What is HAP anyway?

Housing Authorities have their own set of terms and abbreviations that can be difficult to understand. We speak the lingo, and sometimes forget that you might not know what we mean. We have created this list of acronyms, terms, and definitions to help you understand what we (and other housing authorities) are saying.

Acronyms Used in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program

  • AAF Annual adjustment factor (published by HUD in the Federal Register and used to compute annual rent adjustments)

    ACC Annual contributions contract

    ADA Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

    AIDS Acquired immune deficiency syndrome

  • BR Bedroom

  • CDBG Community Development Block Grant (Program)

    CFR Code of Federal Regulations (published federal rules that define and implement laws; commonly referred to as “the regulations”)

    CPI Consumer price index (published monthly by the Department of Labor as an inflation indicator)

  • EID Earned income disallowance

    EIV Enterprise Income Verification

  • FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

    FHA Federal Housing Administration (HUD Office of Housing)

    FHEO Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (HUD Office of)

    FICA Federal Insurance Contributions Act (established Social Security taxes)

    FMR Fair market rent

    FR Federal Register

    FSS Family Self-Sufficiency (Program)

    FY Fiscal year

    FYE Fiscal year end

  • GAO Government Accountability Office 

    GR Gross rent

  • HA Housing authority or housing agency 

    HAP Housing assistance payment

    HCV Housing choice voucher

    HQS Housing quality standards

    HUD Department of Housing and Urban Development

    HUDCLIPS HUD Client Information and Policy System

  • IPA Independent public accountant 

    IRA Individual retirement account

    IRS Internal Revenue Service

  • JTPA Job Training Partnership Act 

  • LBP Lead-based paint 

    LEP Limited English proficiency

  • MSA Metropolitan statistical area (established by the U.S. Census Bureau) 

    MTCS Multi-Family Tenant Characteristics System (now the Form HUD-50058 submodule of the PIC system)

    MTW Moving to Work

  • NOFA Notice of funding availability 

  • OGC HUD's Office of General Counsel 

    OIG HUD’s Office of Inspector General

    OMB Office of Management and Budget

  • PASS Plan to Achieve Self-Support 

    PHA Public housing agency

    PIC PIH Information Center

    PIH (HUD Office of) Public and Indian Housing PS Payment standard

  • QC Quality control

    QHWRA Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (also known as the Public Housing Reform Act)

  • RAD Rental Assistance Demonstration 

    REAC (HUD) Real Estate Assessment Center

    RFP Request for proposals

    RFTA Request for tenancy approval

    RIGI Regional inspector general for investigation (handles fraud and program abuse matters for HUD at the regional office level)

  • SEMAP Section 8 Management Assessment Program 

    SRO Single room occupancy

    SSA Social Security Administration

    SSI Supplemental security income

    SWICA State wage information collection agency

  • TANF Temporary assistance for needy families 

    TPV Tenant protection vouchers

    TR Tenant rent

    TTP Total tenant payment

  • UA Utility allowance 

    UFAS Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards

    UIV Upfront income verification

    URP Utility reimbursement payment

  • VAWA Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013



Glossary of Subsidized Housing Terms

    • Absorption. In portability (under subpart H of this part 982): the point at which a receiving PHA stops billing the initial PHA for assistance on behalf of a portability family. The receiving PHA uses funds available under the receiving PHA consolidated ACC.

    • Accessible. The facility or portion of the facility can be approached, entered, and used by persons with disabilities.

    • Adjusted income. Annual income, less allowable HUD deductions and allowances.

    • Administrative fee. Fee paid by HUD to the PHA for administration of the program. See §982.152.

    • Administrative plan. The plan that describes PHA policies for administration of the tenant-based programs. The Administrative Plan and any revisions must be approved by the PHA’s board and included as a supporting document to the PHA Plan. See §982.54.

    • Admission. The point when the family becomes a participant in the program. The date used for this purpose is the effective date of the first HAP contract for a family (first day of initial lease term) in a tenant-based program.

    • Affiliated individual. With respect to an individual, a spouse, parent, brother, sister, or child of that individual, or an individual to whom that individual stands in loco parentis (in the place of a parent), or any individual, tenant, or lawful occupant living in the household of that individual.

