(a) Families included; rent options; minimum amount; occupancy by police officers and over-income families
(1) Dwelling units assisted under this chapter shall be rented only to families who are low-income families at the time of their initial occupancy of such units. Reviews of family income shall be made at least annually; except that, in the case of any family with a fixed income, as defined by the Secretary, after the initial review of the family’s income, the public housing agency or owner shall not be required to conduct a review of the family’s income for any year for which such family certifies, in accordance with such requirements as the Secretary shall establish, which shall include policies to adjust for inflation-based income changes, that 90 percent or more of the income of the family consists of fixed income, and that the sources of such income have not changed since the previous year, except that the public housing agency or owner shall conduct a review of each such family’s income not less than once every 3 years. Except as provided in paragraph (2) and subject to the requirement under paragraph (3), a family shall pay as rent for a dwelling unit assisted under this chapter (other than a family assisted under section 1437f(o) or (y) of this title or paying rent under section 1437f(c)(3)(B) 1 of this title) the highest of the following amounts, rounded to the nearest dollar:
Terms Used In 42 USC 1437a
- Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- county: includes a parish, or any other equivalent subdivision of a State or Territory of the United States. See 19 USC 2292
- Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
- individual: shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. See 19 USC 2297
- Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
- Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
- officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 19 USC 2291
(A) 30 per centum of the family’s monthly adjusted income;
(B) 10 per centum of the family’s monthly income; or
(C) if the family is receiving payments for welfare assistance from a public agency and a part of such 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 such payments which is so designated.
(I) shall not be lower than 80 percent of–
(aa) the applicable fair market rental established under section 1437f(c) of this title; or
(bb) at the discretion of the Secretary, such other applicable fair market rental established by the Secretary that the Secretary determines more accurately reflects local market conditions and is based on an applicable market area that is geographically smaller than the applicable market area used for purposes of the applicable fair market rental under section 1437f(c) of this title;
except that a public housing agency may apply to the Secretary for exception allowing for a flat rental amount for a property that is lower than the amount otherwise determined pursuant to item (aa) or (bb) and the Secretary may grant such exception if the Secretary determines that the fair market rental for the applicable market area pursuant to item (aa) or (bb) does not reflect the market value of the property and the proposed lower flat rental amount is based on a market analysis of the applicable market and complies with subclause (II) and
(II) shall be designed in accordance with subparagraph (D) so that the rent structures do not create a disincentive for continued residency in public housing by families who are attempting to become economically self-sufficient through employment or who have attained a level of self-sufficiency through their own efforts.
If a new flat rental amount for a dwelling unit will increase a family’s existing rental payment by more than 35 percent, the new flat rental amount shall be phased in as necessary to ensure that the family’s existing rental payment does not increase by more than 35 percent annually. The preceding sentence shall not be construed to require establishment of rental amounts equal to 80 percent of the fair market rental in years when the fair market rental falls from the prior year.
(i) situations in which the income of the family has decreased because of changed circumstances, loss of 2 reduction of employment, death in the family, and reduction in or loss of income or other assistance;
(ii) an increase, because of changed circumstances, in the family’s expenses for medical costs, child care, transportation, education, or similar items; and
(iii) such other situations as may be determined by the agency.
(i) Each public housing agency shall require the payment of such minimum monthly rental amount, which amount shall be determined by the agency, by–
(I) each family residing in a dwelling unit in public housing by the agency;
(II) each family who is assisted under the certificate or moderate rehabilitation program under section 1437f of this title; and
(III) each family who is assisted under the voucher program under section 1437f of this title, and the agency shall reduce the monthly assistance payment on behalf of such family as may be necessary to ensure payment of such minimum monthly rental amount.
(ii) The Secretary shall require each family who is assisted under any other program for rental assistance under section 1437f of this title to pay such minimum monthly rental amount, which amount shall be determined by the Secretary.
(i) notwithstanding paragraph (2), rent for a unit shall be in an amount that is not less than the costs to operate the unit;
(ii) if an eligible family applies for residence after an over-income family moves in to the last available unit, the over-income family shall vacate the unit in accordance with notice of termination of tenancy provided by the agency, which shall be provided not less than 30 days before such termination; and
(iii) if a unit is vacant and there is no one on the waiting list, the public housing agency may allow an over-income family to gain immediate occupancy in the unit, while simultaneously providing reasonable public notice and outreach with regard to availability of the unit.
(b) Definition of terms under this chapter
When used in this chapter:
(1) The term “low-income housing” means decent, safe, and sanitary dwellings assisted under this chapter. The term “public housing” means low-income housing, and all necessary appurtenances thereto, assisted under this chapter other than under section 1437f of this title. The term “public housing” includes dwelling units in a mixed finance project that are assisted by a public housing agency with capital or operating assistance. When used in reference to public housing, the term “low-income housing project” or “project” means (A) housing developed, acquired, or assisted by a public housing agency under this chapter, and (B) the improvement of any such housing.
