Section 8 Rental Assistance

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					Section 8 Rental Assistance

INTRODUCTION

The Federal Housing Community Development Act of 1974 created the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program to assist low-income families obtain an affordable place to live.

There are two kinds of Section 8 housing assistance: Tenant-Based and Project-Based, see below, Benefits, for a description of these programs. In Tenant-Based Section 8 tenants generally pay 30% of their income for rent, plus any amount by which the rent exceeds a “Payment Standard”, see below, Tenant-Based Section 8 Assistance, for a definition. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), through a local Public Housing Agency (PHA) that administers the HUD funds, pays the balance of the rent due, including an allowance for utilities. In Project-Based Section 8 tenants also generally pay 30% of their income for rent, but do not pay any additional amounts above a “Payment Standard.” HUD or a local PHA pays the balance of the rent due to the landlord. Payment of the subsidy is in accordance with a contract called the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract for both Tenant-Based and Project-Based Section 8 assistance.

BENEFITS

Project-Based Section 8 Assistance

Project-Based Section 8 assistance covers all of the apartments in a given housing development or a designated number of apartments in the complex. The assistance is "tied to" the project, meaning that tenants who leave the project do not take the assistance with them.

Project-Based Section 8 buildings are owned and managed by private owners, and supervised by a Contract Administrator. In May 2000, HUD selected the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) and the New York State Housing Trust Fund

Corporation (HTFC) as New York State's Contract Administrators for the Section 8 Project-Based Program. DHCR and HTFC, in turn, selected New York Quadel to perform the day-to-day responsibilities of contract administration. Quadel is responsible for conducting management and occupancy reviews, adjusting contract rents, processing contract renewals, making payments to owners, conducting inspections, and responding to health and safety issues.

Tenants with income other than public assistance, and whose family members are all immigration eligible, pay rent equal to the greater of 30% of the family's monthly adjusted income, or 10% of the family's monthly gross income, see below Eligibility Criteria, Income for an explanation of adjusted and gross income.

Tenant’s Share of Rent in Households with Only Public Assistance Income

For Project-Based tenants whose only source of income is public assistance, the share of rent is the greater of 10% of gross income, 30% of adjusted income, or the PA shelter allowance for the family size, typically it is the PA shelter allowance, see charts below.

Households with Dependent Children (under 18) # on PA Budget Monthly Rent # on PA Budget Monthly Rent

1 2 3 4

$277 $283 $400 $450

5 6 7 8+

$501 $524 $546 $546

Households without Dependent Children # on PA Budget Rent # on PA Budget Rent

1

$215

5

$337

2 3 4

$250 $286 $312

6 7 8+

$349 $403 $421

Tenant-Based Section 8 Assistance
Tenant-Based assistance is provided in the form of housing vouchers and is “tied to” the tenant rather than to the housing development. In general, tenants with Tenant-Based Section 8 assistance may leave the housing development and take the subsidy with them. Tenants who apply for assistance in the tenant-based program, known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, have the responsibility of finding a suitable apartment and landlord willing to participate in the Section 8 program.

The largest Public Housing Agencies (PHA) administering the tenant-based Section 8 program in New York City is the Leased Housing Department of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). NYCHA provides Section 8 assistance to over 89,600 tenants and 29,300 landlords in New York City. Smaller Section 8 programs in New York City are run by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).

You must find out whether NYCHA, HPD, or DHCR is administering a household’s Section 8 voucher assistance. The particular PHA has different rules that will apply to the applicant/resident.

Note: Information is presented throughout this chapter for each of the three PHAs that operate in New York City. If the text does not indicate any rules or regulations for a particular PHA we were unable to obtain the necessary information.

