unemployed for one or more years prior to employment;

(2) Whose annual income increases as a result of increased earnings by a family member who is a person with disabilities during participation in any economic self-sufficiency or other job training program; or

(3) Whose annual income increases, as a result of new employment or increased earnings of a family member who is a person with disabilities, during or within six months after receiving assistance, benefits or services under any state program for temporary assistance for needy families funded under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act, as determined by the responsible entity in consultation with the local agencies administering temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and Welfare-to-Work (WTW) programs. The TANF program is not limited to monthly income maintenance, but also includes such benefits and services as one-time payments, wage subsidies and transportation assistance—provided that the total amount over a six-month period is at least $500.

(c) Disallowance of increase in annual income—(1) Initial 12-month exclusion. During the 12-month period beginning on the date a member who is a person with disabilities of a qualified family is first employed or the family first experiences an increase in annual income attributable to employment, the responsible entity must exclude from annual income (as defined in the regulations governing the applicable program listed in paragraph (a) of this section) of a qualified family any increase in income of the family member who is a person with disabilities as a result of employment over prior income of that family member.

(2) Second 12-month exclusion and phase-in. Upon the expiration of the 12-month period defined in paragraph (c)(1) of this section and for the subsequent 12-month period, the responsible entity must exclude from annual income of a qualified family at least 50 percent of any increase in income of such family member as a result of employment over the family member's baseline income.

(3) Maximum 2-year disallowance. The disallowance of increased income of an individual family member who is a person with disabilities as provided in paragraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section is limited to a lifetime 24-month period. The disallowance applies for a maximum of 12 months for disallowance under paragraph (c)(1) of this section and a maximum of 12 months for disallowance under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, during the 24- month period starting from the initial exclusion under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(4) Effect of changes on currently participating families. Families eligible for and participating in the disallowance of earned income under this section prior to May 9, 2016 will continue to be governed by this section in effect as it existed immediately prior to that date (see 24 CFR parts 0 to 199, revised as of April 1, 2016).

(d) Inapplicability to admission. The disallowance of increases in income as a result of employment of persons with disabilities under this section does not apply for purposes of admission to the program (including the determination of income eligibility or any income targeting that may be applicable).

(e) Limitation. This section applies to a family that is receiving the disallowance of earned income under this section on December 31, 2023

(f) Sunset. This section will lapse on January 1, 2026.

[66 FR 6223, Jan. 19, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 6820, Feb. 13, 2002; 81 FR 12370, Mar. 8, 2016; 88 FR 9660, Feb. 14, 2023]

§ 5.618 - Restriction on assistance to families based on assets.

(a) Restrictions based on net assets and property ownership. (1) A dwelling unit in the public housing program may not be rented, and assistance under the Section 8 (tenant-based and project-based) programs may not be provided, either initially or upon reexamination of family income, to any family if:

(i) The family's net assets (as defined in § 5.603) exceed $100,000, which amount will be adjusted annually by HUD in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers; or

(ii) The family has a present ownership interest in, a legal right to reside in, and the effective legal authority to sell, based on State or local laws of the jurisdiction where the property is located, real property that is suitable for occupancy by the family as a residence, except this real property restriction does not apply to:

(A) Any property for which the family is receiving assistance under 24 CFR 982.620; or under the Homeownership Option in 24 CFR part 982;

(B) Any property that is jointly owned by a member of the family and at least one non-household member who does not live with the family, if the non-household member resides at the jointly owned property;

(C) Any person who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as defined in this part 5 (subpart L); or

(D) Any family that is offering such property for sale.

(2) A property will be considered “suitable for occupancy” under paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section unless the family demonstrates that it:

(i) Does not meet the disability-related needs for all members of the family (e.g., physical accessibility requirements, disability-related need for additional bedrooms, proximity to accessible transportation, etc.);

(ii) Is not sufficient for the size of the family;

(iii) Is geographically located so as to be a hardship for the family (e.g., the distance or commuting time between the property and the family's place of work or school would be a hardship to the family, as determined by the PHA or owner);

(iv) Is not safe to reside in because of the physical condition of the property (e.g., property's physical condition poses a risk to the family's health and safety and the condition of the property cannot be easily remedied); or

(v) Is not a property that a family may reside in under the State or local laws of the jurisdiction where the property is located.

(b) Acceptable documentation; confidentiality. (1) A PHA or owner may determine the net assets of a family based on a certification by the family that the net family assets (as defined in § 5.603) do not exceed $50,000, which amount will be adjusted annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, without taking additional steps to verify the accuracy of the declaration. The declaration must state the amount of income the family expects to receive from such assets; this amount must be included in the family's income.

(2) A PHA or owner may determine compliance with paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section based on a certification by a family that certifies that such family does not have any present ownership interest in any real property at the time of the income determination or review.

(3) When a family asks for or about an exception to the real property restriction because a family member is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the PHA or owner must comply with the confidentiality requirements under § 5.2007. The PHA or owner must accept a self-certification from the family member, and the restrictions on requesting documentation under § 5.2007 apply.