(2)(A) The term “low-income families” means those families whose incomes do not exceed 80 per centum of the median income for the area, as determined by the Secretary with adjustments for smaller and larger families, except that the Secretary may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 80 per centum of the median for the area on the basis of the Secretary’s findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs or unusually high or low family incomes.
(B) The term “very low-income families” means low-income families whose incomes do not exceed 50 per centum of the median family income for the area, as determined by the Secretary with adjustments for smaller and larger families, except that the Secretary may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 50 per centum of the median for the area on the basis of the Secretary’s findings that such variations are necessary because of unusually high or low family incomes.
(C) The term extremely low-income families 3 means very low-income families whose incomes do not exceed the higher of–
(i) the poverty guidelines updated periodically by the Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of section 9902(2) of this title applicable to a family of the size involved (except that this clause shall not apply in the case of public housing agencies or projects located in Puerto Rico or any other territory or possession of the United States); or
(ii) 30 percent of the median family income for the area, as determined by the Secretary, with adjustments for smaller and larger families (except that the Secretary may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 30 percent of the median for the area on the basis of the Secretary’s findings that such variations are necessary because of unusually high or low family incomes).
(D) Such ceilings shall be established in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture for any rural area, as defined in section 1490 of this title, taking into account the subsidy characteristics and types of programs to which such ceilings apply. In determining median incomes (of persons, families, or households) for an area or establishing any ceilings or limits based on income under this chapter, the Secretary shall determine or establish area median incomes and income ceilings and limits for Westchester and Rockland Counties, in the State of New York, as if each such county were an area not contained within the metropolitan statistical area in which it is located. In determining such area median incomes or establishing such income ceilings or limits for the portion of such metropolitan statistical area that does not include Westchester or Rockland Counties, the Secretary shall determine or establish area median incomes and income ceilings and limits as if such portion included Westchester and Rockland Counties. In determining areas that are designated as difficult development areas for purposes of the low-income housing tax credit, the Secretary shall include Westchester and Rockland Counties, New York, in the New York City metropolitan area.
(i) has a disability as defined in section 423 of this title,
(ii) is determined, pursuant to regulations issued by the Secretary, to have a physical, mental, or emotional impairment which (I) is expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration, (II) substantially impedes his or her ability to live independently, and (III) is of such a nature that such ability could be improved by more suitable housing conditions, or
(iii) has a developmental disability as defined in section 15002 of this title.
Such term shall not exclude persons who have the disease of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or any conditions arising from the etiologic agent for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no individual shall be considered a person with disabilities, for purposes of eligibility for low-income housing under this subchapter, solely on the basis of any drug or alcohol dependence. The Secretary shall consult with other appropriate Federal agencies to implement the preceding sentence.
(4) The term “income” means income from all sources of each member of the household, as determined in accordance with criteria prescribed by the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, except that any amounts not actually received by the family and any amounts which would be eligible for exclusion under section 1382b(a)(7) of this title or any deferred Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits that are received in a lump sum amount or in prospective monthly amounts may not be considered as income under this paragraph.
(I) unreimbursed medical expenses of any elderly family or disabled family;
(II) unreimbursed medical expenses of any family that is not covered under subclause (I), except that this subclause shall apply only to the extent approved in appropriation Acts; and
(III) unreimbursed reasonable attendant care and auxiliary apparatus expenses for each handicapped member of the family, to the extent necessary to enable any member of such family (including such handicapped member) to be employed.
(I) 18 years of age or older; and
(II) the head of the household (or the spouse of the head of the household).
(I) all earned income of the family,4
(II) the amount earned by particular members of the family;
(III) the amount earned by families having certain characteristics; or
(IV) the amount earned by families or members during certain periods or from certain sources.
(i) a consortia of public housing agencies that the Secretary determines has the capacity and capability to administer a program for assistance under such section in an efficient manner;
(ii) any other public or private nonprofit entity that, upon the effective date under section 503(a) of the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998, was administering any program for tenant-based assistance under section 1437f of this title (as in effect before the effective date of such Act), pursuant to a contract with the Secretary or a public housing agency; and
(iii) with respect to any area in which no public housing agency has been organized or where the Secretary determines that a public housing agency is unwilling or unable to implement a program for tenant-based assistance 5 section 1437f of this title, or is not performing effectively–
(I) the Secretary or another public or private nonprofit entity that by contract agrees to receive assistance amounts under section 1437f of this title and enter into housing assistance payments contracts with owners and perform the other functions of public housing agency under section 1437f of this title; or
(II) notwithstanding any provision of State or local law, a public housing agency for another area that contracts with the Secretary to administer a program for housing assistance under section 1437f of this title, without regard to any otherwise applicable limitations on its area of operation.