The Payment Standard

In general, tenants in the Housing Choice Voucher Program pay 30% of their income for rent plus any amount by which the rent exceeds the Payment Standard. PHA’s are permitted to set a Payment Standard between 90% and 110% of the fair market rent in an area. HPD has set the Payment Standard in NYC at 110% of the Fair Market Rent (FMR). NYCHA’s Payment Standard is set according to the rental or transfer date, as follows: 1. For new rentals and transfers from October 1, 2006 through September 30, 2007, NYCHA has set the Payment Standard in NYC at 100% of FMR. 1. Please note (see chart below*), the FMR for 4 bedrooms and above have decreased from October 1, 2005. HUD regulations mandate that when the FMR is reduced, the implementation of the lower payment standard will be deferred until the “second annual review’ following the effective date of the decrease. This will prevent families from being penalized for a period of one year. 2. For annual reviews for those tenants who rented or transferred 7/01/04 or later, the payment standard is set at 100% FMR. 3. For annual reviews for those tenants who rented or transferred prior to 7/1/04 the payment standard is set at 110% FMR.

Apt. Size
(No. of Bedrooms)

NYCHA Payment Standard
For new rentals & transfers Effective: 10/1/06 – 9/30/07 100% Fair Market Rate $988 $1,069 $1,189 $1,462 $1,504*

NYCHA Payment NYCHA and HPD Payment Standard Standard
For annual reviews for tenants who rented or transferred effective 7/1/04 and later 100% Fair Market Rate $988 $1,069 $1,189 $1,462 $1,556 For annual reviews for tenants who rented or transferred prior to 7/1/04

0 1 2 3 4

110% Fair Market Rate $1,087 $1,176 $1,308 $1,608 $1,712

Special Rule Limiting How Much the Tenant May Pay for Rent

A special rule applies for Gross Rents (lease rent plus utility allowance), above the Payment Standard. Tenants entering into new leases are not permitted to rent an apartment if the Gross Rent is more than the Payment Standard and the family share of the rent is more than 40% of adjusted income. The prohibition on signing a new lease at a rent more than 40% of adjusted income does not apply to apartments that rent below the Payment Standard. Thus, for many tenants especially those in receipt of public assistance and those with one or more non-citizens in the household it is essential to know whether an apartment rents at or below the Payment Standard.

Tenant’s Share of Rent in Households With Income Other Than Public Assistance
As a general rule, if the apartment rent is equal to the Payment Standard, and the tenant’s gas and electric charges are equal to the Utility Allowance, then the tenant will pay rent equal to the greater of 30% of the family’s monthly adjusted income, or 10% of the family’s monthly gross income, or the minimum rent of $25, see below Eligibility Criteria, Income for an explanation of gross and adjusted income. If the rent is more than the Payment Standard, the tenant will also pay the amount above the Payment Standard. If the rent is less than the Payment Standard, the tenant will still pay 10% of gross income or 30% of adjusted income for rent (whichever is greater). The exact rules for calculating the rent for tenants with income other than public assistance are as follows:

1. Determine the Payment Standard for the family based on the apartment size the family is renting.

2. Determine the Total Tenant Payment (TTP): the rent the tenant would pay if the

tenant were in a Project-Based Section 8 program, which is the greater of 10% of gross income or 30% of adjusted income. See below Eligibility Criteria, Income for an explanation of gross and adjusted income.

3. Determine the Gross Rent: the lease (or contract) rent plus the utility allowance for the family.

NYCHA’s Utility Allowance

# Bedrooms 0 1 2 3 4 or more

Gas $16 $18 $19 $19 $20

Electric $47 $52 $58 $67 $73

Total $63 $70 $77 $86 $93

Note: HPD and DHCR do not publish a utility allowance schedule.

4. Determine the Subsidy Amount: Subtract the TTP from either the payment standard or the gross rent, whichever is less. This is the Section 8 subsidy.

5. Determine the Tenant's Share of the Rent: Subtract the subsidy from the contract rent. This is the tenant’s share of the rent.

Examples

The following examples illustrate how to determine the tenant's share of rent in the Housing Choice Voucher Program for Gross Rents of $903, $1,153, and $1,223

respectively. The example assumes that one parent and one dependent child are seeking a one-bedroom apartment. Their monthly-adjusted income is $1,200, (assume 30% of adjusted income is greater than 10% of gross income). In this example the family has a new rental, after 10/1/06, for a NYCHA Section 8 apartment.