(c) Enforcement. (1) When recertifying the income of a family that is subject to the restrictions in paragraph (a) of this section, a PHA or owner may choose not to enforce such restrictions, or alternatively, may establish exceptions to the restrictions based on eligibility criteria.

(2) The PHA or owner may choose not to enforce the restrictions in paragraph (a) of this section or establish exceptions to such restrictions only pursuant to a policy adopted by the PHA or owner.

(3) Eligibility criteria for establishing exceptions may provide for separate treatment based on family type and may be based on different factors, such as age, disability, income, the ability of the family to find suitable alternative housing, and whether supportive services are being provided. Such policies must be in conformance with all applicable fair housing statutes and regulations, as discussed in this part 5.

(d) Delay of eviction or termination of assistance. The PHA or owner may delay for a period of not more than 6 months the initiation of eviction or termination proceedings of a family based on noncompliance under this provision unless it conflicts with other provisions of law.

(e) Applicability. This section applies to the Section 8 (tenant-based and project-based) and public housing programs.

[88 FR 9660, Feb. 14, 2023]

§ 5.601 - Purpose and applicability.

This subpart states HUD requirements on the following subjects:

(a) Determining annual and adjusted income of families who apply for or receive assistance in the Section 8 (tenant-based and project-based) and public housing programs;

(b) Determining payments by and utility reimbursements to families assisted in these programs;

(c) Additional occupancy requirements that apply to the Section 8 project-based assistance programs. These additional requirements concern:

(1) Income-eligibility and income-targeting when a Section 8 owner admits families to a Section 8 project or unit;

(2) Owner selection preferences; and

(3) Owner reexamination of family income and composition;

(d) Determining adjusted income, as provided in § 5.611(a) and (c) through (e), for families who apply for or receive assistance under the following programs: Section 202 Supportive Housing Program for the Elderly (24 CFR 891, subpart B); Section 202 Direct Loans for Housing for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (24 CFR part 891, subpart E); and the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities (24 CFR part 891, subpart C). Unless specified in the regulations for each of the programs listed in this paragraph (d) or in another regulatory section of this part 5, subpart F, then the regulations in part 5, subpart F, generally are not applicable to these programs; and

(e) Limitations on eligibility for assistance based on assets, as provided in § 5.618, in the Section 8 (tenant-based and project-based) and public housing programs.

[66 FR 6222, Jan. 19, 2001, as amended at 88 FR 9655, Feb. 14, 2023]

§ 5.603 - Definitions.

As used in this subpart:

(a) Terms found elsewhere in part 5—(1) Subpart A. The terms 1937 Act, elderly person, public housing, public housing agency (PHA), responsible entity and Section 8 are defined in § 5.100.

(2) Subpart D. The terms “disabled family”, “elderly family”, “family”, “live-in aide”, and “person with disabilities” are defined in § 5.403.

(b) The following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:

Adjusted income. See § 5.611.

Annual income. See § 5.609.

Child care expenses. Amounts anticipated to be paid by the family for the care of children under 13 years of age during the period for which annual income is computed, but only where such care is necessary to enable a family member to actively seek employment, be gainfully employed, or to further his or her education and only to the extent such amounts are not reimbursed. The amount deducted shall reflect reasonable charges for child care. In the case of child care necessary to permit employment, the amount deducted shall not exceed the amount of employment income that is included in annual income.

Day laborer. An individual hired and paid one day at a time without an agreement that the individual will be hired or work again in the future.

Dependent. A member of the family (which excludes foster children and foster adults) other than the family head or spouse who is under 18 years of age, or is a person with a disability, or is a full-time student.

Disability assistance expenses. Reasonable expenses that are anticipated, during the period for which annual income is computed, for attendant care and auxiliary apparatus for a disabled family member and that are necessary to enable a family member (including the disabled member) to be employed, provided that the expenses are neither paid to a member of the family nor reimbursed by an outside source.

Economic self-sufficiency program. Any program designed to encourage, assist, train, or facilitate the economic independence of HUD-assisted families or to provide work for such families. These programs include programs for job training, employment counseling, work placement, basic skills training, education, English proficiency, workfare, financial or household management, apprenticeship, and any program necessary to ready a participant for work (including a substance abuse or mental health treatment program), or other work activities.

Extremely low-income family. A very low-income family whose annual income does not exceed the higher of:

(1) The poverty guidelines established by the Department of Health and Human Services applicable to the family of the size involved (except in the case of families living in Puerto Rico or any other territory or possession of the United States); or

(2) Thirty (30) percent of the median income for the area, as determined by HUD, with adjustments for smaller and larger families, except that HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 30 percent of the area median income for the area if HUD finds that such variations are necessary because of unusually high or low family incomes.

Foster adult. A member of the household who is 18 years of age or older and meets the definition of a foster adult under State law. In general, a foster adult is a person who is 18 years of age or older, is unable to live independently due to a debilitating physical or mental condition and is placed with the family by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction.

