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HUD Proposes Expansion of Expense Deductions and Income Disregard

Estimates concerning unemployment indicate that the unemployment rate among persons with significant disabilities is in the range of 70% to 75%, among the highest of disadvantaged groups in the nation. The availability of accessible, affordable housing and the location of that housing can be the key to persons with disabilities in obtaining employment.

Proposed Rule

The Department Of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) has identified two changes that it can make through rulemaking that HUD believes will encourage and facilitate employment of persons with disabilities. A proposed rule was published in the August 21st Federal Register, and comments are due on October 20.

The Department Of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) is proposing to expand the:

(1) applicability of certain expense deductions that currently apply only to Section 8 and public housing, and

(2) earned income disregard that applies only to public housing.

Extending The Applicability Of Certain Mandatory Deductions In Calculating Family Adjusted Income

The first amendment proposed involves extending the applicability of certain mandatory deductions in calculating family adjusted income to HUD programs that serve persons with disabilities. These mandatory deductions include:

disability-related expenses, including medical expenses and attendant care expenses, as well as child-care expenses, and other expenses that would benefit persons with disabilities.

The HUD programs to which these deductions, would be applicable are:

  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME Program)
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
  • Rent Supplement Payments Program
  • Rental Assistance Payments Program
  • Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly
  • Section 202 Direct Loans for Housing for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities
  • Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities
  • The Shelter Plus Care Program, and the Supportive Housing Program (McKinney Act Homeless Assistance)
As this list of HUD programs reflects, many of the programs are not directed to providing assistance only to persons with disabilities, but persons with disabilities are included in the populations served by these programs.

Expand The Earned Income Disregard

The second amendment proposed is to expand the ``earned income disregard'' that is now applicable only to HUD's public housing program to the calculation of income for persons with disabilities in four HUD programs that statutorily permit this expansion. The four HUD programs for which HUD has the authority to implement the earned income disregard for persons with disabilities are:

HOME, The Housing Choice Voucher Program (which is the merged Section 8 certificate and voucher programs, the Section 8 tenant-based programs), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), and Supportive Housing Program (McKinney Act Homeless Assistance).

In extending the earned-income disregard to these four HUD programs, HUD recognizes that the Public Housing Reform Act specifically directed the earned-income disregard to be applied to public housing. HUD is therefore extending the earned-income disregard to the four programs identified above that provide for Section 8 tenant-based rental assistance. HUD is limiting the extension of the earned-income disregard, to persons with disabilities, the group served by HUD with the highest unemployment rate.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposed rule. For more details view the Proposed Rule at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a000821c.html