Area Standards Agreement 2015
The Area Standards Agreement 2015: What You Need to Know
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a new rule called the Area Standards Agreement (ASA), which established new minimum area rent standards for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. This program, also known as Section 8, provides rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities.
The ASA rule was created in response to concerns that some HCV tenants were living in high-cost areas and receiving excessive rental subsidies, while others were living in low-cost areas and struggling to afford rent even with the assistance of the voucher. The ASA rule aimed to provide a more fair and equitable distribution of funds by setting standardized rent limits based on local rental market conditions.
Under the ASA rule, HUD established new rent payment standards based on the 40th percentile of gross rents for standard rental units in each metropolitan area or non-metropolitan county. This means that the maximum subsidy a tenant can receive is based on the median rent for a housing unit of that size and type in their local market.
The ASA also established new utility allowance standards, which are used to calculate the tenant`s portion of the rent. The utility allowance is designed to reflect the average cost of utilities for a unit of that size and type in the local market.
One of the key benefits of the ASA rule is that it increases housing choice for low-income families. By establishing standard rent payment and utility allowances, families can now afford to live in in higher-cost neighborhoods without exceeding the subsidy limits. This can lead to better educational and job opportunities, safer neighborhoods, and improved access to public transportation and community services.
The ASA rule also benefits landlords by providing a more predictable and stable source of rental income. Under the new rule, landlords are guaranteed to receive the full amount of the rent, as long as it does not exceed the local market rate.
Overall, the Area Standards Agreement 2015 represents an important step in making the Housing Choice Voucher program more fair, equitable, and effective in addressing the affordable housing crisis in America. By establishing standardized rental and utility allowances, the ASA helps to ensure that low-income families have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing in their local communities.