Foster child. A member of the household who meets the definition of a foster child under State law. In general, a foster child is placed with the family by an authorized placement agency (e.g., public child welfare agency) or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction.

Full-time student. A person who is attending school or vocational training on a full-time basis.

Health and medical care expenses. Health and medical care expenses are any costs incurred in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or payments for treatments affecting any structure or function of the body. Health and medical care expenses include medical insurance premiums and long-term care premiums that are paid or anticipated during the period for which annual income is computed.

Imputed welfare income. See § 5.615.

Independent contractor. An individual who qualifies as an independent contractor instead of an employee in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code Federal income tax requirements and whose earnings are consequently subject to the Self-Employment Tax. In general, an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.

Low income family. A family whose annual income does not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area, as determined by HUD with adjustments for smaller and larger families, except that HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 80 percent of the median income for the area on the basis of HUD's findings that such variations are necessary because of unusually high or low family incomes.

Medical expenses. Medical expenses, including medical insurance premiums, that are anticipated during the period for which annual income is computed, and that are not covered by insurance.

Minor. A member of the family, other than the head of family or spouse, who is under 18 years of age.

Monthly adjusted income. One twelfth of adjusted income.

Monthly income. One twelfth of annual income.

Net family assets. (1) Net family assets is the net cash value of all assets owned by the family, after deducting reasonable costs that would be incurred in disposing real property, savings, stocks, bonds, and other forms of capital investment.

(2) In determining net family assets, PHAs or owners, as applicable, must include the value of any business or family assets disposed of by an applicant or tenant for less than fair market value (including a disposition in trust, but not in a foreclosure or bankruptcy sale) during the two years preceding the date of application for the program or reexamination, as applicable, in excess of the consideration received therefor. In the case of a disposition as part of a separation or divorce settlement, the disposition will not be considered to be for less than fair market value if the applicant or tenant receives consideration not measurable in dollar terms. Negative equity in real property or other investments does not prohibit the owner from selling the property or other investments, so negative equity alone would not justify excluding the property or other investments from family assets.

(3) Excluded from the calculation of net family assets are:

(i) The value of necessary items of personal property;

(ii) The combined value of all non-necessary items of personal property if the combined total value does not exceed $50,000 (which amount will be adjusted by HUD in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers);

(iii) The value of any account under a retirement plan recognized as such by the Internal Revenue Service, including individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), employer retirement plans, and retirement plans for self-employed individuals;

(iv) The value of real property that the family does not have the effective legal authority to sell in the jurisdiction in which the property is located;

(v) Any amounts recovered in any civil action or settlement based on a claim of malpractice, negligence, or other breach of duty owed to a family member arising out of law, that resulted in a family member being a person with a disability;

(vi) The value of any Coverdell education savings account under section 530 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the value of any qualified tuition program under section 529 of such Code, the value of any Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account authorized under Section 529A of such Code, and the value of any “baby bond” account created, authorized, or funded by Federal, State, or local government.

(vii) Interests in Indian trust land;

(viii) Equity in a manufactured home where the family receives assistance under 24 CFR part 982;

(ix) Equity in property under the Homeownership Option for which a family receives assistance under 24 CFR part 982;

(x) Family Self-Sufficiency Accounts; and

(xi) Federal tax refunds or refundable tax credits for a period of 12 months after receipt by the family.

(4) In cases where a trust fund has been established and the trust is not revocable by, or under the control of, any member of the family or household, the trust fund is not a family asset and the value of the trust is not included in the calculation of net family assets, so long as the fund continues to be held in a trust that is not revocable by, or under the control of, any member of the family or household.

Owner has the meaning provided in the relevant program regulations. As used in this subpart, where appropriate, the term “owner” shall also include a “borrower” as defined in part 891 of this title.

Responsible entity. For § 5.611, in addition to the definition of “responsible entity” in § 5.100, “responsible entity” means:

(1) For the Section 202 Supportive Housing Program for the Elderly, the “Owner” as defined in 24 CFR 891.205;

(2) For the Section 202 Direct Loans for Housing for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities, the “Borrower” as defined in 24 CFR 891.505; and

(3) For the Section 811 Supportive Housing Program for Persons with Disabilities, the “Owner” as defined in 24 CFR 891.305.

Seasonal worker. An individual who is hired into a short-term position and the employment begins about the same time each year (such as summer or winter). Typically, the individual is hired to address seasonal demands that arise for the particular employer or industry.

Tenant rent. The amount payable monthly by the family as rent to the unit owner (Section 8 owner or PHA in public housing). (This term is not used in the Section 8 voucher program.)

Total tenant payment. See § 5.628.

Utility allowance. If the cost of utilities (except telephone) and other housing services for an assisted unit is not included in the tenant rent but is the responsibility of the family occupying the unit, an amount equal to the estimate made or approved by a PHA or HUD of the monthly cost of a reasonable consumption of such utilities and other services for the unit by an energy-conservative household of modest circumstances consistent with the requirements of a safe, sanitary, and healthful living environment.

