Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program-Annual Adjustment Factors, Fiscal Year 2020, 67471-67473 [2019-26426]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 237 / Tuesday, December 10, 2019 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–6189–N–01] Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program—Annual Adjustment Factors, Fiscal Year 2020 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, HUD. ACTION: Notice of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 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 2020 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 (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) survey. The FY 2020 AAFs are the first to use the revised BLS area definitions for local area CPI. A separate Federal Register notice, to be published following the finalization of the FY 2020 federal appropriations, will be used in the calculation of the calendar year (CY) 2020 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) renewal funding for public housing agencies (PHAs) DATES: December 10, 2019. 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); Norman A. Suchar, Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, Office of Community Planning and Development, 202–402–5015, for questions regarding the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Moderate Rehabilitation program; Katherine Nzive, Director, OAMPO Program Administration Office, Office of Multifamily Housing, 202–402–3440, for questions relating to all other Section 8 programs; and Marie Lihn, Economist, Program Parameters and Research 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 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:08 Dec 09, 2019 Jkt 250001 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 Relay Service at 800–877– 8339 (TTY). (Other than the ‘‘800’’ TTY number, the above-listed telephone numbers are not toll free.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice announces FY 2020 AAFs for adjustment of contract rents on the anniversary of those assistance contracts. The factors for adjustment are based on a formula using residential rent and utility cost changes from the most recent annual Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) survey. The FY 2020 AAFs are the first to use the revised BLS area definitions for local area CPI. There are now only 70 metropolitan areas covered by local CPI data; previously there were 123 metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The AAFs 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. AAFs are distinct from, and do not apply to the same properties as, Operating Cost Adjustment Factors (OCAFs). OCAFs are annual factors used to adjust rents for project-based rental assistance contracts issued under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 and renewed under section 515 or section 524 of the Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act of 1997 (MAHRA). A separate Federal Register notice, to be published following the finalization of the FY 2020 federal appropriations, will be used in the calculation of the calendar year (CY) 2020 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) renewal funding for public housing agencies (PHAs). 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. There are two categories of Section 8 programs that use the AAFs: Category 1: The Section 8 New Construction, Substantial Rehabilitation, and Moderate Rehabilitation programs; PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67471 Category 2: The Section 8 Loan Management (LM) and Property Disposition (PD) programs. 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. 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 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. Housing Choice 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 two 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 rent. In the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation program (both the regular E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 67472 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 237 / Tuesday, December 10, 2019 / Notices 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. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD 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) Category 2 programs are not currently 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. 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: In 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:08 Dec 09, 2019 Jkt 250001 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 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 website 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. PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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.’’ 1 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 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.2 1 CPI indexes CUUSA103SEHA and CUSR0000SAH2 respectively. 2 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. E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 237 / Tuesday, December 10, 2019 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Survey Data Used To Produce AAFs The rent inflation factor and fuel and utilities inflation factor for each large metropolitan area and Census region are based, respectively, on changes in the CPI index for rent of primary residence and the CPI index for fuels and utilities from 2017 to 2018. 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 2018 CEX survey data produced for HUD. The utility-to-rent ratio used to produce AAFs comes from 2017 ACS median rent and utility costs. Geographic Areas Beginning with the data collection for 2018, BLS revised the sample for the CPI to be based on Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs). Previously the sample was based on Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) as defined in 1998. In addition, the population required to be designated a Class A CPI city was increased from 1.5 million to 2.5 million. The following major metropolitan areas were eliminated under the new sample design: Pittsburgh PA, Cincinnati-Hamilton OH–KY–IN, Cleveland-Akron OH, Milwaukee-Racine WI, Kansas City MO– KS, and Portland-Salem OR–WA. There are now 23 major metropolitan areas (excluding Puerto Rico, which is unchanged) with local CPI data, down from 28 last year (Riverside-San Bernardino has been split off from the Los Angeles survey area). This decline has resulted in fewer metropolitan component areas receiving local CPI adjustments, down to 70 metropolitan areas and subareas (HUD Metro FMR Areas) from 124 metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. There are no longer any nonmetropolitan areas using local CPI inflation factors (except for Puerto Rico). Each metropolitan area that uses a local CPI update factor is listed alphabetically in the tables and each HUD Metro FMR Area (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 metropolitan areas at the MSA or HMFA level. • For the four Census Regions (to be used for those metropolitan areas that are not covered by a CPI city-survey and non-metropolitan areas). AAFs use the same OMB metropolitan area definitions, as revised by HUD, that are used for the FY 2020 FMRs. Area Definitions To make certain that they are using the correct AAFs, users should refer to VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:08 Dec 09, 2019 Jkt 250001 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. Dated: November 26, 2019. Seth D. Appleton, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. [FR Doc. 2019–26426 Filed 12–9–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R5–ES–2014–0050; FXES111X0500000–XXX–FF05E00000] Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for Indiana Bat (Myotis Sodalis) and Northern LongEared Bat (Myotis Septentrionalis) at the Copenhagen Wind Farm, Jefferson and Lewis Counties, New York; and Draft Environmental Assessment Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of documents; request for comment and information. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the receipt of an application from Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The applicant requests the ITP for take of the federally endangered Indiana bat and threatened northern long-eared bat incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with operation of its Copenhagen Wind Farm, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67473 a 40-turbine wind farm that has been constructed in Jefferson and Lewis Counties, New York. The applicant proposes a conservation program to minimize and mitigate for the unavoidable incidental take as described in its Indiana Bat and Northern Long-eared Bat Habitat Conservation Plan for the Copenhagen Wind Farm, Lewis and Jefferson Counties, New York (HCP). We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed HCP, and the Service’s draft environmental assessment, prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. We provide this notice to seek comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before January 9, 2020. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date. ADDRESSES: Obtaining documents: • Internet: You may obtain copies of the application including the HCP and draft environmental assessment (EA) on the internet at the New York Ecological Services Field Office’s website at https://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ or at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R5–ES–2014–0050. • In-person: Documents are available for public inspection by appointment during regular business hours at the New York Ecological Services Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY 13045. Call 607–753–49334 to make an appointment. Submitting Comments: If you wish to submit comments on any of the documents, you may do so by one of the following methods. Please reference Docket Number FWS–R5–ES–2014– 0050 in all comments. For additional guidance on submitting comments, please see Public Comments under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. • Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at: http:// www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS–R5–2014–0050, which is the docket number for this notice. Click on the appropriate link to locate this document and submit a comment. • By hard copy: You may submit by mail or hand-delivery to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R5–ES–2014–0050, New York Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY 13045. We request that you send comments by only the methods described above. E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 237 (Tuesday, December 10, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67471-67473]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26426]



