24 CFR § 576.106 - Short-term and medium-term rental assistance.

§ 576.106 Short-term and medium-term rental assistance.

(a) General provisions. Subject to the general conditions under § 576.103 and § 576.104, the recipient or subrecipient may provide a program participant with up to 24 months of rental assistance during any 3-year period. This assistance may be short-term rental assistance, medium-term rental assistance, payment of rental arrears, or any combination of this assistance.

(1) Short-term rental assistance is assistance for up to 3 months of rent.

(2) Medium-term rental assistance is assistance for more than 3 months but not more than 24 months of rent.

(3) Payment of rental arrears consists of a one-time payment for up to 6 months of rent in arrears, including any late fees on those arrears.

(4) Rental assistance may be tenant-based or project-based, as set forth in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this section.

(b) Discretion to set caps and conditions. Subject to the requirements of this section, the recipient may set a maximum amount or percentage of rental assistance that a program participant may receive, a maximum number of months that a program participant may receive rental assistance, or a maximum number of times that a program participant may receive rental assistance. The recipient may also require program participants to share in the costs of rent.

(c) Use with other subsidies. Except for a one-time payment of rental arrears on the tenant's portion of the rental payment, rental assistance cannot be provided to a program participant who is receiving tenant-based rental assistance, or living in a housing unit receiving project-based rental assistance or operating assistance, through other public sources. Rental assistance may not be provided to a program participant who has been provided with replacement housing payments under the URA during the period of time covered by the URA payments.

(d) Rent restrictions.

(1) Rental assistance cannot be provided unless the rent does not exceed the Fair Market Rent established by HUD, as provided under 24 CFR part 888, and complies with HUD's standard of rent reasonableness, as established under 24 CFR 982.507.

(2) For purposes of calculating rent under this section, the rent shall equal the sum of the total monthly rent for the unit, any fees required for occupancy under the lease (other than late fees and pet fees) and, if the tenant pays separately for utilities, the monthly allowance for utilities (excluding telephone) established by the public housing authority for the area in which the housing is located.

(e) Rental assistance agreement. The recipient or subrecipient may make rental assistance payments only to an owner with whom the recipient or subrecipient has entered into a rental assistance agreement. The rental assistance agreement must set forth the terms under which rental assistance will be provided, including the requirements that apply under this section. The rental assistance agreement must provide that, during the term of the agreement, the owner must give the recipient or subrecipient a copy of any notice to the program participant to vacate the housing unit or any complaint used under State or local law to commence an eviction action against the program participant. Each rental assistance agreement that is executed or renewed on or after December 16, 2016 must include all protections that apply to tenants and applicants under 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, as supplemented by § 576.409, except for the emergency transfer plan requirements under 24 CFR 5.2005(e) and 576.409(d). If the housing is not assisted under another “covered housing program”, as defined in 24 CFR 5.2003, the agreement may provide that the owner's obligations under 24 CFR part 5, subpart L (Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking), expire at the end of the rental assistance period.

(f) Late payments. The recipient or subrecipient must make timely payments to each owner in accordance with the rental assistance agreement. The rental assistance agreement must contain the same payment due date, grace period, and late payment penalty requirements as the program participant's lease. The recipient or subrecipient is solely responsible for paying late payment penalties that it incurs with non-ESG funds.

(g) Lease. Each program participant receiving rental assistance must have a legally binding, written lease for the rental unit, unless the assistance is solely for rental arrears. The lease must be between the owner and the program participant. Where the assistance is solely for rental arrears, an oral agreement may be accepted in place of a written lease, if the agreement gives the program participant an enforceable leasehold interest under state law and the agreement and rent owed are sufficiently documented by the owner's financial records, rent ledgers, or canceled checks. For program participants living in housing with project-based rental assistance under paragraph (i) of this section, the lease must have an initial term of 1 year. Each lease executed on or after December 16, 2016 must include a lease provision or incorporate a lease addendum that includes all requirements that apply to tenants, the owner or lease under 24 CFR part 5, subpart L (Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking), as supplemented by 24 CFR 576.409, including the prohibited bases for eviction and restrictions on construing lease terms under 24 CFR 5.2005(b) and (c). If the housing is not assisted under another “covered housing program,” as defined in 24 CFR 5.2003, the lease provision or lease addendum may be written to expire at the end of the rental assistance period.

(h) Tenant-based rental assistance.

(1) A program participant who receives tenant-based rental assistance may select a housing unit in which to live and may move to another unit or building and continue to receive rental assistance, as long as the program participant continues to meet the program requirements.

(2) The recipient may require that all program participants live within a particular area for the period in which the rental assistance is provided.

(3) The rental assistance agreement with the owner must terminate and no further rental assistance payments under that agreement may be made if:

(i) The program participant moves out of the housing unit for which the program participant has a lease;

(ii) The lease terminates and is not renewed; or

(iii) The program participant becomes ineligible to receive ESG rental assistance.

(i) Project-based rental assistance. If the recipient or subrecipient identifies a permanent housing unit that meets ESG requirements and becomes available before a program participant is identified to lease the unit, the recipient or subrecipient may enter into a rental assistance agreement with the owner to reserve the unit and subsidize its rent in accordance with the following requirements:

(1) The rental assistance agreement may cover one or more permanent housing units in the same building. Each unit covered by the rental assistance agreement (“assisted unit”) may only be occupied by program participants, except as provided under paragraph (i)(4) of this section.

(2) The recipient or subrecipient may pay up to 100 percent of the first month's rent, provided that a program participant signs a lease and moves into the unit before the end of the month for which the first month's rent is paid. The rent paid before a program participant moves into the unit must not exceed the rent to be charged under the program participant's lease and must be included when determining that program participant's total rental assistance.

(3) The recipient or subrecipient may make monthly rental assistance payments only for each whole or partial month an assisted unit is leased to a program participant. When a program participant moves out of an assisted unit, the recipient or subrecipient may pay the next month's rent, i.e., the first month's rent for a new program participant, as provided in paragraph (i)(2) of this section.

(4) The program participant's lease must not condition the term of occupancy to the provision of rental assistance payments. If the program participant is determined ineligible or reaches the maximum number of months over which rental assistance can be provided, the recipient or subrecipient must suspend or terminate the rental assistance payments for the unit. If the payments are suspended, the individual or family may remain in the assisted unit as permitted under the lease, and the recipient or subrecipient may resume payments if the individual or family again becomes eligible and needs further rental assistance. If the payments are terminated, the rental assistance may be transferred to another available unit in the same building, provided that the other unit meets all ESG requirements.

(5) The rental assistance agreement must have an initial term of one year. When a new program participant moves into an assisted unit, the term of the rental assistance agreement may be extended to cover the initial term of the program participant's lease. If the program participant's lease is renewed, the rental assistance agreement may be renewed or extended, as needed, up to the maximum number of months for which the program participant remains eligible. However, under no circumstances may the recipient or subrecipient commit ESG funds to be expended beyond the expenditure deadline in § 576.203 or commit funds for a future ESG grant before the grant is awarded.

(j) Changes in household composition. The limits on the assistance under this section apply to the total assistance an individual receives, either as an individual or as part of a family.

[76 FR 75974, Dec. 5, 2011,, as amended at 81 FR 80808, Nov. 16, 2016]