Example A: Gross Rent of $903 (Contract Rent: $833, Utility Allowance: $70)

1. The Payment Standard for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,069.

2. The Total Tenant Payment, TTP, (30% of adjusted income of $1,200) is $360.

6. Gross Rent is $903

7. The Gross Rent is less than the Payment Standard, therefore the subsidy is the gross rent ($903) less the TTP ($360) = $543.

1. The Tenant’s Share of the Rent is the Contract Rent ($833) less the subsidy ($543) = $290

Note: If the tenant paid utilities equal to the utility allowance of $70, the tenant’s share of rent plus utilities would be $360 (30% of tenant’s income). This is always true when the gross rent is less than the payment standard.

Example B: Gross Rent of $1,153 (Contract Rent: $1,083, Utility Allowance: $70)

3. The Payment Standard for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,069.

4. The Total Tenant Payment, TTP, (30% of adjusted income of $1,200) is $360.

8. The Gross Rent is $1,153

9. The Gross Rent is more than the Payment Standard, therefore the subsidy is the Payment Standard ($1,069) less the TTP ($360) = $709

2. The Tenant’s Share of the Rent is the Contract Rent ($1,083) less the subsidy ($709) = $374

Note: If the tenant paid utilities equal to the utility allowance of $70, the tenant’s share of the rent plus utilities would be $444. That equals $360 (30% of tenant’s income) + $84 (the amount by which the gross rent exceeds the payment standard.) This is always true when the gross rent is greater than the payment standard.

Example C: Gross Rent is $1,189 (Contract Rent: $1,119, Utility Allowance: $70)

5. The Payment Standard for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,069.

6. The Total Tenant Payment, TTP, (30% of adjusted income of $1,200) is $360.

10. The Gross Rent is $1,189

11. The Gross Rent is more than the Payment Standard, therefore the subsidy is the Payment Standard ($1,069) less the TTP ($360) = $709

1. The Tenant’s Share of the Rent is the Contract Rent ($1,119) less the subsidy ($709) = $410

Note: If the tenant paid utilities equal to $70, the tenant’s share of the rent plus utilities would be $480, which equals $360 (30% of tenant’s income) + $120 (the amount by which the gross rent exceeds the payment standard).

The tenant’s share of the rent with the utility allowance in this example is exactly equal to 40% of the tenant’s adjusted income. Thus, a family with a monthly-adjusted income of $1,000 is not permitted to enter into a new NYCHA Section 8 lease for an apartment with a contract rent greater than $1,137 because it would cause the rent to be more than 40% of adjusted income.

The chart below summarizes these results.

A Apartment

B

C

Gross Rent
Payment Standard (1 Bedroom Apt.)

$903 ($833 + $70)

$1,153 ($1,083 + $70)

$1,189 ($1,119 + $70)

$1,069

$1,069

$1,069

Adjusted Income $1,200 Total Tenant Payment Subsidy Tenant’s Share $360 ($1,200 x 30%)

$1,200 $360 ($1,200 x 30%)

$1,200 $360 ($1,200 x 30%) $709 ($1,069 - $360) $410 ($1,119 - $709)

$543 ($903 - $360) $709 ($1,069 - $360) $290 ($833 - $543) $374 ($1,083 - $709)

Notes

If the tenant paid utilities of $70, the tenant’s share of the rent plus utilities would be $360 (30% of income). This is always true when the gross rent is less than the payment standard.

If the tenant paid utilities of $70, the tenant’s share of the rent plus utilities would be $444, 30% of tenant’s income, plus the amount by which the gross rent exceeds the payment standard ($84).

If the tenant paid utilities of $70, the tenant’s share of the rent would be $480, which is equal to 40% of tenant’s adjusted income. This is the most expensive apartment the tenant may rent.