(7) The term “State” includes the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territories and possessions of the United States, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
(8) The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
(c) Definition of terms used in reference to public housing
When used in reference to public housing:
(1) The term “development” means any or all undertakings necessary for planning, land acquisition, demolition, construction, or equipment, in connection with a low-income housing project. The term “development cost” comprises the costs incurred by a public housing agency in such undertakings and their necessary financing (including the payment of carrying charges), and in otherwise carrying out the development of such project, but does not include the costs associated with the demolition of or remediation of environmental hazards associated with public housing units that will not be replaced on the project site, or other extraordinary site costs as determined by the Secretary. Construction activity in connection with a low-income housing project may be confined to the reconstruction, remodeling, or repair of existing buildings.
(2) The term “operation” means any or all undertakings appropriate for management, operation, services, maintenance, security (including the cost of security personnel), or financing in connection with a low-income housing project. The term also means the financing of tenant programs and services for families residing in low-income housing projects, particularly where there is maximum feasible participation of the tenants in the development and operation of such tenant programs and services. As used in this paragraph, the term “tenant programs and services” includes the development and maintenance of tenant organizations which participate in the management of low-income housing projects; the training of tenants to manage and operate such projects and the utilization of their services in project management and operation; counseling on household management, housekeeping, budgeting, money management, child care, and similar matters; advice as to resources for job training and placement, education, welfare, health, and other community services; services which are directly related to meeting tenant needs and providing a wholesome living environment; and referral to appropriate agencies in the community when necessary for the provision of such services. To the maximum extent available and appropriate, existing public and private agencies in the community shall be used for the provision of such services.
(3) The term “acquisition cost” means the amount prudently required to be expended by a public housing agency in acquiring property for a low-income housing project.
(4) The term “congregate housing” means low-rent housing with which there is connected a central dining facility where wholesome and economical meals can be served to occupants. Expenditures incurred by a public housing agency in the operation of a central dining facility in connection with congregate housing (other than the cost of providing food and service) shall be considered a cost of operation of the project.
(5) The terms “group home” and “independent living facility” have the meanings given such terms in section 8013(k) of this title.
(d) Disallowance of earned income from rent determinations
(1) In general
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the rent payable under subsection (a) by a family described in paragraph (3) of this subsection may not be increased as a result of the increased income due to such employment during the 12-month period beginning on the date on which the employment is commenced.
(2) Phase-in of rent increases
Upon the expiration of the 12-month period referred to in paragraph (1), the rent payable by a family described in paragraph (3) may be increased due to the continued employment of the family member described in paragraph (3)(B), except that during the 12-month period beginning upon such expiration the amount of the increase may not be greater than 50 percent of the amount of the total rent increase that would be applicable but for this paragraph.
(3) Eligible families
A family described in this paragraph is a family–
(i) occupies a dwelling unit in a public housing project; or
(ii) receives assistance under section 1437f of this title; and
(B)(i) whose income increases as a result of employment of a member of the family who was previously unemployed for 1 or more years;
(ii) whose earned income increases during the participation of a family member in any family self-sufficiency or other job training program; or
(iii) who is or was, within 6 months, assisted under any State program for temporary assistance for needy families funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.] and whose earned income increases.
This subsection and subsection (e) shall apply beginning upon October 1, 1999, except that this subsection and subsection (e) shall apply with respect to any family described in paragraph 3(A)(ii) 6 only to the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts.
(e) Individual savings accounts
(1) In general
In lieu of a disallowance of earned income under subsection (d), upon the request of a family that qualifies under subsection (d), a public housing agency may establish an individual savings account in accordance with this subsection for that family.
(2) Deposits to account
The public housing agency shall deposit in any savings account established under this subsection an amount equal to the total amount that otherwise would be applied to the family’s rent payment under subsection (a) as a result of employment.
(3) Withdrawal from account
Amounts deposited in a savings account established under this subsection may only be withdrawn by the family for the purpose of–
(A) purchasing a home;
(B) paying education costs of family members;
(C) moving out of public or assisted housing; or
(D) paying any other expense authorized by the public housing agency for the purpose of promoting the economic self-sufficiency of residents of public and assisted housing.
(f) Availability of income matching information
(1) Disclosure to PHA
A public housing agency, or the owner responsible for determining the participant’s eligibility or level of benefits, shall require any family described in paragraph (2) who receives information regarding income, earnings, wages, or unemployment compensation from the Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to income verification procedures of the Department to disclose such information, upon receipt of the information, to the public housing agency that owns or operates the public housing dwelling unit in which such family resides or that provides the housing assistance under this chapter on behalf of such family, as applicable, or to the owner responsible for determining the participant’s eligibility or level of benefits.
(2) Families covered
A family described in this paragraph is a family that resides in a dwelling unit–
(A) that is a public housing dwelling unit;
(B) for which tenant-based assistance is provided under section 1437f of this title,7 or