    • Amortization payment. In a manufactured home space rental: The monthly debt service payment by the family to amortize the purchase price of the manufactured home.

    • Annual. Happening once a year.

    • Annual contributions contract (ACC). The written contract between HUD and a PHA under which HUD agrees to provide funding for a program under the 1937 Act, and the PHA agrees to comply with HUD requirements for the program.

    • Annual income. The anticipated total income of an eligible family from all sources for the 12-month period following the date of determination of income, computed in accordance with the regulations.

    • Applicant (applicant family). A family that has applied for admission to a program but is not yet a participant in the program.

    • Area exception rent. An amount that exceeds the published FMR. See 24 CFR 982.504(b). 

    • As-paid states. States where the welfare agency adjusts the shelter and utility component of the welfare grant in accordance with actual housing costs.

    • Assets (Net family assets). Net cash value after deducting reasonable costs that would be incurred in disposing of real property, savings, stocks, bonds, and other forms of capital investment, excluding interests in Indian trust land and excluding equity accounts in HUD homeownership programs. The value of necessary items of personal property such as furniture and automobiles shall be excluded.  

      1. In cases where a trust fund has been established and the trust is not revocable by, or under the control of, any member of the family or household, the value of the trust fund will not be considered an asset so long as the fund continues to be held in trust. Any income distributed from the trust fund shall be counted when determining annual income under §5.609.
      2. In determining net family assets, PHAs or owners, as applicable, shall include the value of any business or family assets disposed of by an applicant or tenant for less than fair market value (including a disposition in trust, but not in a foreclosure or bankruptcy sale) during the two years preceding the date of application for the program or reexamination, as applicable, in excess of the consideration received therefore. In the case of a disposition as part of a separation or divorce settlement, the disposition will not be considered to be for less than fair market value if the applicant or tenant receives important consideration not measurable in dollar terms.

    • Auxiliary aids. Services or devices that enable persons with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

    • Biennial. Happening every two years.

    • Bifurcate. With respect to a public housing or Section 8 lease, to divide a lease as a matter of law such that certain tenants can be evicted or removed while the remaining family members’ lease and occupancy rights are allowed to remain intact.

    • Budget authority. An amount authorized and appropriated by the Congress for payment to PHAs under the program. For each funding increment in a PHA program, budget authority is the maximum amount that may be paid by HUD to the PHA over the ACC term of the funding increment. 

    • Child. A member of the family other than the family head or spouse who is under 18 years of age. 

    • Child care expenses. Amounts anticipated to be paid by the family for the care of children under 13 years of age during the period for which annual income is computed, but only where such care is necessary to enable a family member to actively seek employment, be gainfully employed, or to further his or her education and only to the extent such amounts are not reimbursed. The amount deducted shall reflect reasonable charges for child care. In the case of child care necessary to permit employment, the amount deducted shall not exceed the amount of employment income that is included in annual income.

    • Citizen. A citizen or national of the United States. 

    • Cohead. An individual in the household who is equally responsible for the lease with the head of household. A family may have a cohead or spouse but not both. A cohead never qualifies as a dependent. The cohead must have legal capacity to enter into a lease. 

    • Common space. In shared housing, the space available for use by the assisted family and other occupants of the unit. 

    • Computer match. The automated comparison of databases containing records about individuals. 

    • Confirmatory review. An on-site review performed by HUD to verify the management performance of a PHA. 

    • Consent form. Any consent form approved by HUD to be signed by assistance applicants and participants to obtain income information from employers and SWICAs; return information from the Social Security Administration (including wages, net earnings from selfemployment, and retirement income); and return information for unearned income from the IRS. Consent forms expire after a certain time and may authorize the collection of other information to determine eligibility or level of benefits. 

    • Congregate housing. Housing for elderly persons or persons with disabilities that meets the HQS for congregate housing. A special housing type: see 24 CFR 982.606–609. 

    • Contiguous MSA. In portability (under subpart H of part 982): An MSA that shares a common boundary with the MSA in which the jurisdiction of the initial PHA is located. 

    • Continuously assisted. An applicant is continuously assisted under the 1937 Act if the family is already receiving assistance under any 1937 Housing Act program when the family is admitted to the voucher program. 

    • Contract authority. The maximum annual payment by HUD to a PHA for a funding increment.

