Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program-Annual Adjustment Factors, Fiscal Year 2016, 26576-26578 [2016-10328]

Download as PDF 26576 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 85 / Tuesday, May 3, 2016 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–5930–N–01] Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program—Annual Adjustment Factors, Fiscal Year 2016 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, HUD. ACTION: Notice of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Annual Adjustment Factors (AAFs). AGENCY: The United States Housing Act of 1937 requires that certain assistance contracts signed by owners participating in the Department’s Section 8 housing assistance payment programs provide annual adjustments to monthly rentals for units covered by the contracts. This notice announces FY 2016 AAFs for adjustment of contract rents on the anniversary of those assistance contracts. The factors are based on a formula using residential rent and utility cost changes from the most recent annual Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) survey. Beginning with the FY 2014 AAFs and continuing with these FY 2016 AAFs, the Puerto Rico CPI is used in place of the South Region CPI for all areas in Puerto Rico. These factors are applied at the anniversary of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts for which rents are to be adjusted using the AAF for those calendar months commencing after the effective date of this notice. A separate Federal Register Notice published on April 15, 2016 (81 FR 22296) identifies the inflation factors that will be used to adjust tenant-based rental assistance funding for FY 2016. DATES: Effective date: May 3, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Becky Primeaux, Director, Management and Operations Division, Office of Housing Voucher Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, 202–708–1380, for questions relating to the Project-Based Certificate and Moderate Rehabilitation programs (not the Single Room Occupancy program); Ann Oliva, Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, Office of Community Planning and Development, 202–708–4300, for questions regarding the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Moderate Rehabilitation program; Catherine Brennan, Director, Office of Housing Assistance and Grant Administration, Office of Housing, 202– 708–3000, for questions relating to all other Section 8 programs; and Marie Lihn, Economist, Economic and Market Analysis Division, Office of Policy asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:53 May 02, 2016 Jkt 238001 Development and Research, 202–402– 5866, for technical information regarding the development of the schedules for specific areas or the methods used for calculating the AAFs. The mailing address for these individuals is: Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410. Hearing- or speech-impaired persons may contact the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877–8339 (TTY). (Other than the ‘‘800’’ TTY number, the above-listed telephone numbers are not toll free.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Tables showing AAFs will be available electronically from the HUD data information page at http:// www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/ aaf.html. I. Applying AAFs to Various Section 8 Programs AAFs established by this Notice are used to adjust contract rents for units assisted in certain Section 8 housing assistance payment programs during the initial (i.e., pre-renewal) term of the HAP contract and for all units in the Project-Based Certificate program. There are three categories of Section 8 programs that use the AAFs: Category 1: The Section 8 New Construction, Substantial Rehabilitation, and Moderate Rehabilitation programs; Category 2: The Section 8 Loan Management (LM) and Property Disposition (PD) programs; and Category 3: The Section 8 ProjectBased Certificate (PBC) program.1 Each Section 8 program category uses the AAFs differently. The specific application of the AAFs is determined by the law, the HAP contract, and appropriate program regulations or requirements. AAFs are not used in the following cases: Renewal Rents. With the exception of the Project-Based Certificate program, AAFs are not used to determine renewal rents after expiration of the original Section 8 HAP contract (either for projects where the Section 8 HAP contract is renewed under a restructuring plan adopted under 24 CFR part 401; or renewed without restructuring under 24 CFR part 402). In general, renewal rents are established in accordance with the statutory provision 1 As of February, 2016, all PBC contracts should be completed since the program has been merged with the Housing Choice Voucher program. For completeness, HUD is continuing to list Category 3 uses of AAFs for this FY 2016 AAF publication, but intends to discontinue listing Category 3 in FY 2017. PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 in the Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act of 1997 (MAHRA), as amended, under which the HAP is renewed. After renewal, annual rent adjustments will be provided in accordance with MAHRA. Budget-based Rents. AAFs are not used for budget-based rent adjustments. For projects receiving Section 8 subsidies under the LM program (24 CFR part 886, subpart A) and for projects receiving Section 8 subsidies under the PD program (24 CFR part 886, subpart C), contract rents are adjusted, at HUD’s option, either