Understanding HUD’s Revised Section 8 Income Limits

Posted On: January 11, 2024

The revised Section 8 income limits suggest a new approach for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The agency announced the change this week.

The Federal Register recently published a document detailing HUD’s modifications to the Section 8 income limit calculations. A notable change is the implementation of a 10% cap on annual increases in these limits. This move aims to better align the adjustments with real income growth trends and control escalating rents in low-income housing areas, particularly those supported by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).

You can find current Income Limits here.

COVID-19 prompted 2023 change

HUD used a different approach to determining income limits in 2023. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacting ACS 2020 data collection, HUD skipped using this data for the 2023 income limits. Instead, they used ACS 2021 data. Moving forward, HUD intends to maintain a two-year gap between the ACS data year and the fiscal year for income limits. For FY 2024, ACS 2022 data will be used.

revised section 8 income limits
This is a screenshot from the Federal Register [Docket No. FR–6436–N–01].

For a comprehensive overview of these changes, refer to the detailed document on the Federal Register.

What the revised Section 8 income limits mean for you

For housing owners and agents, the revised Section 8 limits are crucial. The new cap means recalibrating income eligibility assessments and rent calculations for tenants. The implications are twofold: it could lead to more stable rent adjustments, offering predictability, but it might also necessitate reevaluating financial strategies to remain compliant and efficient under these new regulations.

A new definition

In addition, HUD plans to refine the definition of “national median family income,” a key factor in setting income limits. This precision will likely lead to more accurate and fair assessments of tenant eligibility and rent expectations.

Tell HUD what you think.

HUD will release the 2024 income limits on or around April 1. In the meantime, HUD is inviting you to comment on the changes. The agency primarily seeks to address key questions regarding revising Section 8 income limits. These questions focus on the effectiveness and impact of the proposed 10% cap on annual income limit increases, the accuracy of the ‘national median family income’ definition, and the overall implications for low-income housing markets, particularly those associated with LIHTC. The goal is to ensure these changes align with real income trends and maintain affordability in low-income housing.

The comment period is open through February 8, 2024.

By Mail: Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410–0500

Electronic Submission: Via the Federal Rulemaking Portal

An essential shift

These changes by HUD mark an essential shift in the management and operation of Section 8 housing. Owners and agents must stay informed and prepared to adjust their processes in response. As always, thorough understanding and compliance with HUD regulations remain pivotal in providing affordable, quality housing.

You can find the full document here: Federal Register.

Find current income limits here.


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