    • Cooperative (term includes mutual housing). Housing owned by a nonprofit corporation or association, and where a member of the corporation or association has the right to reside in a particular apartment, and to participate in management of the housing. A special housing type (see 24 CFR 982.619). 

    • Covered families. Statutory term for families who are required to participate in a welfare agency economic self-sufficiency program and who may be subject to a welfare benefit sanction for noncompliance with this obligation. Includes families who receive welfare assistance or other public assistance under a program for which federal, state or local law requires that a member of the family must participate in an economic self-sufficiency program as a condition for the assistance. 

    • Dating violence. Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

      • The length of the relationship
      • The type of relationship
      • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship 

    • Dependent. A member of the family (except foster children and foster adults) other than the family head or spouse, who is under 18 years of age, or is a person with a disability, or is a full-time student. 

    • Dependent child. In the context of the student eligibility restrictions, a dependent child of a student enrolled in an institution of higher education. The dependent child must also meet the definition of dependent as specified above. 

    • Disability assistance expenses. Reasonable expenses that are anticipated, during the period for which annual income is computed, for attendant care and auxiliary apparatus for a disabled family member, and that are necessary to enable a family member (including the disabled member) to be employed, provided that the expenses are neither paid to a member of the family nor reimbursed by an outside source. 

    • Disabled family. A family whose head, cohead, spouse, or sole member is a person with disabilities; two or more persons with disabilities living together; or one or more persons with disabilities living with one or more live-in aides.

    • Disabled person. (Person with disabilities) 

      For the purposes of program eligibility. A person who has a disability as defined under the Social Security Act or Developmental Disabilities Care Act, or a person who has a physical or mental impairment expected to be of long and indefinite duration and whose ability to live independently is substantially impeded by that impairment but could be improved by more suitable housing conditions. This includes persons with AIDS or conditions arising from AIDS but excludes persons whose disability is based solely on drug or alcohol dependence.

      For the purposes of reasonable accommodation. A person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person regarded as having such an impairment, or a person with a record of such an impairment.

    • Disallowance. Exclusion from annual income. 

    • Displaced family. A family in which each member, or whose sole member, is a person displaced by governmental action, or a person whose dwelling has been extensively damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster declared or otherwise formally recognized pursuant to federal disaster relief laws. 

    • Domestic violence. Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

    • Domicile. The legal residence of the household head or spouse as determined in accordance with state and local law. 

    • Drug-related criminal activity. The illegal manufacture, sale, distribution, or use of a drug, or the possession of a drug with intent to manufacture, sell, distribute, or use the drug. 

    • Economic self-sufficiency program. Any program designed to encourage, assist, train or facilitate the economic independence of assisted families, or to provide work for such families. Can include job training, employment counseling, work placement, basic skills training, education, English proficiency, Workfare, financial or household management, apprenticeship, or any other program necessary to ready a participant to work (such as treatment for drug abuse or mental health treatment). Includes any work activities as defined in the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 607(d)). Also see 24 CFR 5.603(c). 

    • Elderly family. A family whose head, cohead, spouse, or sole member is a person who is at least 62 years of age; two or more persons who are at least 62 years of age living together; or one or more persons who are at least 62 years of age living with one or more live-in aides. 

    • Elderly person. An individual who is at least 62 years of age. 

    • Eligible family. A family that is income eligible and meets the other requirements of the 1937 Act and Part 5 of 24 CFR. See also family

    • Employer identification number (EIN). The nine-digit taxpayer identifying number that is assigned to an individual, trust, estate, partnership, association, company, or corporation. 

    • Evidence of citizenship or eligible status. The documents which must be submitted as evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status. See 24 CFR 5.508(b)

    • Extremely low-income family. A family whose annual income does not exceed the federal poverty level or 30 percent of the median income for the area, whichever number is higher. Area median income is determined by HUD, with adjustments for smaller and larger families. HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 30 percent of median income if HUD finds such variations are necessary due to unusually high or low family incomes. See 24 CFR 5.603. 

    • Facility. All or any portion of buildings, structures, equipment, roads, walks, parking lots, rolling stock, or other real or personal property or interest in the property. 

    • Fair Housing Act. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988. 

