Readers may recall a prior post HERE that explained the authority that HUD Field Offices have to approve exception rents for the voucher program from 110-120% of FMR's, using poverty deconcentration criteria.
I took a look at proposed HUD FMR's for FY 2015 for Oregon as well as FY 2015 zip code area FMR's and merged that data with zip code level poverty data from the 2012 5 Year ACS. (A bookmark to that ACS Oregon poverty rate zip code level data is HERE).
Based on my analysis I see 15 Oregon metro area zip codes outside of Multnomah County that might qualify for exception area rents IF the housing authority choose to make a request to the HUD Field Office.
(Home Forward in Multnomah county has Moving to Work program flexibility to adjust voucher payment standards without HUD field office approval; their zip code level payment standards [published before HUD FY 2015 proposed FMR's were published] are HERE).
For those counties other than Multnomah I have put together a PDF legal sized table HERE showing those zip codes and counties and the maximum field office approvable FY 2015 exception rents for those zip codes (the lesser of the proposed FY 2015 zip code FMR OR 120% of the proposed FY 2015 county FMR) . A hyperlink to a map view of the zip code is included for each zip code in the table.
The housing authority in each of these counties has the discretionary authority to request (with documentation) exception rents, and the HUD Field Office has the authority to approve requests, in their sole discretion.
The highest HUD field office approvable exception rent for 2 bedrooms in these Oregon zip codes ( 7 zip codes in the Portland PMSA including at least 2 in Lake Oswego) is $189 above the FY 2015 proposed 2 BR FMR for the Portland PMSA; $1,133 vs $944. Lane county has 2 zip codes where the HUD field office approvable rent exceeds the proposed 2 BR FMR by $166, $995 vs $829
IF small area/zip code rents are used in future years [I think plan is to do so in FY 2016],permissable rents in low poverty areas may be even higher. In any case, the trade off of exception rents is that higher per unit costs mean fewer families being served, assuming the same amount of money is available from HUD.
Note that in ALL cases rents for individual units continue to be subject to rent reasonableness rules that may limit rents for individual units to levels below the established FMR and any future approved exception payment standard.
Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.