HUD has granted temporary flexibilities for the public housing and housing choice voucher (HCV) programs administered by public housing authorities (PHAs). Intended to lessen administrative burdens in light of reduced federal funding available to PHAs, the flexibilities are immediately available under a HUD notice issued on January 22, 2013. They expire on March 31, 2014.

HUD authorized use of the following regulatory flexibilities for both the public housing and HCV programs, unless otherwise indicated:

  • Verifying a participant’s income using actual past income, as determined in HUD’s Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) system. No third-party documentation is required if actual earnings are obtained from EIV. If participants dispute the EIV information, additional documentation is required to resolve the dispute.
  • Allowing participants to self-certify net family assets equal to or below $5,000 for purposes of determining annual income. Families with assets exceeding $5,000 must provide supporting documentation about those assets and cannot self-certify.
  • Conducting streamlined annual reexaminations for elderly or disabled families on fixed incomes. To implement this authorization, family incomes may be recalculated by applying any published cost-of-living adjustment to the previously verified income amount.
  • Approving payment standards up to 120 percent of fair market rents (FMR) without HUD approval for the HCV program only, and if needed as a reasonable accommodation for a family that includes a person with disabilities.

To implement the flexibilities, HUD notification and modification of PHA policies are necessary. Amendments to annual plans may also be required.

Ballard Spahr attorneys have been working with HUD and a group of PHAs across the country to identify ways HUD can grant regulatory and other flexibilities to reduce administrative costs. These types of initiatives will enable PHAs to focus their diminished federal funds on providing better services and resources to residents instead of on administrative matters.

If you wish to discuss this notice, please contact Amy M. Glassman at 202.661.7680 or glassmana@ballardspahr.com.


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