Shared housing in the Housing Choice Voucher program

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued guidance regarding use of Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) in shared housing.  Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) may allow shared housing.  PHAs must allow shared housing as a reasonable accommodation to allow the HCV program to be used by persons with disabilities.

Assisted families can share a unit with either HCV assisted persons or unassisted persons.  The owner of the property can reside in the unit but housing assistance cannot be paid on the owner’s behalf.  A resident owner cannot be related to the assisted family by blood or marriage except as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability.  If approved by the PHA, a live-in aid may reside with the family to care for a person with disabilities.

The entire unit must meet Housing Quality Standards to be approved for shared housing.

The payment standard for a family in shared housing is the lower of the PHA’s payment standard for the family unit size or the pro-rata share of the PHA’s payment standard for the shared housing unit size.  The Housing Assistance Payment in shared housing is the lower of the payment standard minus the total tenant payment or the gross rent minus the total tenant payment.  The utility allowance for an assisted family in shared housing is the pro-rata share of the utility allowance for the shared housing unit.  (PIH Notice 2021-05, January 15, 2021.)