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Assisted Housing Quality Control

Report Acceptance Date: 
April 1996 (168 pages)
Posted Date:   
July 14, 2005

Almost half of all public and assisted housing tenants are charged the correct share of their income in rent -- even when components such as dependent allowances and health- and child-care expenses are taken into account, according to Assisted Housing Quality Control, a new analysis published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

This new study, based on a nationally representative sample of 360 projects in the public housing Section 236 and Section 8 programs, compared actual rents paid with amounts due if all HUD procedures for calculating rents were followed exactly. Researchers at KRA Corporation collected data in 1992 and 1993 using household interviews, HUD Forms 50058/50059, public housing authority or owner files, and third-party verifications to check the accuracy of payments.

Forty-seven percent of all tenants paid within $5 (plus or minus) of the correct amount; 34 percent paid the exact dollar figure. Households underpaying or overpaying more than $5 were split almost evenly: 27 percent paid at least $5 per month less than they should have; 26 percent paid more.Households that underpaid did so by an average of $61 per month, or an estimated total of $788 million per year. Households that overpaid did so by an average of $49 per month, or an estimated $603 million per year. The most frequent sources of error in rent calculations were medical expenses and earned income. Only 2 percent of recertifications were overdue.

Assisted Housing Quality Control provides an important baseline for continuing rent quality control improvements in public and assisted housing.