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Why Do It?

Why Determine Income and Allowances

One of the primary purposes of the HOME Program is to expand the supply of decent and affordable housing for low-income and very-low income Americans. In order to accomplish this objective, HUD and its partners must ensure that HOME funds are used effectively by targeting households that are eligible for assistance.

Therefore, PJs and nonprofit organizations implementing HOME programs must calculate the income of applicants to HOME-funded programs. These income calculations then have several uses under the HOME Program, including:

    1. Determining whether a household is eligible to participate in a HOME program;

    2. Determining the amount of TBRA subsidy an eligible household can receive;

    3. Complying with targeting requirements in rental housing and TBRA programs;

    4. Complying with occupancy requirements in rental projects; and

    5. Determining assistance to families displaced as a result of HOME-funded activities.

Click on each of the underlined key words above for a description of the HOME Program requirements related to income calculations.

Note that HOME Program rules, effective as of October 1996, allow PJs to use one of three definitions of "annual income" to calculate the income of program applicants.

The three definitions of "annual income" that PJs may use to determine the eligibility of applicants are presented in detail in the Three Definitions of Income topic of this module.

Program Eligibility

In order to receive HOME assistance, households must have incomes at or below the Section 8 Low Income Limit. (This is generally 80 percent of the area median family income, adjusted by household size).
To determine whether a household is eligible, their annual income - as determined using one of the income definitions described in this module - is compared with the Section 8 Low Income Limit.
For HOME-funded TBRA programs and rental projects, income eligibility and assistance amounts must be re-established on an annual basis.

Subsidy Amounts

TBRA subsidy amounts
For HOME-funded tenant-based rental assistance programs, annual income is used to determine program eligibility and adjusted income is used to determine the amount of subsidy an eligible household can receive.
For HOME-funded TBRA programs and rental projects, income eligibility and assistance amounts must be re-established on an annual basis.

Targeting of Funds

For each annual HOME allocation received by a PJ, 90 percent of the

    • occupants of HOME-funded rental housing units
      and
    • households assisted with TBRA.

Must have annual incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income.
For HOME-funded TBRA programs and rental projects, income eligibility and assistance amounts must be re-established on an annual basis.

Occupancy of Rental Projects

In addition to program targeting requirements, at least 20 percent of the HOME-assisted units in rental projects with five or more HOME-assisted units must be occupied by households with incomes at or below 50 percent of the area median income.

For HOME-funded TBRA programs and rental projects, income eligibility and assistance amounts must be re-established on an annual basis.

Displacement Activities

Income calculations are also used to determine assistance to families who may be displaced as a result of HOME-funded activities.

The HOME Front's Relocation: "Just in Time" Assistance module describes the calculation of relocation assistance payments in detail, in addition to covering general relocation and acquisition requirements.