    • Fair market rent (FMR). The rent, including the cost of utilities (except telephone), as established by HUD for units of varying sizes (by number of bedrooms), that must be paid in the housing market area to rent privately owned, existing, decent, safe, and sanitary rental housing of modest (non-luxury) nature with suitable amenities. See periodic publications in the Federal Register in accordance with 24 CFR Part 888.

    • Family. Includes but is not limited to the following, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, and can be further defined in PHA policy.

      1. A family with or without children (the temporary absence of a child from the home due to placement in foster care is not considered in determining family composition and family size)
      2. An elderly family or a near-elderly family
      3. A displaced family
      4. The remaining member of a tenant family
      5. A single person who is not an elderly or displaced person, or a person with disabilities, or the remaining member of a tenant family. 

    • Family rent to owner. In the voucher program, the portion of rent to owner paid by the family. 

    • Family self-sufficiency program (FSS program). The program established by a PHA in accordance with 24 CFR part 984 to promote self-sufficiency of assisted families, including the coordination of supportive services (42 U.S.C. 1437u). 

    • Family share. The portion of rent and utilities paid by the family. For calculation of family share, see 24 CFR 982.515(a).

    • Family unit size. The appropriate number of bedrooms for a family, as determined by the PHA under the PHA subsidy standards. 

    • Federal agency. A department of the executive branch of the federal government. 

    • Foster child care payment. A payment to eligible households by state, local, or private agencies appointed by the state to administer payments for the care of foster children. 

    • Full-time student. A person who is attending school or vocational training on a full-time basis (carrying a subject load that is considered full-time for day students under the standards and practices of the educational institution attended). See 24 CFR 5.603

    • Funding increment. Each commitment of budget authority by HUD to a PHA under the consolidated annual contributions contract for the PHA program. 

    • Gender identity. Actual or perceived gender-related characteristics. 

    • Gross rent. The sum of the rent to owner plus any utility allowance. 

    • Group home. A dwelling unit that is licensed by a state as a group home for the exclusive residential use of two to twelve persons who are elderly or persons with disabilities (including any live-in aide). (A special housing type: see 24 CFR 982.610–614.) 

    • Handicap. Any condition or characteristic that renders a person an individual with handicaps. (See person with disabilities.) 

    • HAP contract. The housing assistance payments contract. A written contract between the PHA and an owner for the purpose of providing housing assistance payments to the owner on behalf of an eligible family. 

    • Head of household. The adult member of the family who is the head of the household for purposes of determining income eligibility and rent.

    • Household. A household includes additional people other than the family who, with the PHA’s permission, live in an assisted unit, such as live-in aides, foster children, and foster adults. 

    • Housing assistance payment. The monthly assistance payment by a PHA, which includes: (1) A payment to the owner for rent to the owner under the family's lease; and (2) An additional payment to the family if the total assistance payment exceeds the rent to owner. 

    • Housing agency (HA). (See public housing agency.) Any state, county, municipality, or other governmental entity or public body, or agency or instrumentality of these entities, that is authorized to engage or assist in the development or operation of low-income housing under the 1937 Act.

    • Housing quality standards (HQS). The HUD minimum quality standards for housing assisted under the voucher program. 

    • HUD. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    • Imputed asset. An asset disposed of for less than fair market value during the two years preceding examination or reexamination

    • Imputed asset income. The PHA-established passbook rate multiplied by the total cash value of assets. The calculation is used when net family assets exceed $5,000.

    • Imputed welfare income. An amount of annual income that is not actually received by a family as a result of a specified welfare benefit reduction, but is included in the family’s annual income and therefore reflected in the family’s rental contribution.

    • Income. Income from all sources of each member of the household, as determined in accordance with criteria established by HUD.

    • Income for eligibility. Annual income.

    • Income information means information relating to an individual’s income, including:

      • All employment income information known to current or previous employers or other income sources
      • All information about wages, as defined in the state's unemployment compensation law, including any social security number; name of the employee; quarterly wages of the employee; and the name, full address, telephone number, and, when known, employer identification number of an employer reporting wages under a state unemployment compensation law
      • Whether an individual is receiving, has received, or has applied for unemployment compensation, and the amount and the period received
      • Unearned IRS income and self-employment, wages, and retirement income
      • Wage, social security, and supplemental security income data obtained from the Social Security Administration

    • Individual with handicaps. (Person with disabilities.)