Utility reimbursement. The amount, if any, by which the utility allowance for a unit, if applicable, exceeds the total tenant payment for the family occupying the unit. (This definition is not used in the Section 8 voucher program, or for a public housing family that is paying a flat rent.)

Very low income family. A family whose annual income does not exceed 50 percent of the median family income for the area, as determined by HUD with adjustments for smaller and larger families, except that HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 50 percent of the median income for the area if HUD finds that such variations are necessary because of unusually high or low family incomes.

Welfare assistance. Welfare or other payments to families or individuals, based on need, that are made under programs funded, separately or jointly, by Federal, State or local governments (including assistance provided under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, as that term is defined under the implementing regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services at 45 CFR 260.31).

Work activities. See definition at section 407(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 607(d)).

[61 FR 54498, Oct. 18, 1996, as amended at 65 FR 16716, Mar. 29, 2000; 65 FR 55161, Sept. 12, 2000; 66 FR 6223, Jan. 19, 2001; 67 FR 47432, July 18, 2002; 81 FR 12370, Mar. 8, 2016; 88 FR 9656, Feb. 14, 2023; 88 FR 12560, Feb. 28, 2023]
FAMILY PAYMENT

§ 5.628 - Total tenant payment.

(a) Determining total tenant payment (TTP). Total tenant payment is the highest of the following amounts, rounded to the nearest dollar:

(1) 30 percent of the family's monthly adjusted income;

(2) 10 percent of the family's monthly income;

(3) If the family is receiving payments for welfare assistance from a public agency and a part of those payments, adjusted in accordance with the family's actual housing costs, is specifically designated by such agency to meet the family's housing costs, the portion of those payments which is so designated;

(4) The minimum rent, as determined in accordance with § 5.630; or

(5) For public housing only, the alternative non-public housing rent, as determined in accordance with § 960.102 of this title.

(b) Determining TTP if family's welfare assistance is ratably reduced. If the family's welfare assistance is ratably reduced from the standard of need by applying a percentage, the amount calculated under paragraph (a)(3) of this section is the amount resulting from one application of the percentage.

[65 FR 16718, Mar. 29, 2000, as amended at 88 FR 9661, Feb. 14, 2023]

§ 5.630 - Minimum rent.

(a) Minimum rent. (1) The PHA must charge a family no less than a minimum monthly rent established by the responsible entity, except as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) For the public housing program and the section 8 moderate rehabilitation or voucher programs, the PHA may establish a minimum rent of up to $50.

(3) For other section 8 programs, the minimum rent is $25.

(b) Financial hardship exemption from minimum rent—(1) When is family exempt from minimum rent? The responsible entity must grant an exemption from payment of minimum rent if the family is unable to pay the minimum rent because of financial hardship, as described in the responsible entity's written policies. Financial hardship includes these situations:

(i) When the family has lost eligibility for or is awaiting an eligibility determination for a Federal, State, or local assistance program, including a family that includes a member who is a noncitizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act who would be entitled to public benefits but for title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996;

(ii) When the family would be evicted because it is unable to pay the minimum rent;

(iii) When the income of the family has decreased because of changed circumstances, including loss of employment;

(iv) When a death has occurred in the family; and

(v) Other circumstances determined by the responsible entity or HUD.

(2) What happens if family requests a hardship exemption? (i) Public housing. (A) If a family requests a financial hardship exemption, the PHA must suspend the minimum rent requirement beginning the month following the family's request for a hardship exemption, and continuing until the PHA determines whether there is a qualifying financial hardship and whether it is temporary or long term.

(B) The PHA must promptly determine whether a qualifying hardship exists and whether it is temporary or long term.

(C) The PHA may not evict the family for nonpayment of minimum rent during the 90-day period beginning the month following the family's request for a hardship exemption.

(D) If the PHA determines that a qualifying financial hardship is temporary, the PHA must reinstate the minimum rent from the beginning of the suspension of the minimum rent. The PHA must offer the family a reasonable repayment agreement, on terms and conditions established by the PHA, for the amount of back minimum rent owed by the family.

(ii) All section 8 programs. (A) If a family requests a financial hardship exemption, the responsible entity must suspend the minimum rent requirement beginning the month following the family's request for a hardship exemption until the responsible entity determines whether there is a qualifying financial hardship, and whether such hardship is temporary or long term.

(B) The responsible entity must promptly determine whether a qualifying hardship exists and whether it is temporary or long term.

(C) If the responsible entity determines that a qualifying financial hardship is temporary, the PHA must not impose the minimum rent during the 90-day period beginning the month following the date of the family's request for a hardship exemption. At the end of the 90-day suspension period, the responsible entity must reinstate the minimum rent from the beginning of the suspension. The family must be offered a reasonable repayment agreement, on terms and conditions established by the responsible entity, for the amount of back rent owed by the family.