[[Page 67471]]

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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

[Docket No. FR-6189-N-01]


Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program--Annual Adjustment 
Factors, Fiscal Year 2020

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

ACTION: Notice of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 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 2020 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 (BLS) Consumer Price Index 
(CPI) survey. The FY 2020 AAFs are the first to use the revised BLS 
area definitions for local area CPI. A separate Federal Register 
notice, to be published following the finalization of the FY 2020 
federal appropriations, will be used in the calculation of the calendar 
year (CY) 2020 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) renewal funding for public 
housing agencies (PHAs)

DATES: December 10, 2019.

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); Norman A. Suchar, 
Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, Office of 
Community Planning and Development, 202-402-5015, for questions 
regarding the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Moderate Rehabilitation 
program; Katherine Nzive, Director, OAMPO Program Administration 
Office, Office of Multifamily Housing, 202-402-3440, for questions 
relating to all other Section 8 programs; and Marie Lihn, Economist, 
Program Parameters and Research 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 Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (TTY). (Other than the 
``800'' TTY number, the above-listed telephone numbers are not toll 
free.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice announces FY 2020 AAFs for 
adjustment of contract rents on the anniversary of those assistance 
contracts. The factors for adjustment are based on a formula using 
residential rent and utility cost changes from the most recent annual 
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) survey. The 
FY 2020 AAFs are the first to use the revised BLS area definitions for 
local area CPI. There are now only 70 metropolitan areas covered by 
local CPI data; previously there were 123 metropolitan and 
nonmetropolitan areas. The AAFs 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. AAFs are distinct from, and do not apply 
to the same properties as, Operating Cost Adjustment Factors (OCAFs). 
OCAFs are annual factors used to adjust rents for project-based rental 
assistance contracts issued under Section 8 of the United States 
Housing Act of 1937 and renewed under section 515 or section 524 of the 
Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act of 1997 
(MAHRA). A separate Federal Register notice, to be published following 
the finalization of the FY 2020 federal appropriations, will be used in 
the calculation of the calendar year (CY) 2020 Housing Choice Voucher 
(HCV) renewal funding for public housing agencies (PHAs).
    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. There are two 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.
    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. 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 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.
    Housing Choice 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 two 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 rent. In the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation program (both 
the regular

[[Page 67472]]

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)

    Category 2 programs are not currently 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.

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:
    In 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 website 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.'' \1\ 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 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.\2\
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    \1\ CPI indexes CUUSA103SEHA and CUSR0000SAH2 respectively.
    \2\ 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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[[Page 67473]]

Survey Data Used To Produce AAFs

    The rent inflation factor and fuel and utilities inflation factor 
for each large metropolitan area and Census region are based, 
respectively, on changes in the CPI index for rent of primary residence 
and the CPI index for fuels and utilities from 2017 to 2018. 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 2018 CEX survey data produced for HUD. The utility-to-rent ratio 
used to produce AAFs comes from 2017 ACS median rent and utility costs.

Geographic Areas

    Beginning with the data collection for 2018, BLS revised the sample 
for the CPI to be based on Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs). 
Previously the sample was based on Metropolitan Statistical Areas 
(MSAs) as defined in 1998. In addition, the population required to be 
designated a Class A CPI city was increased from 1.5 million to 2.5 
million. The following major metropolitan areas were eliminated under 
the new sample design: Pittsburgh PA, Cincinnati-Hamilton OH-KY-IN, 
Cleveland-Akron OH, Milwaukee-Racine WI, Kansas City MO-KS, and 
Portland-Salem OR-WA. There are now 23 major metropolitan areas 
(excluding Puerto Rico, which is unchanged) with local CPI data, down 
from 28 last year (Riverside-San Bernardino has been split off from the 
Los Angeles survey area). This decline has resulted in fewer 
metropolitan component areas receiving local CPI adjustments, down to 
70 metropolitan areas and subareas (HUD Metro FMR Areas) from 124 
metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. There are no longer any 
nonmetropolitan areas using local CPI inflation factors (except for 
Puerto Rico).
    Each metropolitan area that uses a local CPI update factor is 
listed alphabetically in the tables and each HUD Metro FMR Area (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 metropolitan areas at the MSA or HMFA level.
     For the four Census Regions (to be used for those 
metropolitan areas that are not covered by a CPI city-survey and non-
metropolitan areas).
    AAFs use the same OMB metropolitan area definitions, as revised by 
HUD, that are used for the FY 2020 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.

    Dated: November 26, 2019.
Seth D. Appleton,
Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research.
[FR Doc. 2019-26426 Filed 12-9-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4210-67-P