      For the purposes of program eligibility. A person who has a disability as defined under the Social Security Act or Developmental Disabilities Care Act, or a person who has a physical or mental impairment expected to be of long and indefinite duration and whose ability to live independently is substantially impeded by that impairment but could be improved by more suitable housing conditions. This includes persons with AIDS or conditions arising from AIDS but excludes persons whose disability is based solely on drug or alcohol dependence.

      For the purposes of reasonable accommodation. A person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person regarded as having such an impairment, or a person with a record of such an impairment.

    • Initial PHA. In portability, the term refers to both: (1) A PHA that originally selected a family that later decides to move out of the jurisdiction of the selecting PHA; and (2) A PHA that absorbed a family that later decides to move out of the jurisdiction of the absorbing PHA.

    • Initial payment standard. The payment standard at the beginning of the HAP contract term.

    • Initial rent to owner. The rent to owner at the beginning of the HAP contract term.

    • Institution of higher education. An institution of higher education as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002. See Exhibit 3-2 in the Administrative PlanAdministrative Plan.

    • Jurisdiction. The area in which the PHA has authority under state and local law to administer the program.

    • Landlord. Either the owner of the property or his/her representative, or the managing agent or his/her representative, as shall be designated by the owner.

    • Lease. A written agreement between an owner and a tenant for the leasing of a dwelling unit to the tenant. The lease establishes the conditions for occupancy of the dwelling unit by a family with housing assistance payments under a HAP contract between the owner and the PHA.

    • Live-in aide. A person who resides with one or more elderly persons, or near-elderly persons, or persons with disabilities, and who:

      • Is determined to be essential to the care and well-being of the persons;
      • Is not obligated for the support of the persons; and
      • Would not be living in the unit except to provide the necessary supportive services.

    • Living/sleeping room. A living room may be used as sleeping (bedroom) space, but no more than two persons may occupy the space. A bedroom or living/sleeping room must have at least one window and two electrical outlets in proper operating condition. See HCV GB p. 10-6 and 24 CFR 982.401.

    • Local preference. A preference used by the PHA to select among applicant families.

    • Low-income family. A family whose income does not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area as determined by HUD with adjustments for smaller or larger families, except that HUD may establish income limits higher or lower than 80 percent for areas with unusually high or low incomes.

    • Manufactured home. A manufactured structure that is built on a permanent chassis, is designed for use as a principal place of residence, and meets the HQS. (A special housing type: see 24 CFR 982.620 and 982.621.) 

    • Manufactured home space. In manufactured home space rental: A space leased by an owner to a family. A manufactured home owned and occupied by the family is located on the space. See 24 CFR 982.622 to 982.624. 

    • Medical expenses. Medical expenses, including medical insurance premiums, that are anticipated during the period for which annual income is computed, and that are not covered by insurance (a deduction for elderly or disabled families only). These allowances are given when calculating adjusted income for medical expenses in excess of 3 percent of annual income. 

    • Minor. A member of the family household other than the family head or spouse, who is under 18 years of age. 

    • Mixed family. A family whose members include those with citizenship or eligible immigration status, and those without citizenship or eligible immigration status.

    • Monthly adjusted income. One twelfth of adjusted income. 

    • Monthly income. One twelfth of annual income. 

    • Mutual housing. Included in the definition of cooperative.

    • National. A person who owes permanent allegiance to the United States, for example, as a result of birth in a United States territory or possession.

    • Near-elderly family. A family whose head, spouse, or sole member is a person who is at least 50 years of age but below the age of 62; or two or more persons, who are at least 50 years of age but below the age of 62, living together; or one or more persons who are at least 50 years of age but below the age of 62 living with one or more live-in aides.

    • Net family assets. (1) Net cash value after deducting reasonable costs that would be incurred in disposing of real property, savings, stocks, bonds, and other forms of capital investment, excluding interests in Indian trust land and excluding equity accounts in HUD homeownership programs. The value of necessary items of personal property such as furniture and automobiles shall be excluded.

      In cases where a trust fund has been established and the trust is not revocable by, or under the control of, any member of the family or household, the value of the trust fund will not be considered an asset so long as the fund continues to be held in trust. Any income distributed from the trust fund shall be counted when determining annual income under §5.609.