(iii) All programs. (A) If the responsible entity determines there is no qualifying financial hardship exemption, the responsible entity must reinstate the minimum rent, including back rent owed from the beginning of the suspension. The family must pay the back rent on terms and conditions established by the responsible entity.

(B) If the responsible entity determines a qualifying financial hardship is long term, the responsible entity must exempt the family from the minimum rent requirements so long as such hardship continues. Such exemption shall apply from the beginning of the month following the family's request for a hardship exemption until the end of the qualifying financial hardship.

(C) The financial hardship exemption only applies to payment of the minimum rent (as determined pursuant to § 5.628(a)(4) and § 5.630), and not to the other elements used to calculate the total tenant payment (as determined pursuant to § 5.628(a)(1), (a)(2) and (a)(3)).

(3) Public housing: Grievance hearing concerning PHA denial of request for hardship exemption. If a public housing family requests a hearing under the PHA grievance procedure, to review the PHA's determination denying or limiting the family's claim to a financial hardship exemption, the family is not required to pay any escrow deposit in order to obtain a grievance hearing on such issues.

[65 FR 16718, Mar. 29, 2000, as amended at 89 FR 38290, May 7, 2024]

§ 5.632 - Utility reimbursements.

(a) Applicability. This section is applicable to:

(1) The Section 8 programs other than the Section 8 voucher program (for distribution of a voucher housing assistance payment that exceeds rent to owner, see § 982.514(b) of this title);

(2) A public housing family paying an income-based rent (see § 960.253 of this title). (Utility reimbursement is not paid for a public housing family that is paying a flat rent.)

(b) Payment of utility reimbursement. (1) The responsible entity pays a utility reimbursement if the utility allowance (for tenant-paid utilities) exceeds the amount of the total tenant payment. The responsible entity has the option of making utility reimbursement payments not less than once per calendar-year quarter, for reimbursements totaling $45 or less per quarter. In the event a family leaves the program in advance of its next quarterly reimbursement, the responsible entity must reimburse the family for a prorated share of the applicable reimbursement. PHAs and owners exercising this option must have a hardship policy in place for tenants.

(2) In the public housing program (where the family is paying an income-based rent), the Section 8 moderate rehabilitation program and the Section 8 voucher program, the PHA may pay the utility reimbursement either to the family or directly to the utility supplier to pay the utility bill on behalf of the family. If the PHA elects to pay the utility supplier, the PHA must notify the family of the amount paid to the utility supplier.

(3) In the other Section 8 programs, the owner must pay the utility reimbursement either:

(i) To the family, or

(ii) With consent of the family, to the utility supplier to pay the utility bill on behalf of the family.

[65 FR 16719, Mar. 29, 2000, as amended at 82 FR 58339, Dec. 12, 2017; 89 FR 38290, May 7, 2024]

§ 5.634 - Tenant rent.

(a) Section 8 programs. For Section 8 programs other than the Section 8 voucher program, tenant rent is total tenant payment minus any utility allowance.

(b) Public housing. See § 960.253 of this title for the determination of tenant rent.

[65 FR 16719, Mar. 29, 2000]
SECTION 8 PROJECT-BASED ASSISTANCE: OCCUPANCY REQUIREMENTS

§ 5.653 - Section 8 project-based assistance programs: Admission—Income-eligibility and income-targeting.

(a) Applicability. This section describes requirements concerning income-eligibility and income-targeting that apply to the Section 8 project-based assistance programs, except for the moderate rehabilitation and the project-based voucher programs.

(b) 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, and must be income-eligible, as described in this section. Such eligible applicants include single persons.

(2) Low income limit. No family other than a low income family is eligible for admission to the Section 8 project-based assistance programs. (This paragraph (b) does not apply to the Section 8 project-based voucher program under part 983 of this title.)

(c) Targeting to extremely low income families. For each project assisted under a contract for project-based assistance, of the dwelling units that become available for occupancy in any fiscal year that are assisted under the contract, not less than 40 percent shall be available for leasing only by families that are extremely low income families at the time of admission.

(d) Limitation on admission of non-very low income families—(1) Admission to units available before October 1, 1981. Not more than 25 percent of the Section 8 project-based dwelling units that were available for occupancy under Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Contracts effective before October 1, 1981 and that are leased on or after that date shall be available for leasing by low income families other than very low income families. HUD reserves the right to limit the admission of low income families other than very low income families to these units.

(2) Admission to units available on or after October 1, 1981. Not more than 15 percent of the Section 8 project-based dwelling units that initially become available for occupancy under Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contracts on or after October 1, 1981 shall be available for leasing by low income families other than families that are very low income families at the time of admission to the Section 8 program. Except with the prior approval of HUD under paragraphs (d)(3) and (d)(4) of this section, the owner may only lease such units to very low income families.