by applying the AAFs or by budget-based adjustments in accordance with 24 CFR 886.112(b) and 24 CFR 886.312(b). Budget-based adjustments are used for most Section 8/ 202 projects. Tenant-based Certificate Program. In the past, AAFs were used to adjust the contract rent (including manufactured home space rentals) in both the tenantbased and project-based certificate programs. The tenant-based certificate program has been terminated and all tenancies in the tenant-based certificate program have been converted to the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which does not use AAFs to adjust rents. All tenancies remaining in the project-based certificate program continue to use AAFs to adjust contract rent for outstanding HAP contracts. Voucher Program. AAFs are not used to adjust rents in the Tenant-Based or the Project-Based Voucher programs. II. Adjustment Procedures This section of the notice provides a broad description of procedures for adjusting the contract rent. Technical details and requirements are described in HUD notices H 2002–10 (Section 8 New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation, Loan Management, and Property Disposition) and PIH 97–57 (Moderate Rehabilitation and ProjectBased Certificates). Because of statutory and structural distinctions among the various Section 8 programs, there are separate rent adjustment procedures for the three program categories: Category 1: Section 8 New Construction, Substantial Rehabilitation, and Moderate Rehabilitation Programs In the Section 8 New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation programs, the published AAF factor is applied to the pre-adjustment contract E:\FR\FM\03MYN1.SGM 03MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 85 / Tuesday, May 3, 2016 / Notices rent. In the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation program (both the regular program and the single room occupancy program) the published AAF is applied to the pre-adjustment base rent. For Category 1 programs, the Table 1 AAF factor is applied before determining comparability (rent reasonableness). Comparability applies if the pre-adjustment gross rent (preadjustment contract rent plus any allowance for tenant-paid utilities) is above the published Fair Market Rent (FMR). If the comparable rent level (plus any initial difference) is lower than the contract rent as adjusted by application of the Table 1 AAF, the comparable rent level (plus any initial difference) will be the new contract rent. However, the preadjustment contract rent will not be decreased by application of comparability. In all other cases (i.e., unless the contract rent is reduced by comparability): • Table 1 AAF is used for a unit occupied by a new family since the last annual contract anniversary. • Table 2 AAF is used for a unit occupied by the same family as at the time of the last annual contract anniversary. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Category 2: Section 8 Loan Management Program (24 CFR Part 886, Subpart A) and Property Disposition Program (24 CFR Part 886, Subpart C) At this time Category 2 programs are not subject to comparability. Comparability will again apply if HUD establishes regulations for conducting comparability studies under 42 U.S.C. 1437f(c)(2)(C). The applicable AAF is determined as follows: • Table 1 AAF is used for a unit occupied by a new family since the last annual contract anniversary. • Table 2 AAF is used for a unit occupied by the same family as at the time of the last annual contract anniversary. Category 3: Section 8 Project-Based Certificate Program The following procedures are used to adjust contract rent for outstanding HAP contracts in the Section 8 PBC program: • Table 2 AAF is always used. The Table 1 AAF is not used. • Table 2 AAF is always applied before determining comparability (rent reasonableness). • Comparability always applies. If the comparable rent level is lower than the rent to owner (contract rent) as adjusted by application of the Table 2 AAF, the comparable rent level will be the new rent to owner. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:53 May 02, 2016 Jkt 238001 • The new rent to owner will not be reduced below the contract rent on the effective date of the HAP contract. III. When To Use Reduced AAFs (From AAF Table 2) In accordance with Section 8(c)(2)(A) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(c)(2)(A)), the AAF is reduced by 0.01: • For all tenancies assisted in the Section 8 Project-Based Certificate program. • In other Section 8 programs, for a unit occupied by the same family at the time of the last annual rent adjustment (and where the rent is not reduced by application of comparability (rent reasonableness)). The law provides that: Except for assistance under the certificate program, for any unit occupied by the same family at the time of the last annual rental adjustment, where the assistance contract provides for the adjustment of the maximum monthly rent by applying an annual adjustment factor and where the rent for a unit is otherwise eligible for an adjustment based on the full amount of the factor, 0.01 shall be subtracted from the amount of the factor, except that the factor shall not be reduced to less than 1.0. In the case of assistance under the certificate program, 0.01 shall be subtracted from the amount of the annual adjustment factor (except that the factor shall not be reduced to less than 1.0), and the adjusted rent shall not exceed the rent for a comparable unassisted unit of similar quality, type and age in the market area. 42 U.S.C. 1437f(c)(2)(A). Legislative history for this statutory provision states that ‘‘the rationale [for lower AAFs for non-turnover units is] that operating costs are less if tenant turnover is less . . .’’ (see Department of Veteran Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations for 1995, Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations 103d Cong., 2d Sess. 591 (1994)). The Congressional Record also states the following: Because the cost to owners of turnoverrelated vacancies, maintenance, and marketing are lower for long-term stable tenants, these tenants are typically charged less than recent movers in the unassisted market. Since HUD pays the full amount of any rent increases for assisted tenants in section 8 projects and under the Certificate program, HUD should expect to benefit from this ‘tenure discount.’ Turnover is lower in assisted properties than in the unassisted market, so the effect of the current inconsistency with market-based rent increases is exacerbated. (140 Cong. Rec. 8659, 8693 (1994)). To implement the law, HUD publishes two separate AAF Tables, Table 1 and Table 2. The difference PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26577 between Table 1 and Table 2 is that each AAF in Table 2 is 0.01 less than the corresponding AAF in Table 1. Where an AAF in Table 1 would otherwise be less than 1.0, it is set at 1.0, as required by statute; the corresponding AAF in Table 2 will also be set at 1.0, as required by statute. IV. How To Find the AAF AAF Table 1 and Table 2 are posted on the HUD User Web site at http:// www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/ aaf.html. There are two columns in each AAF table. The first column is used to adjust contract rent for rental units where the highest cost utility is included in the contract rent, i.e., where the owner pays for the highest cost utility. The second column is used where the highest cost utility is not included in the contract rent, i.e., where the tenant pays for the highest cost utility. The applicable AAF is selected as follows: • Determine whether Table 1 or Table 2 is applicable. In Table 1 or Table 2, locate the AAF for the geographic area where the contract unit is located. • Determine whether the highest cost utility is or is not included in contract rent for the contract unit. • If highest cost utility is included, select the AAF from the column for ‘‘Highest Cost Utility Included.’’ If highest cost utility is not included, select the AAF from the column for ‘‘Highest Cost Utility Excluded.’’ V. Methodology AAFs are rent inflation factors. Two types of rent inflation factors are calculated for AAFs: Gross rent factors and shelter rent factors. The gross rent factor accounts for inflation in the cost of both the rent of the residence and the utilities used by the unit; the shelter rent factor accounts for the inflation in the rent of the residence, but does not reflect any change in the cost of utilities. The gross rent inflation factor is designated as ‘‘Highest Cost Utility Included’’ and the shelter rent inflation factor is designated as ‘‘Highest Cost Utility Excluded.’’ AAFs are calculated using CPI data on ‘‘rent of primary residence’’ and ‘‘fuels and utilities.’’ 2 The CPI inflation index for rent of primary residence measures the inflation of all surveyed units regardless of whether utilities are included in the rent of the unit or not. In other words, it measures the inflation of the ‘‘contract rent’’ which includes units with all utilities included in the 2 CPI indexes CUUSA103SEHA and CUSR0000SAH2 respectively. E:\FR\FM\03MYN1.SGM 03MYN1 26578 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 85 / Tuesday, May 3, 2016 / Notices rent, units with some utilities included in the rent, and units with no utilities included in the rent. In producing a gross rent inflation factor and a shelter rent inflation factor, HUD decomposes the contract rent CPI inflation factor into parts to represent the gross rent change and the shelter rent change. This is done by applying data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) on the percentage of renters who pay for heat (a proxy for the percentage of renters who pay shelter rent) and also American Community Survey (ACS) data on the ratio of utilities to rents. For Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Community Survey (PRCS) is used to determine the ratio of utilities to rents, resulting in different AAFs for some metropolitan areas in Puerto Rico.3 Survey Data Used To Produce AAFs The rent and fuel and utilities inflation factors for large metropolitan areas and Census regions are based on changes in the rent of primary residence and fuels and utilities CPI indices from 2013 to 2014. The CEX data used to decompose the contract rent inflation factor into gross rent and shelter rent inflation factors come from a special tabulation of 2013 CEX survey data produced for HUD for the purpose of computing AAFs. The utility-to-rent ratio used to produce AAFs comes from 2013 ACS median rent and utility costs. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Geographic Areas AAFs are produced for all Class A CPI cities (CPI cities with a population of 1.5 million or more) and for the four Census Regions. They are applied to core-based statistical areas (CBSAs), as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), according to how much of the CBSA is covered by the CPI city-survey. If more than 75 percent of the CBSA is covered by the CPI citysurvey, the AAF that is based on that CPI survey is applied to the whole CBSA and to any HUD-defined metropolitan area, called the ‘‘HUD Metro FMR Area’’ (HMFA), within that CBSA. If the CBSA is not covered by a CPI city-survey, the CBSA uses the relevant regional CPI factor. Almost all non-metropolitan counties use regional CPI factors.4 For areas assigned the 3 The formulas used to produce these factors can be found in the Annual Adjustment Factors overview and in the FMR documentation at www.HUDUSER.gov. 4 There are four non-metropolitan counties that continue to use CPI city updates: Ashtabula County, OH, Henderson County, TX, Island County, WA, and Lenawee County, MI. BLS has not updated the geography underlying its survey for new OMB metropolitan area definitions and these counties, are no longer in metropolitan areas, but they are included as parts of CPI surveys because they meet VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:49 May 02, 2016 Jkt 238001 Census Region CPI factor, both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas receive the same factor. Each metropolitan area that uses a local CPI update factor is listed alphabetically in the tables and each HMFA is listed alphabetically within its respective CBSA. Each AAF applies to a specific geographic area and to units of all bedroom sizes. AAFs are provided: • For separate metropolitan areas, including HMFAs and counties that are currently designated as nonmetropolitan, but are part of the metropolitan area defined in the local CPI survey. • For the four Census Regions (to be used for those metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas that are not covered by a CPI city-survey). AAFs use the same OMB metropolitan area definitions, as revised by HUD, that are used for the FY 2016 FMRs. Area Definitions To make certain that they are using the correct AAFs, users should refer to the Area Definitions Table section at http://www.huduser.gov/portal/ datasets/aaf.html. The Area Definitions Table lists CPI areas in alphabetical order by state, and the associated Census region is shown next to each state name. Areas whose AAFs are determined by local CPI surveys are listed first. All metropolitan areas with local CPI surveys have separate AAF schedules and are shown with their corresponding county definitions or as metropolitan counties. In the six New England states, the listings are for counties or parts of counties as defined by towns or cities. The remaining counties use the CPI for the Census Region and are not separately listed in the Area Definitions Table at http:// www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/ aaf.html. Puerto Rico uses its own AAFs calculated from the Puerto Rico CPI as adjusted by the PRCS, the Virgin Islands uses the South Region AAFs and the Pacific Islands uses the West Region AAFs. All areas in Hawaii use the AAFs listed next to ‘‘Hawaii’’ in the Tables which are based on the CPI survey for the Honolulu metropolitan area. The Pacific Islands use the West Region AAFs. the 75 percent standard HUD imposes on survey coverage. These four counties are treated the same as metropolitan areas using CPI city data. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: April 25, 2016. Katherine M. O’Regan, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. [FR Doc. 2016–10328 Filed 5–2–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Assistant Secretary Water and Science; Notice of Availability of the Revised Central Utah Water Conservancy District National Environmental Policy Act Handbook Central Utah Project Completion Act Office, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Central Utah Project Completion Act Office and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District are announcing the availability of their revised National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Handbook. Revisions were made to this handbook in response to new requirements and practices contained in the Department of the Interior’s 2008 NEPA Regulations and Council on Environmental Quality guidance issued in support of the Administration’s efforts to modernize Federal agency implementation of NEPA. The revisions were made to improve the process for preparing efficient and timely environmental reviews under NEPA. ADDRESSES: Copies of the NEPA Handbook are available for inspection at the following locations: • Central Utah Water Conservancy District, 355 West University Parkway, Orem, Utah 84058–7303. • Department of the Interior, Central Utah Project Completion Act Office, 302 East 1860 South, Provo, Utah 84606. In addition, the document is available at www.cuwcd.com and www.cupcao.gov. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Additional information may be obtained by contacting Mr. W. Russ Findlay, Central Utah Project Completion Act Office, 302 East 1860 South, Provo, Utah 84606–7317; by email to wfindlay@ usbr.gov; or by phone at 801–379–1084. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The passage of the Central Utah Project Completion Act in 1992 required the Central Water Conservancy District (District) to enter into an agreement with the Secretary of the Department of the Interior (Interior) allowing them to be considered a ‘‘Federal Agency’’ for the purposes of compliance with all E:\FR\FM\03MYN1.SGM 03MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 85 (Tuesday, May 3, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26576-26578]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-10328]



