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Be Heard: HUD Proposes Small Area FMRs for Some Regions


HUD has released a proposed rule to use 40th percentile Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) instead of 50th percentile Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for certain metropolitan areas. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program uses FMRs to establish maximum allowable rents the government will pay to a private apartment owner who rents to a family with a voucher. The proposal calls for certain areas to use the SAFMRs, versus the FMRs, methodology. This means that FMR would be set by the ZIP code and not by the metropolitan area.

ZIP Code Chart: Find Out the Impact of HUD's Proposed Rent Change

NAA/NMHC joined a coalition of real estate industry groups to ask HUD Secretary Julián Castro to extend the comment period.

Members who have had experience with SAFMRs and/or FMRs, or who have general comments, should email NMHC’s Caitlin Walter by June 19.

Several areas currently use SAFMRs instead of FMRs. The FMRs 50th percentile methodology has been criticized as not furthering efforts to de-concentrate poverty. Ultimately, HUD argues that 40th percentile SAFMRs have made more progress towards that goal.

The 50th percentile methodology is used, instead of the 40th percentile, if an area contains at least 100 Census tracts. The area must also have a concentration of voucher participants and affordable housing in a small portion of the overall area. The following areas are 50th percentile areas, and if no changes to areas were made by HUD, would begin using the SAFMR methodology based on the proposal:

  • Albuquerque, N.M. Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. HUD Metro FMR Area
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla. HUD Metro FMR Area
  • Honolulu, Hawaii Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • Baltimore-Towson, Md. HUD Metro FMR Area
  • Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colo. Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. HUD Metro FMR Area
  • Kansas City, MO-Kansas HUD Metro FMR Area
  • New Haven-Meriden, Conn HUD Metro FMR Area
  • Richmond, Va. HUD Metro FMR Area
  • Tacoma, Wash. HUD Metro FMR Area
  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla. HUD Metro FMR Area

Provided by NMHC as part of the NAA/NMHC Joint Legislative Program