(3) Request for exception. A request by an owner for approval of admission of low income families other than very low income families to section 8 project-based units must state the basis for requesting the exception and provide supporting data. Bases for exceptions that may be considered include the following:

(i) Need for admission of a broader range of tenants to preserve the financial or management viability of a project because there is an insufficient number of potential applicants who are very low income families;

(ii) Commitment of an owner to attaining occupancy by families with a broad range of incomes;

(iii) Project supervision by a State Housing Finance Agency having a policy of occupancy by families with a broad range of incomes supported by evidence that the Agency is pursuing this goal throughout its assisted projects in the community, or a project with financing through Section 11(b) of the 1937 Act (42 U.S.C. 1437i) or under Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 103); and

(iv) Low-income families that otherwise would be displaced from a Section 8 project.

(4) Action on request for exception. Whether to grant any request for exception is a matter committed by law to HUD's discretion, and no implication is intended to be created that HUD will seek to grant approvals up to the maximum limits permitted by statute, nor is any presumption of an entitlement to an exception created by the specification of certain grounds for exception that HUD may consider. HUD will review exceptions granted to owners at regular intervals. HUD may withdraw permission to exercise those exceptions for program applicants at any time that exceptions are not being used or after a periodic review, based on the findings of the review.

(e) Income used for eligibility and targeting. Family annual income (see § 5.609) is used both for determination of income-eligibility and for income-targeting under this section.

(f) Reporting. The Section 8 owner must comply with HUD-prescribed reporting requirements, including income reporting requirements that will permit HUD to maintain the data necessary to monitor compliance with income-eligibility and income-targeting requirements.

[65 FR 16719, Mar. 29, 2000, as amended at 89 FR 38290, May 7, 2024]

§ 5.655 - Section 8 project-based assistance programs: Owner preferences in selection for a project or unit.

(a) Applicability. This section applies to the section 8 project-based assistance programs. The section describes requirements concerning the Section 8 owner's selection of residents to occupy a project or unit, except for the moderate rehabilitation and the project-based voucher programs.

(b) Selection—(1) Selection for owner's project or unit. Selection for occupancy of a project or unit is the function of the Section 8 owner. However, selection is subject to the income-eligibility and income-targeting requirements in § 5.653.

(2) Tenant selection plan. The owner must adopt a written tenant selection plan in accordance with HUD requirements.

(3) Amount of income. The owner may not select a family for occupancy of a project or unit in an order different from the order on the owner's waiting list for the purpose of selecting a relatively higher income family. However, an owner may select a family for occupancy of a project or unit based on its income in order to satisfy the targeting requirements of § 5.653(c).

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

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

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

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

(ii) A residency preference is a preference for admission of persons who reside in a specified geographic area (“residency preference area”).

(iii) An owner's residency preference must be approved by HUD in one of the following methods:

(A) Prior approval of the housing market area in the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing plan (in accordance with § 108.25 of this title) as a residency preference area;

(B) Prior approval of the residency preference area in the PHA plan of the jurisdiction in which the project is located;

(C) Modification of the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan, in accordance with § 108.25 of this title,

(iv) Use of a residency preference may not have the purpose or effect of delaying or otherwise denying admission to a project or unit based on the race, color, ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, or age of any member of an applicant family.

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

(vi) 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 owner 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. (i) The owner may adopt a preference for admission of working families (families where the head, spouse or sole member is employed). However, an applicant shall 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.

(ii) If the owner adopts a preference for admission of working families, the owner must not give a preference based on the amount of earned income.

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

(4) Preference for victims of domestic violence. The owner should consider whether to adopt a preference for admission of families that include victims of domestic violence.

(5) Preference for single persons who are elderly, displaced, homeless or persons with disabilities over other single persons. The owner 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.

[65 FR 16720, Mar. 29, 2000, as amended at 89 FR 38290, May 7, 2024]

§ 5.657 - Section 8 project-based assistance programs: Reexamination of family income and composition.

(a) Applicability. This section states requirements for reexamination of family income and composition in the Section 8 project-based assistance programs, except for the moderate rehabilitation and the project-based voucher programs.

(b) Regular reexamination. The owner must conduct a reexamination and redetermination of family income and composition at least annually.

(c) Interim reexaminations. (1) Generally. A family may request an interim reexamination of family income because of any changes since the last examination. The owner must conduct any interim reexamination within a reasonable time after the family request or when the owner becomes aware of an increase in family adjusted income under paragraph (c)(3) of this section. What qualifies as a “reasonable time” may vary based on the amount of time it takes to verify information, but such time generally should not exceed 30 days from the date a family reports changes in income to an owner.

(2) Decreases in the family's annual adjusted income. The owner may decline to conduct an interim reexamination of family income if the owner estimates that the family's adjusted income will decrease by an amount that is less than ten percent of the family's annual adjusted income (or a lower amount established by HUD through notice), or such lower threshold established by the owner.

(3) Increases in the family's annual adjusted income. The owner must conduct an interim reexamination of family income when the owner becomes aware that the family's adjusted income (as defined in § 5.611) has changed by an amount that the owner estimates will result in an increase of ten percent or more in annual adjusted income or such other amount established by HUD through notice, except:

(i) The owner may not consider any increase in the earned income of the family when estimating or calculating whether the family's adjusted income has increased, unless the family has previously received an interim reduction under paragraph (c)(1) of this section during the certification period; and

(ii) The owner may choose not to conduct an interim reexamination in the last three months of a certification period.

