Sneak Preview: HUD Issues Supplemental Section 8 Guidance

November 11, 2016 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued supplementary guidance pertaining to the eligibility of students for assisted housing under the Section 8 housing program, updating previous guidance to be consistent with the Department of Education’s (ED’s) revised definition of “independent student.”

HUD regulations established in 2005 require that a student enrolled at an institution of higher education that is under the age of 24, is not a veteran, is unmarried and does not have a dependent child, is ineligible for assistance under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937. In addition, if the student’s parents are ineligible for Section 8 assistance, the student may not receive Section 8 assistance.

In 2006, HUD published supplemental guidance to assist public housing agencies (PHAs) and multifamily project owners and managers in implementing the regulation, providing certain exceptions to the requirement in which a student’s Section 8 eligibility would be determined based on income by both the student and the student’s parents. A student may still be income eligible for assistance in circumstances where: (1) he or she can demonstrate independence from parents; (2) he or she can demonstrate the absence of parents; or (3) an examination of his or her parents’ income may not be relevant.

The supplemental guidance included a list of items, known as the Student’s Independence Verification Requirements, that PHAs and multifamily project owners and managers must verify when determining whether a student’s income alone should be used to determine Section 8 eligibility. These items included: (1) the student’s previous address to determine evidence that the student is now living in a separate household, or to verify that the student meets ED’s definition of “independent student”; (2) prior year income tax returns to verify whether a parent or guardian has claimed the student as a dependent, except if the student meets the “independent student” definition; and (3) a written certification by a parent of the amount of financial support that parent provides to the student, or written certification that the parent provides no financial support to the student.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

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