[[Page 26576]]

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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

[Docket No. FR-5930-N-01]


Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program--Annual Adjustment 
Factors, Fiscal Year 2016

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and 
Research, HUD.

ACTION: Notice of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Annual Adjustment Factors 
(AAFs).

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SUMMARY: The United States Housing Act of 1937 requires that certain 
assistance contracts signed by owners participating in the Department's 
Section 8 housing assistance payment programs provide annual 
adjustments to monthly rentals for units covered by the contracts. This 
notice announces FY 2016 AAFs for adjustment of contract rents on the 
anniversary of those assistance contracts. The factors are based on a 
formula using residential rent and utility cost changes from the most 
recent annual Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) 
survey. Beginning with the FY 2014 AAFs and continuing with these FY 
2016 AAFs, the Puerto Rico CPI is used in place of the South Region CPI 
for all areas in Puerto Rico. These factors are applied at the 
anniversary of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts for which 
rents are to be adjusted using the AAF for those calendar months 
commencing after the effective date of this notice. A separate Federal 
Register Notice published on April 15, 2016 (81 FR 22296) identifies 
the inflation factors that will be used to adjust tenant-based rental 
assistance funding for FY 2016.

DATES: Effective date: May 3, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Contact Becky Primeaux, Director, 
Management and Operations Division, Office of Housing Voucher Programs, 
Office of Public and Indian Housing, 202-708-1380, for questions 
relating to the Project-Based Certificate and Moderate Rehabilitation 
programs (not the Single Room Occupancy program); Ann Oliva, Director, 
Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, Office of Community 
Planning and Development, 202-708-4300, for questions regarding the 
Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Moderate Rehabilitation program; Catherine 
Brennan, Director, Office of Housing Assistance and Grant 
Administration, Office of Housing, 202-708-3000, for questions relating 
to all other Section 8 programs; and Marie Lihn, Economist, Economic 
and Market Analysis Division, Office of Policy Development and 
Research, 202-402-5866, for technical information regarding the 
development of the schedules for specific areas or the methods used for 
calculating the AAFs. The mailing address for these individuals is: 
Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20410. Hearing- or speech-impaired persons may contact 
the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (TTY). (Other 
than the ``800'' TTY number, the above-listed telephone numbers are not 
toll free.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Tables showing AAFs will be available 
electronically from the HUD data information page at http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/aaf.html.

I. Applying AAFs to Various Section 8 Programs

    AAFs established by this Notice are used to adjust contract rents 
for units assisted in certain Section 8 housing assistance payment 
programs during the initial (i.e., pre-renewal) term of the HAP 
contract and for all units in the Project-Based Certificate program. 
There are three categories of Section 8 programs that use the AAFs:
    Category 1: The Section 8 New Construction, Substantial 
Rehabilitation, and Moderate Rehabilitation programs;
    Category 2: The Section 8 Loan Management (LM) and Property 
Disposition (PD) programs; and
    Category 3: The Section 8 Project-Based Certificate (PBC) 
program.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ As of February, 2016, all PBC contracts should be completed 
since the program has been merged with the Housing Choice Voucher 
program. For completeness, HUD is continuing to list Category 3 uses 
of AAFs for this FY 2016 AAF publication, but intends to discontinue 
listing Category 3 in FY 2017.
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    Each Section 8 program category uses the AAFs differently. The 
specific application of the AAFs is determined by the law, the HAP 
contract, and appropriate program regulations or requirements.
    AAFs are not used in the following cases:
    Renewal Rents. With the exception of the Project-Based Certificate 
program, AAFs are not used to determine renewal rents after expiration 
of the original Section 8 HAP contract (either for projects where the 
Section 8 HAP contract is renewed under a restructuring plan adopted 
under 24 CFR part 401; or renewed without restructuring under 24 CFR 
part 402). In general, renewal rents are established in accordance with 
the statutory provision in the Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and 
Affordability Act of 1997 (MAHRA), as amended, under which the HAP is 
renewed. After renewal, annual rent adjustments will be provided in 
accordance with MAHRA.
    Budget-based Rents. AAFs are not used for budget-based rent 
adjustments. For projects receiving Section 8 subsidies under the LM 
program (24 CFR part 886, subpart A) and for projects receiving Section 
8 subsidies under the PD program (24 CFR part 886, subpart C), contract 
rents are adjusted, at HUD's option, either by applying the AAFs or by 
budget-based adjustments in accordance with 24 CFR 886.112(b) and 24 
CFR 886.312(b). Budget-based adjustments are used for most Section 8/
202 projects.
    Tenant-based Certificate Program. In the past, AAFs were used to 
adjust the contract rent (including manufactured home space rentals) in 
both the tenant-based and project-based certificate programs. The 
tenant-based certificate program has been terminated and all tenancies 
in the tenant-based certificate program have been converted to the 
Housing Choice Voucher Program, which does not use AAFs to adjust 
rents. All tenancies remaining in the project-based certificate program 
continue to use AAFs to adjust contract rent for outstanding HAP 
contracts.
    Voucher Program. AAFs are not used to adjust rents in the Tenant-
Based or the Project-Based Voucher programs.

