Strengthening Oversight of Over-Income Tenancy in Public Housing; Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 5677-5679 [2016-01921]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 22 / Wednesday, February 3, 2016 / Proposed Rules body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference This document would amend FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Availability of NPRMs An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA’s Web page at http://www.faa. gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/ publications/airspace_amendments/. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Central Service Center, Operation Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177. Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA’s Office of Rulemaking (202) 267–9677, to request a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11–2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 The Proposal The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 7.5-mile radius of Moriarty Airport, Moriarty, NM, to accommodate new standard instrument approach procedures. Controlled airspace is needed for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport. Class E airspace designations are published in Section 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order. Regulatory Notices and Analyses The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:55 Feb 02, 2016 Jkt 238001 Environmental Review Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air) The Proposed Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows: PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–1963 Comp., p. 389. [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: ■ Section 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. * * * * * ASW NM E5 Moriarty, NM [New] Moriarty Airport, NM (Lat. 34°58′41″ N., long. 106°00′00″ W.) PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.5-mile radius of Moriarty Airport. Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on January 20, 2015. Christopher L. Southerland, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center. [FR Doc. 2016–01877 Filed 2–2–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Part 960 [Docket No. FR–5904–A–01] Strengthening Oversight of OverIncome Tenancy in Public Housing; Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, HUD. ACTION: Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR). AGENCY: This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures’’ prior to any FAA final regulatory action. § 71.1 5677 Through this notice, HUD announces that it is considering rulemaking to ensure that individuals and families residing in HUD public housing in fact continue to need housing assistance from HUD after admission. HUD’s consideration of rulemaking is prompted by a report recently issued by HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). The report found, through comparison of annual household income reported in HUD’s Public and Housing Information Center for approximately 1.1 million families to the applicable 2014 admission income limit, that as many as 25,226 families were subsequently over-income. Some of those families significantly exceeded the income limits. HUD seeks comment from PHAs and other interested parties and members of the public on the questions presented in this notice, including how HUD can structure policies to reduce the number of individuals and families in public housing whose incomes significantly exceed the income limit and have significantly exceeded the income limit for a sustained period of time after initial admission. DATES: Comments Due Date: March 4, 2016. SUMMARY: Interested persons are invited to submit comments to the Office of the General Counsel, Regulations Division, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410–0500. ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 5678 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 22 / Wednesday, February 3, 2016 / Proposed Rules Communications should refer to the above docket number and title and should contain the information specified in the ‘‘Request for Comments’’ section. There are two methods for submitting public comments. 1. Submission of Comments by Mail. Comments may be submitted by mail to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410–0500. Due to security measures at all federal agencies, however, submission of comments by mail often results in delayed delivery. To ensure timely receipt of comments, HUD recommends that comments submitted by mail be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the public comment deadline. 2. Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, ensures timely receipt by HUD, and enables HUD to make comments immediately available to the public. Comments submitted electronically through the http://www.regulations.gov Web site can be viewed by other commenters and interested members of the public. Commenters should follow instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically. Note: To receive consideration as public comments, comments must be submitted using one of the two methods specified above. Again, all submissions must refer to the docket number and title of the notice. No Facsimile Comments. Facsimile (fax) comments are not acceptable. Public Inspection of Comments. All comments and communications submitted to HUD will be available, for public inspection and copying between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at the above address. Due to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, an advance appointment to review the public comments must be scheduled by calling the Regulations Division at (202) 708– 3055 (this is not a toll-free