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Utility Reimbursement - Section 8

If you live in a Section 8 rental unit and have very little income, it is possible that you will be eligible for a Utility Reimbursement to help you pay for any utilities that are not included in the rent.

NOTE: If you receive a Utility Reimbursement, do not include that amount as income in answer to any of WorkWORLD's questions about Earned and Unearned Income.

The definition of, and the rules for calculating, the Utility Reimbursement are different for the Tenant-Based Voucher program and all other Section 8 rental assistance programs. Here are the two sets of definitions and calculation rules:

Tenant-Based Voucher Program

In the Tenant-Based Voucher program the Utility Reimbursement is defined as "that portion of the Housing Assistance payment that exceeds the Rent to Owner." The guidance to the Public Housing Agency (PHA) in 24CFR982.514 is as follows:

"The monthly Housing Assistance Payment is distributed as follows:

(a) The PHA pays the owner the lesser of the Housing Assistance payment or the Rent to Owner.  

(b) If the Housing Assistance payment exceeds the Rent to Owner, the PHA may pay the balance of the housing assistance payment (the "Utility Reimbursement") either to the family or directly to the utility supplier to pay the utility bill on behalf of the family. If the PHA elects to pay the utility supplier directly, the PHA must notify the family of the amount paid to the utility supplier."  

NOTE: The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is available at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/.

Other Section 8 Rental Assistance Programs

The Public Housing Agency (PHA) pays a "Utility Reimbursement" if the Utility Allowance for tenant-paid utilities exceeds the Total Tenant Payment.

In 24CFR5.632 HUD gives the PHA the following guidance:

"In the Section 8 moderate rehabilitation program and the Section 8 certificate or voucher program, the PHA may pay the utility reimbursement either to the family or directly to the utility supplier to pay the utility bill on behalf of the family. If the PHA elects to pay the utility supplier, the PHA must notify the family of the amount paid to the utility supplier.

"In the other Section 8 programs, the owner must pay the utility reimbursement either:

      To the family, or

      With consent of the family, to the utility supplier to pay the utility bill on behalf of the family."

Source:

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): 24CFR5.632, 24CFR982.517

Back to:

Section 8 Housing Overview

Federal Rent Assistance


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