II. Adjustment Procedures

    This section of the notice provides a broad description of 
procedures for adjusting the contract rent. Technical details and 
requirements are described in HUD notices H 2002-10 (Section 8 New 
Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation, Loan Management, and 
Property Disposition) and PIH 97-57 (Moderate Rehabilitation and 
Project-Based Certificates).
    Because of statutory and structural distinctions among the various 
Section 8 programs, there are separate rent adjustment procedures for 
the three program categories:

Category 1: Section 8 New Construction, Substantial Rehabilitation, and 
Moderate Rehabilitation Programs

    In the Section 8 New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation 
programs, the published AAF factor is applied to the pre-adjustment 
contract

[[Page 26577]]

rent. In the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation program (both the 
regular program and the single room occupancy program) the published 
AAF is applied to the pre-adjustment base rent.
    For Category 1 programs, the Table 1 AAF factor is applied before 
determining comparability (rent reasonableness). Comparability applies 
if the pre-adjustment gross rent (pre-adjustment contract rent plus any 
allowance for tenant-paid utilities) is above the published Fair Market 
Rent (FMR).
    If the comparable rent level (plus any initial difference) is lower 
than the contract rent as adjusted by application of the Table 1 AAF, 
the comparable rent level (plus any initial difference) will be the new 
contract rent. However, the pre-adjustment contract rent will not be 
decreased by application of comparability.
    In all other cases (i.e., unless the contract rent is reduced by 
comparability):
     Table 1 AAF is used for a unit occupied by a new family 
since the last annual contract anniversary.
     Table 2 AAF is used for a unit occupied by the same family 
as at the time of the last annual contract anniversary.

Category 2: Section 8 Loan Management Program (24 CFR Part 886, Subpart 
A) and Property Disposition Program (24 CFR Part 886, Subpart C)

    At this time Category 2 programs are not subject to comparability. 
Comparability will again apply if HUD establishes regulations for 
conducting comparability studies under 42 U.S.C. 1437f(c)(2)(C).
    The applicable AAF is determined as follows:
     Table 1 AAF is used for a unit occupied by a new family 
since the last annual contract anniversary.
     Table 2 AAF is used for a unit occupied by the same family 
as at the time of the last annual contract anniversary.

Category 3: Section 8 Project-Based Certificate Program

    The following procedures are used to adjust contract rent for 
outstanding HAP contracts in the Section 8 PBC program:
     Table 2 AAF is always used. The Table 1 AAF is not used.
     Table 2 AAF is always applied before determining 
comparability (rent reasonableness).
     Comparability always applies. If the comparable rent level 
is lower than the rent to owner (contract rent) as adjusted by 
application of the Table 2 AAF, the comparable rent level will be the 
new rent to owner.
     The new rent to owner will not be reduced below the 
contract rent on the effective date of the HAP contract.