number). Copies of all comments submitted are available for inspection and downloading at http:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Todd Thomas, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:55 Feb 02, 2016 Jkt 238001 and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4100, Washington DC 20410–4000; telephone number (678) 732–2056 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may contact this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background The United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437 et. seq.) (1937 Act), which is the primary statute that governs public housing and its administration by HUD and PHAs, provides that public housing dwelling units shall be rented only to families who are low-income families at the time of their initial occupancy of such units. In accordance with the 1937 Act, and HUD regulations and policies, PHAs must undertake periodic reviews of family income. The 1937 Act does not require eviction or termination of tenancy of families whose income exceeds the income limits while residing in public housing. See 42 U.S.C. 1437a. HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR part 960, which govern public housing admissions, reflect this statutory framework. The parameters for income limits that determine initial eligibility for public housing are developed by HUD and outlined in 24 CFR part 5, subpart F. In general, HUD sets the low-income limit at 80 percent and very low-income limit at 50 percent of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the household resides. Income limits vary from area to area and may be adjusted based on local market conditions.1 Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received from the family head and spouse, and each additional member of the family 18 years of age or older. An individual’s or family’s rent is referred to as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP) and is based on a family’s anticipated annual income less deductions, if any, or the applicable flat rent. On July 21, 2015, HUD’s OIG issued an audit report that presented the results of OIG’s review of the number of families residing in HUD public housing whose income exceed the current income limits used in determining eligibility for such housing, several of whom significantly exceeded the income limits. The families identified by HUD OIG met the income limits at the time of admission to public housing 1 2015 Income Limit Documentation http://www. huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il15/HUD_sec8_ 15.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 but their income now exceeds such income limits. Currently, the regulations do not prohibit a family from continued occupancy when their income rises above the limit for initial admission. An increase in income is a good and welcomed event for families, and when a family’s income steadily rises, it may be an indication that the family is on its way to self-sufficiency. However, an increase in income may be minimal or temporary, and a minimal or temporary rise in income should not be the basis for termination of public housing assistance. This ANPR solicits comment on how to structure policies to reduce the number of individuals and families whose incomes significantly exceed the income limit and have significantly exceeded the income limit for a sustained period of time after initial admission. HUD takes seriously its obligation to provide clean, safe affordable housing to the neediest population. The Public Housing program is an essential resource for some of the nation’s most vulnerable families. HUD strongly supports the efforts of PHAs to further the goals of providing quality affordable housing to eligible families in a manner that moves families toward increased and sustained self-sufficiency. At the same time, scarce public resources must be provided to those most in need of affordable housing. Any changes that would require the termination of tenancy for over-income families should be enacted with caution so as not to impede a family’s progress towards selfsufficiency. In a final rule published on November 26, 2004, at 69 FR 68786, HUD gave PHAs the authority to terminate the tenancy of or evict over-income residents. See 24 CFR 960.261. The final rule did not require PHAs to take action to evict over-income residents but provides PHAs with discretion to implement such policies and thereby make units available to applicants who are income eligible. The final rule noted that the 1937 Act did not require eviction and the purpose of rulemaking was to clarify that the absence of such a statutory requirement did not prohibit PHAs from terminating the tenancy of over-income families. The preamble to the rule stated that PHAs may decide that an over-income family is able to find other housing, and that the family’s public housing unit could be made available to a family with greater housing need. The rule included discussion of the many factors that could be considered in developing these policies, including local market conditions, community stability, the source and duration of increased E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 22 / Wednesday, February 3, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS income, and whether the resident was elderly or disabled. HUD is considering revising HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 960.261 (Restriction on eviction of families based on income) in a manner that would continue to give PHAs discretion on when to evict or terminate the tenancies of over-income families but narrow that discretion by providing circumstances that would require a PHA to terminate tenancy or evict an overincome family. Specifically, HUD