(4) Policies on reporting changes in family income or composition. The owner must adopt policies consistent with this paragraph (c), prescribing when and under what conditions the family must report a change in family income or composition.

(5) Effective date of rent changes. (i) If the family has reported a change in family income or composition in a timely manner according to the owner's policies, the owner must provide the family with 30 days advance notice of any rent increase, and such rent increase will be effective the first day of the month beginning after the end of that 30-day notice period. Rent decreases will be effective on the first day of the first month after the date of the actual change leading to the interim reexamination of family income.

(ii) If the family has failed to report a change in family income or composition in a timely manner according to the owner's policies, owners must implement any resulting rent increases retroactively to the first of the month following the date of the change leading to the interim reexamination of family income. Any resulting rent decrease must be implemented no later than the first rent period following completion of the reexamination. However, rent decreases may be applied retroactively at the discretion of the owner, in accordance with the owner's conditions as established in written policy, and subject to paragraph (c)(5)(iii) of this section.

(iii) A retroactive rent decrease may not be applied by the owner prior to the later of the first of the month following:

(A) The date of the change leading to the interim reexamination of family income; or

(B) The effective date of the family's most recent previous interim or annual reexamination (or initial examination if that was the family's last examination).

(d) Streamlined income determination—(1) General. An owner may elect to apply a streamlined income determination to families receiving fixed income as described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(2) Definition of “fixed income”. For purposes of this section, “fixed income” means periodic payments at reasonably predictable levels from one or more of the following sources:

(i) Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Supplemental Disability Insurance.

(ii) Federal, state, local, or private pension plans.

(iii) Annuities or other retirement benefit programs, insurance policies, disability or death benefits, or other similar types of periodic receipts.

(iv) Any other source of income subject to adjustment by a verifiable COLA or current rate of interest.

(3) Method of streamlined income determination. Owners using the streamlined income determination must adjust a family's income according to the percentage of a family's unadjusted income that is from fixed income.

(i) When 90 percent or more of a family's unadjusted income consists of fixed income, owners using streamlined income determinations must apply a COLA or COLAs to the family's fixed-income sources, provided that the family certifies both that 90 percent or more of their unadjusted income is fixed income and that their sources of fixed income have not changed from the previous year. For non-fixed income, owners are not required to make adjustments pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.

(ii) When less than 90 percent of a family's unadjusted income consists of fixed income, owners using streamlined income determinations must apply a COLA to each of the family's sources of fixed income. Owners must determine all other income pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.

(4) COLA rate applied by owners. Owners using streamlined income determinations must adjust a family's fixed income using a COLA or current interest rate that applies to each specific source of fixed income and is available from a public source or through tenant-provided, third-party-generated documentation. If no public verification or tenant-provided documentation is available, then the owner must obtain third-party verification of the income amounts in order to calculate the change in income for the source.

(5) Triennial verification. For any income determined pursuant to a streamlined income determination, an owner must obtain third-party verification of all income amounts every 3 years.

(e) Other applicable requirements. Reviews of family income under this section are subject to the provisions in Section 904 of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1988, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3544), and any applicable privacy rules in subpart B of this part.

(f) De minimis errors. The owner will not be considered out of compliance with the requirements in this section due solely to de minimis errors in calculating family income but is still obligated to correct errors once the owner becomes aware of the errors. A de minimis error is an error where the owner determination of family income varies from the correct income determination by no more than $30 per month in monthly adjusted income ($360 in annual adjusted income) per family.

(1) The owner must take any corrective action necessary to credit or repay a family if the family has been overcharged for their rent as a result of the de minimis error in the income determination. Families will not be required to repay the owner in instances where the owner has miscalculated income resulting in a family being undercharged for rent or family share.

(2) HUD may revise the amount of de minimis error in this paragraph (f) through a rulemaking published in the Federal Register for public comment.

[65 FR 16720, Mar. 29, 2000, as amended at 81 FR 12371, Mar. 8, 2016; 82 FR 58340, Dec. 12, 2017; 85 FR 27139, May 7, 2020; 88 FR 9661, Feb. 14, 2023; 89 FR 38290, May 7, 2024]

§ 5.659 - Family information and verification.

(a) Applicability. This section states requirements for reexamination of family income and composition in the Section 8 project-based assistance programs, except for the moderate rehabilitation program and the project-based voucher programs.

(b) Family obligation to supply information. (1) The family must supply any information that HUD or the owner determines is necessary in administration of the Section 8 program, including submission of required evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status (as provided by part 5, subpart E of this title). “Information” includes any requested certification, release or other documentation.

(2) The family must supply any information requested by the owner or HUD for use in a regularly scheduled reexamination or an interim reexamination of family income and composition in accordance with HUD requirements.

