HUD PIH Posts HOTMA Fact Sheets Tailored to Residents

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted fact sheets tailored to public housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) households addressing new asset limits and income calculations, including income deductions for certain health, medical, and childcare costs. The changes addressed in the fact sheets resulted from the passage of the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016” (HOTMA). Separate worksheets have been made available to help residents calculate whether they exceed the asset and income limits and to explain how to take into account student financial aid. PIH also released two video trainings, one on income calculations and reviews and the other on asset limits. The materials are available in English and Spanish.

The fact sheet addressing income calculation provides examples of “earned income” (e.g. wages) and “unearned income” (e.g. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)) and lists common sources of income that are not included when calculating a household’s adjusted income. If a household’s income declines by 10% or more before a regular annual income recertification, then the public housing agency (PHA) must conduct an interim income “review” (sometimes called a “recertification” or “reexamination”). The separate worksheet can help a household figure out whether an interim income review is appropriate. The fact sheet and worksheet also discuss cases in which a household’s income (either earned or unearned) increases by more than 10%. PIH urges residents to report a decrease in income as soon as it happens in order that they may pay less rent the next time rent is due. The fact sheet does not mention that a PHA must retroactively lower rents – that is, to return the rate to the rate in the month a decrease in income was first experienced rather than wait for the first month after the PHA has conducted an income review – if a household did not immediately report the income reduction yet reported the decrease within the timeframe established in a PHA’s written policies.

The fact sheet addressing asset and real property limits explains that residents may not have assets of more than $100,000 or own a home that they could live in (see Memo, 2/12). However, there are many exceptions regarding assets and real property ownership. The most common exceptions are listed in the fact sheet. For example, a car that is necessary for getting or conducting a job does not count as an asset, nor does money in a retirement plan. PIH states that most households will not be impacted. The asset and real property limits apply to all households applying for public housing or HCVs. For households already living in public housing or using an HCV, PHAs have several options when an annual or interim review determines that a household exceeds the asset limits, including not enforcing the limits or providing a household with time to comply – for example, by transferring money into a retirement account.

Find PIH’s HOTMA Income and Assets webpage on the HUD Exchange at:

Explore other PIH HOTMA resources at:

NLIHC’s entries in the 2024 Advocates’ Guide for public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers include information about HOTMA provisions.