How Much Can I Charge?
An owner should charge a rental amount similar to what is being charged to non-voucher residents for comparable units in the same area. HCVP rules require GMHA approval of all rent amounts.
GMHA must verify that each potential gross rent passes two tests:
1. Renter Income Affordability
2. Rent Reasonableness Acceptability
The voucher payment standard and renter income affordability are calculated prior to the HQS inspection, and rent reasonableness is calculated after the HQS inspection. GMHA will first verify that the requested rent and all applicable utilities fall within the agency’s guidelines.
Voucher Payment Standard In order to fully understand the voucher payment standard, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) needs to be explained. The FMR is HUD’s annually established schedule of local subsidy maximums for gross rent (total rent and utilities based on bedroom size).
Renter Income Affordability
Every HCV renter must pay at least 30% of his or her adjusted monthly income toward rent and utilities, but no more than 40%. GMHA verifies that the renter’s projected rent portion will fall within these guidelines. Since GMHA cannot pay more than the applicable voucher payment standard, a renter may choose to pay additional funds toward the gross rent, up to 40% of their adjusted income. GMHA must approve all final rent amounts and will help to navigate these issues during the contracting process.
Rent Reasonableness Acceptability
The third and final test is the rent reasonableness assessment. GMHA verifies that the voucher holder will pay a rent that is comparable to non-assisted rental units.