(3) For requirements concerning the following, see part 5, subpart B of this title:

(i) Family verification and disclosure of social security numbers;

(ii) Family execution and submission of consent forms for obtaining wage and claim information from State Wage Information Collection Agencies (SWICAs).

(4) Any information supplied by the family must be true and complete.

(c) Family release and consent. (1) As a condition of admission to or continued occupancy of a unit with Section 8 assistance, the owner must require the family head, and such other family members as the owner designates, to execute a HUD-approved release and consent form (including any release and consent as required under § 5.230 of this title) authorizing any depository or private source of income, or any Federal, State or local agency, to furnish or release to the owner or HUD such information as the owner or HUD determines to be necessary.

(2) The use or disclosure of information obtained from a family or from another source pursuant to this release and consent shall be limited to purposes directly connected with administration of the Section 8 program.

(d) Owner responsibility for verification. Except as allowed under paragraph (e), the owner must obtain and document in the family file third party verification of the following factors, or must document in the file why third party verification was not available:

(1) Reported family annual income;

(2) The value of assets;

(3) Expenses related to deductions from annual income; and

(4) Other factors that affect the determination of adjusted income.

(e) Verification of assets. For a family with net family assets (as the term is defined in § 5.603) equal to or less than $50,000, which amount will be adjusted annually by HUD in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, an owner may accept, for purposes of recertification of income, a family's declaration under § 5.618(b), except that the owner must obtain third-party verification of all family assets every 3 years.

[65 FR 16721, Mar. 29, 2000, as amended at 82 FR 58340, Dec. 12, 2017; 88 FR 9662, Feb. 14, 2023; 89 FR 38290, May 7, 2024]

§ 5.661 - Section 8 project-based assistance programs: Approval for police or other security personnel to live in project.

(a) Applicability. This section describes when a Section 8 owner may lease a Section 8 unit to police or other security personnel with continued Section 8 assistance for the unit. This section applies to the Section 8 project-based assistance programs.

(b) Terms. (1) Security personnel means:

(i) A police officer, or

(ii) A qualified security professional, with adequate training and experience to provide security services for project residents.

(2) Police officer means a person employed on a full-time basis as a duly licensed professional police officer by a Federal, State or local government or by any agency of these governments.

(3) Security includes the protection of project residents, including resident project management from criminal or other activity that is a threat to person or property, or that arouses fears of such threat.

(c) Owner application. (1) The owner may submit a written application to the contract administrator (PHA or HUD) for approval to lease an available unit in a Section 8 project to security personnel who would not otherwise be eligible for Section 8 assistance, for the purpose of increasing security for Section 8 families residing in the project.

(2) The owner's application must include the following information:

(i) A description of criminal activities in the project and the surrounding community, and the effect of criminal activity on the security of project residents.

(ii) Qualifications of security personnel who will reside in the project, and the period of residence by such personnel. How owner proposes to check backgrounds and qualifications of any security personnel who will reside in the project.

(iii) Full disclosure of any family relationship between the owner and any security personnel. For this purpose, “owner” includes a principal or other interested party.

(iv) How residence by security personnel in a project unit will increase security for Section 8 assisted families residing in the project.

(v) The amount payable monthly as rent to the unit owner by security personnel residing in the project (including a description of how this amount is determined), and the amount of any other compensation by the owner to such resident security personnel.

(vi) The terms of occupancy by such security personnel. The lease by owner to the approved security personnel may provide that occupancy of the unit is authorized only while the security personnel is satisfactorily performing any agreed responsibilities and functions for project security.

(vii) Other information as requested by the contract administrator.

(d) Action by contract administrator. (1) The contract administrator shall have discretion to approve or disapprove owner's application, and to impose conditions for approval of occupancy by security personnel in a section 8 project unit.

(2) Notice of approval by the contract administrator shall specify the term of such approved occupancy. Such approval may be withdrawn at the discretion of the contract administrator, for example, if the contract administrator determines that such occupancy is not providing adequate security benefits as proposed in the owner's application; or that security benefits from such occupancy are not a sufficient return for program costs.

(e) Housing assistance payment and rent. (1) During approved occupancy by security personnel as provided in this section, the amount of the monthly housing assistance payment to the owner shall be equal to the contract rent (as determined in accordance with the HAP contract and HUD requirements) minus the amount (as approved by the contract administrator) of rent payable monthly as rent to the unit owner by such security personnel. The owner shall bear the risk of collecting such rent from such security personnel, and the amount of the housing assistance payment shall not be increased because of non-payment by such security personnel. The owner shall not be entitled to receive any vacancy payment for the period following occupancy by such security personnel.

(2) In approving the amount of monthly rent payable by security personnel for occupancy of a contract unit, the contract administrator may consider whether security services to be performed are an adequate return for housing assistance payments on the unit, or whether the cost of security services should be borne by the owner from other project income.

[65 FR 16721, Mar. 29, 2000] Effective Date Note:At 65 FR 16721, Mar. 29, 2000, § 5.661 was added. This section contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.