Tenant’s Share of Rent in Households with Public Assistance in NYCHA & HPD Housing Choice Voucher

For NYCHA and HPD Housing Choice Voucher tenants whose sole source of income is public assistance, the maximum shelter allowance cannot exceed 30% of the standard of need for the family size, see chart below.

Public Assistance Standard of Need and Shelter Maximums for Section 8 Residents For Households with or without Children* Standard of Shelter Family Standard of Need Maximum Size Need $414 $124 6 $1,059.20 $501 $150 7 $1,153.70 $691 $207 8 $1,226.20 $825.70 $248 9 $1,298.50 $964.70 $289 10 $1,371

Family Size 1 2 3 4 5

Shelter Maximums $318 $346 $368 $390 $421

* In households without children that have 11 or more members will receive a maximum shelter of $421, whereas households with children that have 11 or more members will receive a higher shelter maximum than indicated above.

Tenant’s Share of Rent in Households with Public Assistance in DHCR Housing Choice Voucher

For DHCR Housing Choice Voucher tenants whose only source of income is public assistance, the share of rent is the greater of 10% of gross income, 30% of adjusted income, or the PA shelter allowance for the family size, typically the PA shelter allowance, see chart above Benefits, Project Based Section 8.

Portability of Tenant-Based Section 8 Assistance

Tenant-Based Section 8 is "portable", meaning that the tenant may transfer the assistance to a different apartment in the same jurisdiction, or to a different jurisdiction, or even to a different state. Tenants who wish to move and retain their Tenant-Based assistance must comply with NYCHA's Tenant Transfer Policy. In general, the Tenant Transfer Policy prohibits Section 8 tenants from moving during the initial term of the lease and more than once during any one-year period. Subject to those restrictions, tenants are permitted to transfer assistance to a new apartment in the following circumstances:

2. NYCHA has terminated the Housing Assistance Payments Contract because of Housing Quality Standards violations,

3. The owner has given the tenant a notice to vacate or has commenced an action in court to evict the tenant,

4. The owner and tenant have agreed to terminate the lease prior to its expiration date, and the owner completes and signs a lease release,

5. The tenant's lease will expire in 60 days and the tenant has notified NYCHA that s/he desires to move and not renew the lease, or the lease authorizes the tenant to give a notice of lease termination and the tenant has done so,

6.  The tenant vacates the apartment for "emergency reasons" and subsequently notifies NYCHA, and NYCHA determines that the decision to vacate was justified,

7.  The tenant is a domestic violence survivor who has submitted to NYCHA (a) an exclusionary criminal court or family court order of protection, and (b) copies of one or more police incident reports within the prior six months, or

8.  The tenant is an intimidated victim or intimidated witness to a violent crime.

NYCHA is required to advise families about the procedures for requesting and obtaining assistance when moving to another jurisdiction.

Emergency Transfers
NYCHA will expedite transfer requests when the owner notified the tenant that it is not renewing the lease, the tenant fills out a NYCHA tenant transfer form, and the tenant submits written notification of the commencement of housing court holdover case. All tenant briefings in such cases must be held within four weeks of submission to NYCHA of the request.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA Citizenship/Immigration Status
For a clarification of immigration statuses, refer to Vol. I – Immigrant’s Category and Naturalization Process, Section H 1.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

U.S. citizens, including nationals (persons born in a U.S. territory or possession) Legal permanent residents Refugees Asylees Persons granted withholding of deportation Parolees Permanent residents under registry provision (non-citizens who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence based on entry in the U.S. before 1972 and continuous residence since then) 8.  Persons admitted under the mid-1980s legalization (amnesty) program

      

In general, as long as at least one household member has an eligible immigration status, other household members with an ineligible immigration status may reside in the apartment, but may not benefit from a federal housing subsidy. In such cases the subsidy is pro-rated, see below. An entire family is ineligible for Section 8 on immigration grounds only if all of its members are ineligible.


				
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