is considering whether a family whose income significantly exceeds the income limit and has exceeded such limit for a sustained period of time must be notified by the PHA that the family will be evicted or tenancy terminated. HUD is also considering what a reasonable period of time to find alternative housing would be. HUD is not considering whether to alter the existing statutorily based exceptions to eviction or termination of tenancy related to income limits. Specifically, a family over the income limits who has a valid contract for participation in a Family SelfSufficiency (FSS) program administered under HUD regulations in 24 CFR part 984 would not be subject to eviction or termination of tenancy. Additionally, a PHA may not evict a family over the income limits if the family is currently receiving the earned income disallowance authorized by the 1937 Act (See 42 U.S.C. 1473a(d)) and implemented through HUD regulations in 24 CFR 960.255 and 24 CFR 960.261(b). II. Request for Comments In a letter provided to PHAs on September 3, 2015, HUD strongly recommended that PHAs adopt local over-income policies while considering many factors, including, but not limited to how over-income is defined, income stability, length of time to provide a safety net for fluctuating incomes, preference for return and hardship policies.2 In anticipation of a proposed rulemaking, HUD specifically solicits comment on the following issues: 1. How should HUD define income that ‘‘significantly’’ exceeds the income limit for public housing residency? Should such higher amount be determined by dollar amount, by a percentage, or as a function of the current income limit, and what should the amount be? 2. Should area cost of living and family finances be taken into 2 This letter can be found at http://portal.hud.gov/ hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_ indian_housing/programs/ph. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:55 Feb 02, 2016 Jkt 238001 consideration when determining whether an individual or family no longer needs public housing assistance? Are there limits to the circumstances in which said data should be requested and applied in a determination? 3. What period of time in which an individual or family has had income that significantly exceeds the income limits should be determined as indicative that the individual or family no longer needs public housing assistance? 4. How should local housing market conditions or housing authority wait list data be considered? 5. What period of time should be allowed for an individual or family to find alternative housing? 6. Are there exceptions to eviction or termination of tenancy that HUD should consider beyond those listed in HUD’s regulation in 24 CFR 960.261? 7. Should HUD allow over-income individuals or families to remain in public housing, while paying unsubsidized or fair market, rent? How would such a provision impact PHA operations and finances? 8. Should HUD require a local appeals process for individuals or families deemed over-income? 9. Where over-income policies have been implemented, what were the results to public housing residents and PHAs? What were the specific positive and negative impacts? 10. What financial impact would over-income policies have on PHA operations, and how can any negative impacts be mitigated? 11. What are the potential costs and benefits to public housing residents and PHAs that could result from the forcible eviction of public housing tenants? 12. What evidence currently exists in favor of or against the adoption of this type of policy? It is the responsibility of HUD and PHAs to ensure that public housing units are available to those who need HUD assistance. All comments directed to steps that HUD and PHAs can take to ensure availability of public housing units for individuals and families meeting the income limits are welcome. Dated: January 25, 2016. ´ Lourdes Castro Ramırez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. [FR Doc. 2016–01921 Filed 2–2–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 5679 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG–2015–1011] RIN 1625–AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Broad Creek, Laurel, DE Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard proposes to change the operating schedule that governs the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge over Broad Creek, mile 8.0, at Laurel, DE. This proposed rule will change the current regulation requiring a four-hour advance notice and allow the bridge to remain in the closed position for the passage of vessels. DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before March 21, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2015–1011 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. SUMMARY: If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mrs. Jessica Shea, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpb), at (757) 398–6422, email jessica.c.shea2@ uscg.mil. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis The current operating schedule for the bridge is set out in 33 CFR 117.233 (a) issued September 11, 2006. As outlined in this regulation, the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given. The Fifth Coast Guard District Commander received a request from the bridge owner in July 2015 to consider making a permanent change to the operating regulation for the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge per 33 CFR 117.8(a). E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 22 (Wednesday, February 3, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5677-5679]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01921]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

