Tuesday, September 8, 2015

FY 2016 HUD Small Area Rent Data for Oregon Metro Zip Codes: Opportunities to Expand Voucher Housing Choice Exist Today.

HUD has published proposed FY 2016 "hypothetical" small area/zip code level fair market rents HERE.

I constructed an Excel worksheet HERE, and embedded below, that compares the proposed small area rent to the FMR for 2 BR units for FY 2016 for all metro areas of Oregon [HUD small area rents do NOT apply to non metro areas].  The worksheet is sorted in descending order from the highest ratio of small area rent to FMR. (You will have to scroll down to see all rows).

2 BR FY 2016 Observations:

  • Of the 315 Oregon metro zip codes [or portion of zip codes] shown, 130 would have small area rents greater than their metro FMR, and 142 would have small area rents below FMR, with the remaining 43 zip codes remaining at FMR. 
  • In addition, 49 zip codes would have small area rents above 110% of FMR, and 10 would have small area rents greater than 130% of FMR.
  • Zip code 97002 in Salem has a small area rent of $1,250, 59% higher than the area wide 2 BR FMR of $788.
  • In the Portland metro area Zip code 97034 has a small area rent of $1,520, 40% higher than the area wide 2 BR FMR of $1,014.
  • HUD has said it was going to use small area rents to determine difficult to develop areas for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program in 2016. Stay tuned to see if this in fact happens. 
  • Even absent formal small area rent area adoption by HUD, to expand housing choice PHA's could NOW request local HUD Office approval for FMR's between 110%-120% for the 49 zip codes [or partial zip codes] where small area rents exceed 110% of FMR IF a zip code also has a low poverty rate , less than 10%. See prior post HERE.
  • Some Moving to Work agencies like Home Forward have adopted payment standards that vary by zip code. The new FY 2016 small area FMR's will give them new information that could result in adjustments to those localized payment standards. (Example: Currently zip code 97035 in SW Portland has a HF March 2015 payment standard of $969 or 103% of the FY 2015 2 BR FMR of $944. The FY 2016 proposed small area 2 BR rent is $1,200 or 118% of the FY 2016 2br FMR of $1,014. This suggests that the 2 BR payment standard for that low poverty zip code could be increased, at the LOCAL level, by as much as $231/23%). 
  • My observations have focused only on 2 BR units--I have not examined the relationship of small area rents to FMR's for different bedroom sizes. 
  • IMPORTANT--Some Zip Codes are in MORE than 1 metro area and I have chosen to show those small area FMR in both metro areas, so that readers can also see MY calculations of the ratio to FMR for each metro area.   Example: Zip Code 97375 is in both the Portland and Salem metropolitan areas. The 2 BR Small Area rent is the same for both areas ($820) but I calculate the ratio to the area wide Portland metro 2 BR FMR ($1,014) as 81% while for the part of the zip code in Salem I calculate the ratio to the Salem metro 2 BR FMR ($788 ) as 104%.

  • Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog

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