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HUD to hold briefing on SAFMR proposed rule

SAFMR proposed ruleHUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) today announced that it will be holding a briefing on the recent proposed rule on small area fair market rents (SAFMRs).

The briefing will be webcast Thursday, June 30, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. eastern time (8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Pacific time). HUD will walk through the proposed rule and answer questions. A link to the webcast will be available on the announcement page the day of the event. To register for the webcast, click here.

HUD published the SAFMR proposed rule last week in the Federal Register. Intended to help reduce the number of assisted families that reside in areas of high poverty concentration, the rule would require the use of SAFMRs in certain metropolitan areas if the area meets a specific set of criteria. Among the highlights are the following:

  • The rule would require the use of SAFMRs in administering the housing choice voucher (HCV) program for certain metropolitan areas, if the area meets a specific set of criteria.
  • Criteria for those areas in which SAFMRs would be set include metropolitan areas where at least 2,500 HCVs are under lease, at least 20 percent of the standard quality rental stock is in ZIP codes where the SAFMR is more than 100 percent of the metropolitan FMR, and the measure of the percentage of voucher holders living in concentrated low-income areas relative to all renters within these areas over the entire metropolitan area exceeds 155 percent.
  • PHAs not administering a voucher program in a metropolitan area subject to SAFMR application would be able to request HUD approval to use SAFMRs.
  • The rule would amend the existing regulations to no longer provide that FMRs be set at the 50th percentile, and instead transitioning metropolitan areas with FMRs set at the 50th percentile to either the 40th percentile rent at the expiration of a three-year period for the 50th percentile rent, or designation as an SAFMR in accordance with the proposed criteria.
  • PHAs with a jurisdiction within a 50th percentile FMR area that reverts to the standard 40th percentile would be able to request HUD approval of payment standard amounts based on the 50th percentile rent. PHAs would continue to meet the provisions of 24 CFR 503 annually in order to maintain payment standards based on 50th percentile rents.
  • The rule would provide that SAFMRs would also apply to project-based vouchers (PBVs) under certain conditions, if the PBVs are located in an area or jurisdiction in which HUD has designated or approved the application of SAFMRs. The application of SAFMRs in such cases would occur when a PHA notice of owner selection of existing regulations in 24 CFR 51(d) was made after the effective date of the SAFMR designation.
  • Finally, HUD intends to designate SAFMRs at the beginning of the federal fiscal year and make additional area designations every five years thereafter as new data becomes available.

Comments on the proposed rule are due August 15, 2016.