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Minimum Rent Hardship Exemption for HUD Housing

Authored By: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc. LSC Funded
Contents

Information

When is the Public Housing Authority required to suspend the minimum rent requirement for families who are paying minimum rent?

The Public Housing Authoritymust grant a family an exemption from payment of minimum rent, if:

  1. the family is unable to pay the minimum rent because of financial hardship, and;
  2. the hardship is one listed in the Public Housing Authority’s written policies.


Generally, a financial hardship includes the following situations:

  • When the family has lost eligibility for or is awaiting an eligibility determination for a Federal, State, or local assistance program; or,
  • When the family would be evicted because it is unable to pay the minimum rent; or,
  • When the income of the family has decreased because of changed circumstances, including loss of employment; or,
  • When a death has occurred in the family; or,
  • Other circumstances determined by the Public Housing Authority or HUD.

Does the Public Housing Authority have to suspend the family's minimum rent requirement the day the family makes the request?

If a family requests a financial hardship exemption, the responsible entity must suspend the minimum rent requirement beginning the month following the family's request for a hardship exemption. The suspension must continue until the PHA determines whether there is a qualifying financial hardship, and whether such hardship is temporary or long-term.

 

What happens if the family requests a hardship exemption?

Public Housing Programs:
The PHA must suspend the minimum rent requirement beginning the month AFTER the family requests the hardship exemption.
This suspension  continues until the PHA decides whether the hardship qualifies as a financial hardship and whether your hardship is temporary or long-term.

The Public Housing Authority must promptly decide if your hardship qualifies as a financial hardship and whether your hardship is temporary or long-term.

For all Section 8 Programs:

If a family requests a financial hardship exemption, the responsible entity must suspend the minimum rent requirement beginning the month AFTER the family's request for a hardship exemption until the PHA decides whether your hardship qualifies as a financial hardship, and whether such hardship is temporary or long term.

The Section 8 Programmust promptly decide if your hardship qualifies as a financial hardship and whether your hardship is temporary or long-term.

If the Section 8 Program decides that your situation DOES QUALIFY for a financial hardship, and the financial hardship is TEMPORARY, the PHA must not impose the minimum rent during the 90–day period beginning the month AFTER the date of the family's request for the hardship exemption.
 

At the end of the 90–day suspension period, the PHA must reinstate the minimum rent from the beginning of the suspension. The family must be offered a reasonable repayment agreement, on terms and conditions established by the responsible entity, for the amount of back rent owed by the family.

BOTH Section 8 & Public Housing Authority Programs:

If the Public Housing Authority decides that your situation DOES NOT QUALIFY for a financial hardship, the Public Housing Authority must reinstate the minimum rent from the beginning of the suspension of the minimum rent. This includes any back rent you owe from the beginning of the suspension.  The family must pay the back rent on the terms and conditions established by the PHA.

What about long-term financial hardships?

If the PHA determines the hardship QUALIFIES as a financial hardship and IS LONG TERM, the PHA must exempt the family from the minimum rent requirements for as long as the hardship continues.

The hardship exemption starts at the beginning of the month AFTER the family's request for a hardship exemption until the end of the hardship.

The financial hardship exemption only applies to payment of the minimum rent.

Am I entitled to a grievance hearing if the request for a hardship exemption is denied?

If a public housing family requests a hearing under the PHA grievance procedure, to review the PHA's determination denying or limiting the family's claim to a financial hardship exemption, the family is not required to pay any escrow deposit in order to obtain a grievance hearing.

Download this form to request a Minimum Rent Hardship Exemption

Last Review and Update: May 29, 2015
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