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HUD To Expand Housing Choices To 800,000 Households

HUD is providing more housing choices and neighborhood opportunities for nearly 440,000 households using housing choice vouchers. 

October 27, 2023

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced plans to expand housing choices for around 800,000 households using housing choice vouchers to find and secure affordable housing for them and their families. A recent action by HUD mandates 41 more metropolitan areas, encompassing over 440,000 housing vouchers, to implement Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMR). This extends the SAFMR rule, which was originally applied in 24 metropolitan areas with nearly 370,000 vouchers, to a total of 65 metropolitan areas, affecting over 800,000 households. This action by HUD ensures that the portion of units is made affordable to tenants renting with a voucher. 

Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMR) empower Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to establish the maximum rent covered by housing vouchers at the ZIP code level, offering a more localized approach compared to the broader metropolitan area. This policy allows the voucher payments to reflect the local market accurately and enables the voucher holders to choose from a wide range of neighborhood options that suit their preferences and meet their needs. 

HUD’s Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said, “Today’s action helps realize a dream that has been deferred for too long. By expanding the housing choices of 800,000 households of modest means, HUD is increasing opportunities and working to break down longstanding, harmful systems of segregation. While the housing crisis remains a challenge, implementing innovative solutions is crucial and will foster a more sustainable future within our communities.”

This increased choice for households relying on housing choice vouchers can improve their family’s overall health and well-being. 

Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard J. Monocchio said, “HUD is opening doors for hardworking people of modest incomes who rely on our assistance. This is the largest expansion of voucher choice ever and HUD looks forward to working with public housing authorities to implement a change that will be life-changing for their residents. In addition to required metropolitan areas, HUD encourages all public housing authorities to review the available SAFMRs for use and implementation.”

As per the 2016 rule, PHAs in 24 metropolitan areas were asked to use SAFMRs to administer vouchers. Since then, other PHAs have also voluntarily adopted SAFMRs to increase the neighborhood’s choice for their voucher families. 

A key step for HUD in its continued work to expand choices and opportunities for families is expanding the use of small area market fair rents. 

To facilitate a smooth transition to Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMR), Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in the 41 newly affected metropolitan areas will be given a 15-month grace period for implementation. The notice takes effect on October 1, 2024, and PHAs are expected to adjust their payment standards accordingly by January 1, 2025. Households relying on Housing Choice Vouchers for rental assistance are encouraged to engage with their PHAs’ housing specialists to understand the implications of this change.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Department of Housing and Urban Development. “HUD Expands More Housing Choices to a Total of 800,000 Households with Rental Assistance” Department of Housing and Urban Development, October 24, 2023,

Last Updated: September 20, 2021