On June 2, HUD
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.
NMHC/NAA are in the process of preparing a comment letter to be sent on July 2. Members that have had experience with SAFMRs and/or FMRs, or who have general comments, should contact NMHC’s Caitlin Walter at email@example.com 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, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area
- Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL HUD Metro FMR Area
- Fort Lauderdale, FL HUD Metro FMR Area
- Honolulu, HI Metropolitan Statistical Area
- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area
- Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area
- Baltimore-Towson, MD HUD Metro FMR Area
- Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area
- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT HUD Metro FMR Area
- Kansas City, MO-KS HUD Metro FMR Area
- New Haven-Meriden, CT HUD Metro FMR Area
- Richmond, VA HUD Metro FMR Area
- Tacoma, WA HUD Metro FMR Area
- West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL HUD Metro FMR Area