III. When To Use Reduced AAFs (From AAF Table 2)

    In accordance with Section 8(c)(2)(A) of the United States Housing 
Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(c)(2)(A)), the AAF is reduced by 0.01:
     For all tenancies assisted in the Section 8 Project-Based 
Certificate program.
     In other Section 8 programs, for a unit occupied by the 
same family at the time of the last annual rent adjustment (and where 
the rent is not reduced by application of comparability (rent 
reasonableness)).
    The law provides that:

    Except for assistance under the certificate program, for any 
unit occupied by the same family at the time of the last annual 
rental adjustment, where the assistance contract provides for the 
adjustment of the maximum monthly rent by applying an annual 
adjustment factor and where the rent for a unit is otherwise 
eligible for an adjustment based on the full amount of the factor, 
0.01 shall be subtracted from the amount of the factor, except that 
the factor shall not be reduced to less than 1.0. In the case of 
assistance under the certificate program, 0.01 shall be subtracted 
from the amount of the annual adjustment factor (except that the 
factor shall not be reduced to less than 1.0), and the adjusted rent 
shall not exceed the rent for a comparable unassisted unit of 
similar quality, type and age in the market area. 42 U.S.C. 
1437f(c)(2)(A).

Legislative history for this statutory provision states that ``the 
rationale [for lower AAFs for non-turnover units is] that operating 
costs are less if tenant turnover is less . . .'' (see Department of 
Veteran Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent 
Agencies Appropriations for 1995, Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the 
Committee on Appropriations 103d Cong., 2d Sess. 591 (1994)). The 
Congressional Record also states the following:

    Because the cost to owners of turnover-related vacancies, 
maintenance, and marketing are lower for long-term stable tenants, 
these tenants are typically charged less than recent movers in the 
unassisted market. Since HUD pays the full amount of any rent 
increases for assisted tenants in section 8 projects and under the 
Certificate program, HUD should expect to benefit from this `tenure 
discount.' Turnover is lower in assisted properties than in the 
unassisted market, so the effect of the current inconsistency with 
market-based rent increases is exacerbated. (140 Cong. Rec. 8659, 
8693 (1994)).

    To implement the law, HUD publishes two separate AAF Tables, Table 
1 and Table 2. The difference between Table 1 and Table 2 is that each 
AAF in Table 2 is 0.01 less than the corresponding AAF in Table 1. 
Where an AAF in Table 1 would otherwise be less than 1.0, it is set at 
1.0, as required by statute; the corresponding AAF in Table 2 will also 
be set at 1.0, as required by statute.

IV. How To Find the AAF

    AAF Table 1 and Table 2 are posted on the HUD User Web site at 
http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/aaf.html. There are two columns 
in each AAF table. The first column is used to adjust contract rent for 
rental units where the highest cost utility is included in the contract 
rent, i.e., where the owner pays for the highest cost utility. The 
second column is used where the highest cost utility is not included in 
the contract rent, i.e., where the tenant pays for the highest cost 
utility.
    The applicable AAF is selected as follows:
     Determine whether Table 1 or Table 2 is applicable. In 
Table 1 or Table 2, locate the AAF for the geographic area where the 
contract unit is located.
     Determine whether the highest cost utility is or is not 
included in contract rent for the contract unit.
     If highest cost utility is included, select the AAF from 
the column for ``Highest Cost Utility Included.'' If highest cost 
utility is not included, select the AAF from the column for ``Highest 
Cost Utility Excluded.''

V. Methodology

    AAFs are rent inflation factors. Two types of rent inflation 
factors are calculated for AAFs: Gross rent factors and shelter rent 
factors. The gross rent factor accounts for inflation in the cost of 
both the rent of the residence and the utilities used by the unit; the 
shelter rent factor accounts for the inflation in the rent of the 
residence, but does not reflect any change in the cost of utilities. 
The gross rent inflation factor is designated as ``Highest Cost Utility 
Included'' and the shelter rent inflation factor is designated as 
``Highest Cost Utility Excluded.''
    AAFs are calculated using CPI data on ``rent of primary residence'' 
and ``fuels and utilities.'' \2\ The CPI inflation index for rent of 
primary residence measures the inflation of all surveyed units 
regardless of whether utilities are included in the rent of the unit or 
not. In other words, it measures the inflation of the ``contract rent'' 
which includes units with all utilities included in the