24 CFR Part 960

[Docket No. FR-5904-A-01]


Strengthening Oversight of Over-Income Tenancy in Public Housing; 
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian 
Housing, HUD.

ACTION: Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Through this notice, HUD announces that it is considering 
rulemaking to ensure that individuals and families residing in HUD 
public housing in fact continue to need housing assistance from HUD 
after admission. HUD's consideration of rulemaking is prompted by a 
report recently issued by HUD's Office of Inspector General (OIG). The 
report found, through comparison of annual household income reported in 
HUD's Public and Housing Information Center for approximately 1.1 
million families to the applicable 2014 admission income limit, that as 
many as 25,226 families were subsequently over-income. Some of those 
families significantly exceeded the income limits. HUD seeks comment 
from PHAs and other interested parties and members of the public on the 
questions presented in this notice, including how HUD can structure 
policies to reduce the number of individuals and families in public 
housing whose incomes significantly exceed the income limit and have 
significantly exceeded the income limit for a sustained period of time 
after initial admission.

DATES: Comments Due Date: March 4, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments to the 
Office of the General Counsel, Regulations Division, Department of 
Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, 
Washington, DC 20410-0500.

[[Page 5678]]

Communications should refer to the above docket number and title and 
should contain the information specified in the ``Request for 
Comments'' section. There are two methods for submitting public 
comments.
    1. Submission of Comments by Mail. Comments may be submitted by 
mail to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department 
of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, 
Washington, DC 20410-0500. Due to security measures at all federal 
agencies, however, submission of comments by mail often results in 
delayed delivery. To ensure timely receipt of comments, HUD recommends 
that comments submitted by mail be submitted at least two weeks in 
advance of the public comment deadline.
    2. Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit 
comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
http://www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to 
submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments 
allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, 
ensures timely receipt by HUD, and enables HUD to make comments 
immediately available to the public. Comments submitted electronically 
through the http://www.regulations.gov Web site can be viewed by other 
commenters and interested members of the public. Commenters should 
follow instructions provided on that site to submit comments 
electronically.
    Note: To receive consideration as public comments, comments must be 
submitted using one of the two methods specified above. Again, all 
submissions must refer to the docket number and title of the notice.
    No Facsimile Comments. Facsimile (fax) comments are not acceptable.
    Public Inspection of Comments. All comments and communications 
submitted to HUD will be available, for public inspection and copying 
between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at the above address. Due to 
security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, an advance 
appointment to review the public comments must be scheduled by calling 
the Regulations Division at (202) 708-3055 (this is not a toll-free 
number). Copies of all comments submitted are available for inspection 
and downloading at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Todd Thomas, Office of Public and 
Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th 
Street SW., Room 4100, Washington DC 20410-4000; telephone number (678) 
732-2056 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or 
speech impairments may contact this number via TTY by calling the toll-
free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437 et. seq.) 
(1937 Act), which is the primary statute that governs public housing 
and its administration by HUD and PHAs, provides that public housing 
dwelling units shall be rented only to families who are low-income 
families at the time of their initial occupancy of such units. In 
accordance with the 1937 Act, and HUD regulations and policies, PHAs 
must undertake periodic reviews of family income. The 1937 Act does not 
require eviction or termination of tenancy of families whose income 
exceeds the income limits while residing in public housing. See 42 
U.S.C. 1437a. HUD's regulations at 24 CFR part 960, which govern public 
housing admissions, reflect this statutory framework.
    The parameters for income limits that determine initial eligibility 
for public housing are developed by HUD and outlined in 24 CFR part 5, 
subpart F. In general, HUD sets the low-income limit at 80 percent and 
very low-income limit at 50 percent of the median income for the county 
or metropolitan area in which the household resides. Income limits vary 
from area to area and may be adjusted based on local market 
conditions.\1\ Annual income is the anticipated total income from all 
sources received from the family head and spouse, and each additional 
member of the family 18 years of age or older. An individual's or 
family's rent is referred to as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP) and is 
based on a family's anticipated annual income less deductions, if any, 
or the applicable flat rent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 2015 Income Limit Documentation http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il15/HUD_sec8_15.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On July 21, 2015, HUD's OIG issued an audit report that presented 
the results of OIG's review of the number of families residing in HUD 
public housing whose income exceed the current income limits used in 
determining eligibility for such housing, several of whom significantly 
exceeded the income limits. The families identified by HUD OIG met the 
income limits at the time of admission to public housing but their 
income now exceeds such income limits. Currently, the regulations do 
not prohibit a family from continued occupancy when their income rises 
above the limit for initial admission. An increase in income is a good 
and welcomed event for families, and when a family's income steadily 
rises, it may be an indication that the family is on its way to self-
sufficiency. However, an increase in income may be minimal or 
temporary, and a minimal or temporary rise in income should not be the 
basis for termination of public housing assistance. This ANPR solicits 
comment on how to structure policies to reduce the number of 
individuals and families whose incomes significantly exceed the income 
limit and have significantly exceeded the income limit for a sustained 
period of time after initial admission.
    HUD takes seriously its obligation to provide clean, safe 
affordable housing to the neediest population. The Public Housing 
program is an essential resource for some of the nation's most 
vulnerable families. HUD strongly supports the efforts of PHAs to 
further the goals of providing quality affordable housing to eligible 
families in a manner that moves families toward increased and sustained 
self-sufficiency. At the same time, scarce public resources must be 
provided to those most in need of affordable housing. Any changes that 
would require the termination of tenancy for over-income families 
should be enacted with caution so as not to impede a family's progress 
towards self-sufficiency.
    In a final rule published on November 26, 2004, at 69 FR 68786, HUD 
gave PHAs the authority to terminate the tenancy of or evict over-
income residents. See 24 CFR 960.261. The final rule did not require 
PHAs to take action to evict over-income residents but provides PHAs 
with discretion to implement such policies and thereby make units 
available to applicants who are income eligible. The final rule noted 
that the 1937 Act did not require eviction and the purpose of 
rulemaking was to clarify that the absence of such a statutory 
requirement did not prohibit PHAs from terminating the tenancy of over-
income families. The preamble to the rule stated that PHAs may decide 
that an over-income family is able to find other housing, and that the 
family's public housing unit could be made available to a family with 
greater housing need. The rule included discussion of the many factors 
that could be considered in developing these policies, including local 
market conditions, community stability, the source and duration of 
increased

