Establishing a More Effective Fair Market Rent System; Using Small Area Fair Market Rents in the Housing Choice Voucher Program Instead of the Current 50th Percentile FMRs
This final rule applies the use of Small Area Fair Market Rents (Small Area FMRs) in the administration of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program for certain metropolitan areas. This final rule provides for the use of Small Area FMRs, in place of the 50th percentile rent, the currently codified regulations, to address high levels of voucher concentration in certain communities. The use of Small Area FMRs is expected to give HCV tenants access to areas of high opportunity and lower poverty areas by providing a subsidy that is adequate to cover rents in those areas, thereby reducing the number of voucher families that reside in areas of high poverty concentration.
Small Area Fair Market Rents in Housing Choice Voucher Program Values for Selection Criteria and Metropolitan Areas Subject to Small Area Fair Market Rents
On June 16, 2016, HUD sought comment on applying Small Area Fair Market Rents (Small Area FMRs) to certain metropolitan areas for administration of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program based on certain selection criteria and selection values. Found elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register is a final rule adopting the use of Smalls Area FMRs for the HCV program and the selection criteria. The final rule also requires HUD to set forth the values used to determine those metropolitan areas that are subject to Small Area FMRs through a Federal Register notice. This notice sets forth the values for the selection criteria and lists the metropolitan areas that will be subject to Small Area FMRs implemented in the Small Area FMRs final rule.
Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013: Implementation in HUD Housing Programs
This final rule implements in HUD's regulations the requirements of the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies for all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and which must be applied consistent with all nondiscrimination and fair housing requirements. The 2013 reauthorization (VAWA 2013) expands housing protections to HUD programs beyond HUD's public housing program and HUD's tenant-based and project- based Section 8 programs (collectively, the Section 8 programs) that were covered by the 2005 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA 2005). Additionally, the 2013 law provides enhanced protections and options for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Specifically, this rule amends HUD's generally applicable regulations, HUD's regulations for the public housing and Section 8 programs that already pertain to VAWA, and the regulations of programs newly covered by VAWA 2013. In addition to this final rule, HUD is publishing a notice titled the Notice of Occupancy Rights under the Violence Against Women Act (Notice of Occupancy Rights) that certain housing providers must give to tenants and applicants to ensure they are aware of their rights under VAWA and these implementing regulations, a model emergency transfer plan that may be used by housing providers to develop their own emergency transfer plans, a model emergency transfer request form that housing providers could provide to tenants requesting an emergency transfer under these regulations, and a new certification form for documenting incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that must be used by housing providers. This rule reflects the statutory changes made by VAWA 2013, as well as HUD's recognition of the importance of providing housing protections and rights to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. By increasing opportunities for all individuals to live in safe housing, this will reduce the risk of homelessness and further HUD's mission of utilizing housing to improve quality of life.