[[Page 26578]]

rent, units with some utilities included in the rent, and units with no 
utilities included in the rent. In producing a gross rent inflation 
factor and a shelter rent inflation factor, HUD decomposes the contract 
rent CPI inflation factor into parts to represent the gross rent change 
and the shelter rent change. This is done by applying data from the 
Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) on the percentage of renters who pay 
for heat (a proxy for the percentage of renters who pay shelter rent) 
and also American Community Survey (ACS) data on the ratio of utilities 
to rents. For Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Community Survey (PRCS) is 
used to determine the ratio of utilities to rents, resulting in 
different AAFs for some metropolitan areas in Puerto Rico.\3\
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    \2\ CPI indexes CUUSA103SEHA and CUSR0000SAH2 respectively.
    \3\ The formulas used to produce these factors can be found in 
the Annual Adjustment Factors overview and in the FMR documentation 
at www.HUDUSER.gov.
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Survey Data Used To Produce AAFs

    The rent and fuel and utilities inflation factors for large 
metropolitan areas and Census regions are based on changes in the rent 
of primary residence and fuels and utilities CPI indices from 2013 to 
2014. The CEX data used to decompose the contract rent inflation factor 
into gross rent and shelter rent inflation factors come from a special 
tabulation of 2013 CEX survey data produced for HUD for the purpose of 
computing AAFs. The utility-to-rent ratio used to produce AAFs comes 
from 2013 ACS median rent and utility costs.

Geographic Areas

    AAFs are produced for all Class A CPI cities (CPI cities with a 
population of 1.5 million or more) and for the four Census Regions. 
They are applied to core-based statistical areas (CBSAs), as defined by 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), according to how much of the 
CBSA is covered by the CPI city-survey. If more than 75 percent of the 
CBSA is covered by the CPI city-survey, the AAF that is based on that 
CPI survey is applied to the whole CBSA and to any HUD-defined 
metropolitan area, called the ``HUD Metro FMR Area'' (HMFA), within 
that CBSA. If the CBSA is not covered by a CPI city-survey, the CBSA 
uses the relevant regional CPI factor. Almost all non-metropolitan 
counties use regional CPI factors.\4\ For areas assigned the Census 
Region CPI factor, both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas receive 
the same factor.
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    \4\ There are four non-metropolitan counties that continue to 
use CPI city updates: Ashtabula County, OH, Henderson County, TX, 
Island County, WA, and Lenawee County, MI. BLS has not updated the 
geography underlying its survey for new OMB metropolitan area 
definitions and these counties, are no longer in metropolitan areas, 
but they are included as parts of CPI surveys because they meet the 
75 percent standard HUD imposes on survey coverage. These four 
counties are treated the same as metropolitan areas using CPI city 
data.
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    Each metropolitan area that uses a local CPI update factor is 
listed alphabetically in the tables and each HMFA is listed 
alphabetically within its respective CBSA. Each AAF applies to a 
specific geographic area and to units of all bedroom sizes. AAFs are 
provided:
     For separate metropolitan areas, including HMFAs and 
counties that are currently designated as non-metropolitan, but are 
part of the metropolitan area defined in the local CPI survey.
     For the four Census Regions (to be used for those 
metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas that are not covered by a CPI 
city-survey).
    AAFs use the same OMB metropolitan area definitions, as revised by 
HUD, that are used for the FY 2016 FMRs.

Area Definitions

    To make certain that they are using the correct AAFs, users should 
refer to the Area Definitions Table section at http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/aaf.html. The Area Definitions Table lists CPI areas in 
alphabetical order by state, and the associated Census region is shown 
next to each state name. Areas whose AAFs are determined by local CPI 
surveys are listed first. All metropolitan areas with local CPI surveys 
have separate AAF schedules and are shown with their corresponding 
county definitions or as metropolitan counties. In the six New England 
states, the listings are for counties or parts of counties as defined 
by towns or cities. The remaining counties use the CPI for the Census 
Region and are not separately listed in the Area Definitions Table at 
http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/aaf.html.
    Puerto Rico uses its own AAFs calculated from the Puerto Rico CPI 
as adjusted by the PRCS, the Virgin Islands uses the South Region AAFs 
and the Pacific Islands uses the West Region AAFs. All areas in Hawaii 
use the AAFs listed next to ``Hawaii'' in the Tables which are based on 
the CPI survey for the Honolulu metropolitan area. The Pacific Islands 
use the West Region AAFs.

    Dated: April 25, 2016.
Katherine M. O'Regan,
 Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research.
[FR Doc. 2016-10328 Filed 5-2-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4210-67-P