When conducting resident rent calculation, sometimes beneficiaries receive a credit instead of owing an amount payable for rent. When this occurs, may I collect the credit for payment towards the beneficiary’s utilities?

Date Published: January 2015

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Yes, but only if the beneficiary consents. A refund/reimbursement to a HOPWA beneficiary is required when the beneficiary makes a rent payment that exceeds the applicable 30% or 10% rent cap in 24 CFR § 574.310(d). For example, this may occur when:

  1. Utilities are not included in the rent,
  2. The HOPWA beneficiary pays utilities out of his or her pocket,
  3. The amount of utilities paid by the beneficiary exceeds the PHA utility allowance, and
  4. The payment made by the beneficiary exceed the applicable resident rent payment cap in 24 CFR § 574.310(d).

In such a situation, a refund/reimbursement to the beneficiary is required as the failure to provide one would violate the requirements of 24 CFR § 574.310(d). A beneficiary may elect to have the grantees pay their utility bill with their reimbursement amount on their behalf. However, the grantee may not take such action without the consent of the beneficiary. Additionally, the grantee must provide the beneficiary with the full amount of each reimbursement that occurs. Grantees may not keep any portion of the reimbursement for their own use.

Tags: HOPWA Rental Assistance - General