In an effort to reduce administrative burdens, HUD has granted flexibility to public housing agencies (PHAs) in verifying income excluded from the determination of annual income. This flexibility applies to the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation programs. The flexibility is immediately available under a HUD notice issued on January 28, 2013. 

Under this guidance, PHAs may accept an applicant's or participant's self-certification as verification of income that is fully excluded from the annual income determination (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and income from a live-in aide). PHAs are no longer required to:

  • Verify the income using third-party documentation
  • Document in the tenant file why third-party verification was not available, as required by HUD regulations
  • Report the income in Section 7 of the form HUD-50058

For income that is partially excluded from the annual income determination, PHAs must continue complying with the HUD-prescribed verification requirements and applicable HUD regulations. They also must report the income in Section 7 of form HUD-50058.

To implement the flexibility, modification of PHA policies may be necessary.

HUD's notice is part of a broader effort to grant administrative flexibility in light of diminished federal funding. Last week, HUD granted temporary flexibility related to income, recertification, and rents. Ballard Spahr attorneys have been working with HUD and a group of PHAs across the country to identify other ways HUD can grant regulatory flexibility to reduce administrative costs. These types of incentives will enable PHAs to focus their diminished federal funds on providing better services and resources to residents instead of on administrative matters.

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