      In determining net family assets, PHAs or owners, as applicable, shall include the value of any business or family assets disposed of by an applicant or tenant for less than fair market value (including a disposition in trust, but not in a foreclosure or bankruptcy sale) during the two years preceding the date of application for the program or reexamination, as applicable, in excess of the consideration received therefore. In the case of a disposition as part of a separation or divorce settlement, the disposition will not be considered to be for less than fair market value if the applicant or tenant receives important consideration not measurable in dollar terms. 

    • Noncitizen. A person who is neither a citizen nor national of the United States.

    • Notice of funding availability (NOFA). For budget authority that HUD distributes by competitive process, the Federal Register document that invites applications for funding. This document explains how to apply for assistance and the criteria for awarding the funding.

    • Office of General Counsel (OGC). The General Counsel of HUD.

    • Overcrowded. A unit that does not meet the following HQS space standards: (1) Provide adequate space and security for the family; and (2) Have at least one bedroom or living/sleeping room for each two persons.

    • Owner. Any person or entity with the legal right to lease or sublease a unit to a participant.

    • PHA Plan. The annual plan and the 5-year plan as adopted by the PHA and approved by HUD.

    • PHA’s quality control sample. An annual sample of files or records drawn in an unbiased manner and reviewed by a PHA supervisor (or by another qualified person other than the person who performed the original work) to determine if the work documented in the files or records conforms to program requirements. For minimum sample size see CFR 985.3.

    • Participant (participant family). A family that has been admitted to the PHA program and is currently assisted in the program. The family becomes a participant on the effective date of the first HAP contract executed by the PHA for the family (first day of initial lease term).

    • Payment standard. The maximum monthly assistance payment for a family assisted in the voucher program (before deducting the total tenant payment by the family).

    • Person with disabilities.

      For the purposes of program eligibility. A person who has a disability as defined under the Social Security Act or Developmental Disabilities Care Act, or a person who has a physical or mental impairment expected to be of long and indefinite duration and whose ability to live independently is substantially impeded by that impairment but could be improved by more suitable housing conditions. This includes persons with AIDS or conditions arising from AIDS but excludes persons whose disability is based solely on drug or alcohol dependence.

      For the purposes of reasonable accommodation. A person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person regarded as having such an impairment, or a person with a record of such an impairment.

    • Portability. Renting a dwelling unit with a Section 8 housing choice voucher outside the jurisdiction of the initial PHA.

    • Premises. The building or complex in which the dwelling unit is located, including common areas and grounds.

    • Previously unemployed. With regard to the earned income disallowance, a person with disabilities who has earned, in the 12 months previous to employment, no more than would be received for 10 hours of work per week for 50 weeks at the established minimum wage.

    • Private space. In shared housing, the portion of a contract unit that is for the exclusive use of an assisted family.

    • Processing entity. The person or entity that, under any of the programs covered, is responsible for making eligibility and related determinations and any income reexamination. In the HCV program, the “processing entity” is the “responsible entity.”

    • Project owner. The person or entity that owns the housing project containing the assisted dwelling unit.

    • Public assistance. Welfare or other payments to families or individuals, based on need, which are made under programs funded, separately or jointly, by federal, state, or local governments.

    • Public housing agency (PHA). Any state, county, municipality, or other governmental entity or public body, or agency or instrumentality of these entities, that is authorized to engage or assist in the development or operation of low-income housing under the 1937 Act.

    • Qualified family (under the earned income disallowance). A family participating in an applicable assisted housing program or receiving HCV assistance:

      1. Whose annual income increases as a result of employment of a family member who is a person with disabilities and who was previously unemployed for one or more years prior to employment;
      2. Whose annual income increases as a result of increased earnings by a family member who is a person with disabilities during participation in any economic self-sufficiency or other job training program; or
      3. Whose annual income increases, as a result of new employment or increased earnings of a family member who is a person with disabilities, during or within six months after receiving assistance, benefits or services under any state program for temporary assistance for needy families funded under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act, as determined by the responsible entity in consultation with the local agencies administering temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and Welfare-to-Work (WTW) programs. The TANF program is not limited to monthly income maintenance, but also includes such benefits and services as one-time payments, wage subsidies and transportation assistance-- provided that the total amount over a six-month period is at least $500. 

