HUD Proposes HERA-Related Changes to Section 8 Program

HUD Proposes HERA-Related Changes to Section 8 Program

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released for comment proposed Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA)-related and other regulatory changes to the Section 8 tenant- and project-based voucher programs.

With regard to income regulations, the notice excludes from the definition of income deferred Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits. For tenant-based vouchers, it requires public housing authorities to perform a rent comparability study when an owner requests from the housing authority an amount that is higher than the maximum tax credit rent at a low-income housing tax credit property.

HUD has also proposed a change related to existing unit standards. It proposes that a unit must meet the housing quality standards within 60 days of the date a public housing authority selects it for a voucher. Additionally, the unit must not need more than $1,000 in repairs to facilitate compliance with the standards and the owner cannot plan to perform more than $1,000 in repairs upon the unit or do anything that would result in noncompliance with the standards within one year after the HAP contract has been executed.

Furthermore, HUD proposes automatic renewal for tenant leases and to prevent owners from evicting tenants without good cause. In the notice, HUD said that the regulatory changes do not implement new policy, but are intended to make the rules reflect current practices and clarify certain regulations.

Comments on the proposed rules must be received by July 16, 2012.