HUD Soliciting Comments on Income Limits for Public Housing Residents

On November 29, HUD will publish a solicitation of comments regarding the implementation of income limits for public housing residents. A provision limiting incomes for public housing residents was included within the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) of 2016 (members only). Section 103 of the bill contains language oriented to limit the tenancies of over-income residents in a responsible, effective way that still provides significant discretion to PHAs. The language in HOTMA places the threshold for over-income families as those with incomes over 120 percent of area median income (AMI) for the most recent two consecutive years. If a family meets this threshold, PHAs have the option of either charging the higher of the fair market rent for the unit or the monthly subsidy (operating and capital fund), or terminating the tenancy within 6 months. Language in HOTMA also provides the Secretary the discretion to establish different income limitations based on local construction costs or unusually high or low incomes, vacancy rates, or rents. Prior to HOTMA’s passage, HUD also solicited comments on income limitations for public housing residents via an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (members only).

HUD is soliciting comments on its proposal to use its calculation of very low-income (VLI) to determine income limits. VLIs are preliminarily calculated as 50 percent of the estimated area median family income. VLI limits include several adjustments to align the income limits with program requirements including: high housing cost adjustments, low housing cost adjustments, state and non-metro median family income adjustments, and ceiling and floors for changes. HUD is proposing to use the VLI as the basis for the 120 percent income limit by multiplying the VLI limit by a factor of 2.4. Areas without a VLI adjustment would result in an income limit of 120 percent of AMI. Areas with an adjustment would be higher or lower than 120 percent AMI, depending upon the adjustments made.

Comments are due Thursday, December 29 at midnight.

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