Section 8 Renewal Guidebook provides updated policies and processes for rent comparability studies required as part of Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Contract renewals.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Multifamily Housing Programs announced today newly updated guidance for owners of properties participating in its Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) program. The changes published today in Chapter Nine of HUD’s Section 8 Renewal Policy Guidebook are designed to streamline the contract renewal process by making it easier for owners to prepare and submit the Rent Comparability Studies that are used to establish contract rents. The changes also clarify the conditions under which such rents may reflect the value of providing services to residents. HUD last updated the Guidebook in 2017.
“These much needed changes reinforce our dedication to maintaining a strong program that provides vital affordable rental housing to low-income individuals and families through project-based rental assistance,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Ethan Handelman. “The changes provide clarity and process improvements for owners and encourage high quality resident services at a time when this nation needs to preserve and expand the availability of affordable homes.”
The updated Guidebook chapter was developed by HUD following feedback received from program stakeholders on its draft published in April 2022. Chapter Nine of the Guidebook now includes the following key updates:
- Revises options available for owners seeking to renew their contracts without a rent comparability study, when eligible, to reduce administrative and processing costs and time for owners.
- Enhances consistency in valuing non-shelter services to better support properties with services to residents, such as on-site health screening.
- Allows internet and broadband services to be considered an eligible non-shelter service for valuation purposes.
The updates contained in Chapter Nine of the Section 8 Renewal Guidebook become effective for owners beginning May 1, 2023.
About HUD’s Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance Program
Administered by HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs, the Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) program provides more than 1.2 million low-income and very low–income families with decent, safe, and affordable housing. Under the program, HUD maintains long-term contracts with owners of multifamily housing properties, requiring that rents covered by such contracts be comparable with (i.e., do not exceed) market rents in the area where the project is located. The Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act of 1997 requires that such rents be established by reference to a Rent Comparability Study.