[[Page 5679]]

income, and whether the resident was elderly or disabled.
    HUD is considering revising HUD's regulations at 24 CFR 960.261 
(Restriction on eviction of families based on income) in a manner that 
would continue to give PHAs discretion on when to evict or terminate 
the tenancies of over-income families but narrow that discretion by 
providing circumstances that would require a PHA to terminate tenancy 
or evict an over-income family. Specifically, HUD is considering 
whether a family whose income significantly exceeds the income limit 
and has exceeded such limit for a sustained period of time must be 
notified by the PHA that the family will be evicted or tenancy 
terminated. HUD is also considering what a reasonable period of time to 
find alternative housing would be.
    HUD is not considering whether to alter the existing statutorily 
based exceptions to eviction or termination of tenancy related to 
income limits. Specifically, a family over the income limits who has a 
valid contract for participation in a Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) 
program administered under HUD regulations in 24 CFR part 984 would not 
be subject to eviction or termination of tenancy. Additionally, a PHA 
may not evict a family over the income limits if the family is 
currently receiving the earned income disallowance authorized by the 
1937 Act (See 42 U.S.C. 1473a(d)) and implemented through HUD 
regulations in 24 CFR 960.255 and 24 CFR 960.261(b).

II. Request for Comments

    In a letter provided to PHAs on September 3, 2015, HUD strongly 
recommended that PHAs adopt local over-income policies while 
considering many factors, including, but not limited to how over-income 
is defined, income stability, length of time to provide a safety net 
for fluctuating incomes, preference for return and hardship 
policies.\2\ In anticipation of a proposed rulemaking, HUD specifically 
solicits comment on the following issues:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ This letter can be found at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1. How should HUD define income that ``significantly'' exceeds the 
income limit for public housing residency? Should such higher amount be 
determined by dollar amount, by a percentage, or as a function of the 
current income limit, and what should the amount be?
    2. Should area cost of living and family finances be taken into 
consideration when determining whether an individual or family no 
longer needs public housing assistance? Are there limits to the 
circumstances in which said data should be requested and applied in a 
determination?
    3. What period of time in which an individual or family has had 
income that significantly exceeds the income limits should be 
determined as indicative that the individual or family no longer needs 
public housing assistance?
    4. How should local housing market conditions or housing authority 
wait list data be considered?
    5. What period of time should be allowed for an individual or 
family to find alternative housing?
    6. Are there exceptions to eviction or termination of tenancy that 
HUD should consider beyond those listed in HUD's regulation in 24 CFR 
960.261?
    7. Should HUD allow over-income individuals or families to remain 
in public housing, while paying unsubsidized or fair market, rent? How 
would such a provision impact PHA operations and finances?
    8. Should HUD require a local appeals process for individuals or 
families deemed over-income?
    9. Where over-income policies have been implemented, what were the 
results to public housing residents and PHAs? What were the specific 
positive and negative impacts?
    10. What financial impact would over-income policies have on PHA 
operations, and how can any negative impacts be mitigated?
    11. What are the potential costs and benefits to public housing 
residents and PHAs that could result from the forcible eviction of 
public housing tenants?
    12. What evidence currently exists in favor of or against the 
adoption of this type of policy?
    It is the responsibility of HUD and PHAs to ensure that public 
housing units are available to those who need HUD assistance. All 
comments directed to steps that HUD and PHAs can take to ensure 
availability of public housing units for individuals and families 
meeting the income limits are welcome.

    Dated: January 25, 2016.
Lourdes Castro Ram[iacute]rez,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.
[FR Doc. 2016-01921 Filed 2-2-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4210-67-P