Thursday, July 28, 2022

18,000+ HUD Voucher Units in Portland Metro Area: HUD Published 5 Fair Market Rents; PHA's Created 89 Payment Standards.

I recently did a post with an Excel file that showed payment standards as of May for 3 Portland metro counties/PHA's. 

I just updated that Excel file and added 4 counties to the 2022 payment standards. 

The 7 county worksheets have green tabs. One worksheet is a summary, one worksheet has all the published payment standards, another has links to the PHA web sites where the payment standards are posted, and another has the formula that HUD uses to calculate SRO and 5-8 unit FMR's). 

The payment standard is determined by the PHA and generally is required to be in the 90-110% range of the FMR. There are exceptions for Moving to Work agencies and NW Oregon Housing Authority received a COVID related HUD waiver to use 120% of FMR for their payment standards in Columbia county. 

Payment standards  may reflect geographic housing market differences. Lower payment standards may be a tool that PHA's use to maximize the number of households participating in the voucher program. Higher payment standards may help access opportunity areas and increase lease up when turn back rates are high. 

HUD's 5 Portland Metro FMR's Are Subdivided by PHA's Into 89 Payment Standards

HUD published 5 FMR's for bedroom sizes 0-4. (Formulas are used to calculate the FMR for SRO units and 5-8 bedroom FMR's).

PHA's have subdivided those 5 HUD FMR's into 89 payment standards, with Home Forward accounting for 54 payment standards. (9 areas X 6 payment standards=54 total payment standards). 

Some PHA's also published payment standards for SRO's and 5-8 Bedrooms but my counts below are only for studio to 4 bedroom payment standards. [The Excel file has 147 PHA published payment standards for the 7 counties]. 


Only one PHA (Washington county) adopted the HUD FMR as the payment standard for ALL areas of the county. 

Columbia county adopted payment standards for all bedroom sizes at 120% of FMR, so they have the highest payment standards in the Portland metro area. 

 Yamhill county payment standards are now all set at 95% of FMR. 

Home Forward adopted 9 different fair market area, with each area having multiple zip codes and two 3 bedroom payment standards, one for SF detached and duplexes and the other for apartments.

All Clackamas county payment standards are below FMR. Five zip codes have their highest payment standards at 97.8% of FMR.

Clackamas county and Home Forward share at least one zip code, 97035. The 2 BR Home Forward payment standard is $1,822 while the Clackamas county 2 BR payment standard is $1,692, a difference of $130 per month. (Did I mention I live in this zip code?). 

Vancouver has not updated their payment standards since 2021, so they have the lowest payment standards in the Portland metro area. 

The table pasted below shows by county the number of payment standards, the FMR range, and the estimated number of leased vouchers as of April 2022.

It's worth noting that payment standards are not immediately updated for all units. 

Units under lease generally remain at the same level until expiration, and rules related to reexams and landlord rent increase procedures mean there will a gradual roll out of these payment standards for existing voucher holders. 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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