    • Qualified census tract. With regard to certain tax credit units, any census tract (or equivalent geographic area defined by the Bureau of the Census) in which at least 50 percent of households have an income of less than 60 percent of Area Median Gross Income (AMGI), or where the poverty rate is at least 25 percent, and where the census tract is designated as a qualified census tract by HUD.

    • Reasonable rent. A rent to owner that is not more than rent charged: (1) For comparable units in the private unassisted market; and (2) For comparable unassisted units in the premises.

    • Reasonable accommodation. A change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service to allow a person with disabilities to fully access the PHA’s programs or services.

    • Receiving PHA. In portability: A PHA that receives a family selected for participation in the tenant-based program of another PHA. The receiving PHA issues a voucher and provides program assistance to the family

    • Recertification. Sometimes called reexamination. The process of securing documentation of total family income used to determine the rent the tenant will pay for the next 12 months if there are no additional changes to be reported.

    • Remaining member of the tenant family. The person left in assisted housing who may or may not normally qualify for assistance on their own circumstances (i.e., an elderly spouse dies, leaving widow age 47 who is not disabled).

    • Rent to owner. The total monthly rent payable to the owner under the lease for the unit (also known as contract rent). Rent to owner covers payment for any housing services, maintenance, and utilities that the owner is required to provide and pay for.

    • Residency preference. A PHA preference for admission of families that reside anywhere in a specified area, including families with a member who works or has been hired to work in the area (See residency preference area).

    • Residency preference area. The specified area where families must reside to qualify for a residency preference.

    • Responsible entity. For the public housing and the Section 8 tenant-based assistance, project-based certificate assistance, and moderate rehabilitation programs, the responsible entity means the PHA administering the program under an ACC with HUD. For all other Section 8 programs, the responsible entity means the Section 8 owner.

    • Secretary. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

    • Section 8. Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937.

    • Section 8 covered programs. All HUD programs which assist housing under Section 8 of the 1937 Act, including Section 8 assisted housing for which loans are made under Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959.

    • Section 214. Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, as amended.

    • Section 214 covered programs. The collective term for the HUD programs to which the restrictions imposed by Section 214 apply. These programs are set forth in 24 CFR 5.500.

    • Security deposit. A dollar amount (maximum set according to the regulations) which can be used for unpaid rent or damages to the owner upon termination of the lease.

    • Set-up charges. In a manufactured home space rental, charges payable by the family for assembling, skirting, and anchoring the manufactured home.

    • Sexual assault. Any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by federal, tribal, or state law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent (42 U.S.C. 13925(a)).

    • Sexual orientation. Homosexuality, heterosexuality or bisexuality.

    • Shared housing. A unit occupied by two or more families. The unit consists of both common space for shared use by the occupants of the unit and separate private space for each assisted family. (A special housing type: see 24 CFR 982.615–982.618.)

    • Single person. A person living alone or intending to live alone.

    • Single room occupancy housing (SRO). A unit that contains no sanitary facilities or food preparation facilities, or contains either, but not both, types of facilities. (A special housing type: see 24 CFR 982.602–982.605.)

    • Social security number (SSN). The nine-digit number that is assigned to a person by the Social Security Administration and that identifies the record of the person’s earnings reported to the Social Security Administration. The term does not include a number with a letter as a suffix that is used to identify an auxiliary beneficiary.

    • Special admission. Admission of an applicant that is not on the PHA waiting list or without considering the applicant’s waiting list position.

    • Special housing types. See subpart M of part 982. Subpart M states the special regulatory requirements for: SRO housing, congregate housing, group homes, shared housing, cooperatives (including mutual housing), and manufactured homes (including manufactured home space rental).

    • Specified welfare benefit reduction. Those reductions of welfare benefits (for a covered family) that may not result in a reduction of the family rental contribution. A reduction of welfare benefits because of fraud in connection with the welfare program, or because of welfare sanction due to noncompliance with a welfare agency requirement to participate in an economic self-sufficiency program.

    • Spouse. The marriage partner of the head of household.

    • Stalking. To follow, pursue, or repeatedly commit acts with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate; or to place under surveillance with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person; and in the course of, or as a result of, such following, pursuit, surveillance, or repeatedly committed acts, to place a person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, or to cause substantial emotional harm to (1) that person, (2) a member of the immediate family of that person, or (3) the spouse or intimate partner of that person.

    • State wage information collection agency (SWICA). The state agency, including any Indian tribal agency, receiving quarterly wage reports from employers in the state, or an alternative system that has been determined by the Secretary of Labor to be as effective and timely in providing employment-related income and eligibility information.

    • Subsidy standards. Standards established by a PHA to determine the appropriate number of bedrooms and amount of subsidy for families of different sizes and compositions.

    • Suspension. Stopping the clock on the term of a family’s voucher after the family submits a request for tenancy approval. If the PHA decides to allow extensions or suspensions of the voucher term, the PHA administrative plan must describe how the PHA determines whether to grant extensions or suspensions, and how the PHA determines the length of any extension or suspension. This practice is also called tolling.

    • Tax credit rent. With regard to certain tax credit units, the rent charged for comparable units of the same bedroom size in the building that also receive the low-income housing tax credit but do not have any additional rental assistance (e.g., tenant-based voucher assistance).

    • Tenancy addendum. For the housing choice voucher program, the lease language required by HUD in the lease between the tenant and the owner.

    • Tenant. The person or persons (other than a live-in aide) who executes the lease as lessee of the dwelling unit.

    • Tenant rent to owner. (Family rent to owner) In the voucher program, the portion of rent to owner paid by the family.

    • Term of lease. The amount of time a tenant agrees in writing to live in a dwelling unit.

    • Total tenant payment (TTP). The total amount the HUD rent formula requires the tenant to pay toward rent and utilities.

    • Unit. Residential space for the private use of a family. The size of a unit is based on the number of bedrooms contained within the unit and generally ranges from zero (0) bedrooms to six (6) bedrooms.

    • Utilities. Water, electricity, gas, other heating, refrigeration, cooking fuels, trash collection, and sewage services. Telephone service is not included.

    • Utility allowance. If the cost of utilities (except telephone) and other housing services for an assisted unit is not included in the tenant rent but is the responsibility of the family occupying the unit, an amount equal to the estimate made or approved by a PHA or HUD of the monthly cost of a reasonable consumption of such utilities and other services for the unit by an energy-conservative household of modest circumstances consistent with the requirements of a safe, sanitary, and healthful living environment.

    • Utility reimbursement. In the voucher program, the portion of the housing assistance payment which exceeds the amount of rent to owner.

    • Utility hook-up charge. In a manufactured home space rental: Costs payable by a family for connecting the manufactured home to utilities such as water, gas, electrical and sewer lines.

    • Very low-income family. A low-income family whose annual income does not exceed 50 percent of the median income for the area, as determined by HUD, with adjustments for smaller and larger families. HUD may establish income limits higher or lower than 50 percent of the median income for the area on the basis of its finding that such variations are necessary because of unusually high or low family incomes. This is the income limit for the housing choice voucher program.

    • Veteran. A person who has served in the active military or naval service of the United States at any time and who shall have been discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable

    • Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013. Prohibits denying admission to the program to an otherwise qualified applicant on the basis that the applicant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

    • Violent criminal activity. Any illegal criminal activity that has as one of its elements the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another.

    • Voucher (housing choice voucher). A document issued by a PHA to a family selected for admission to the housing choice voucher program. This document describes the program and the procedures for PHA approval of a unit selected by the family. The voucher also states obligations of the family under the program.

    • Voucher holder. A family holding a voucher with an unexpired term (search time).

    • Voucher program. The housing choice voucher program.

    • Waiting list. A list of families organized according to HUD regulations and PHA policy who are waiting for a unit to become available.

    • Waiting list admission. An admission from the PHA waiting list.

    • Welfare assistance. Income assistance from federal or state welfare programs, including assistance provided under TANF and general assistance. Does not include assistance directed solely to meeting housing expenses, nor programs that provide health care, child care or other services for working families. For the FSS program (984.103(b)), welfare assistance includes only cash maintenance payments from federal or state programs designed to meet a family’s ongoing basic needs, but does not include food stamps, emergency rental and utilities assistance, SSI, SSDI, or social security.