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Proposed Revision Synopsis of the ACOP


The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston

Department of Housing Opportunities

550 Meeting Street

Charleston, SC 29403

(843) 720-3684         Fax: (843) 720-5348            TDD: (843) 720-3685


To:            The Board of Commissioners                                 

From:       Ms. Selina L. Brown, Director of Housing Opportunities

Date:        June 21, 2016

Subject: Proposed Revision Synopsis of the ACOP 

Several changes were made to the Model Admissions and Occupancy Policy. Throughout the entire policy, VAWA 2005 was replaced with VAWA 2013. The term “sexual assault” was also added to each area in the policy relating to domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

Updates to the list of federally mandated income exclusions as published in the Federal Register are included. Included in the changes are revised clarifications regarding definitions of extremely low income family and other requirements. Also, revisions come in the form brought about by the Streamlining Administration Regulation Final Rule issued March 8, 2016.


Synopsis of the changes is as follows:

Chapter 2

Page 2-5: Description of how discrimination complaints are handled for applicants and tenants.

2. III.B. Page 2-16: The PHA offers competent oral interpretation service free of charge upon request. LEP person may use own interpreter at his expense.

Chapter 3

3. I.C. Family Breakup and Remaining Family Member

PHA has discretion in case of domestic violence the victim remains. If a court determines the disposition between members of the assisted family, the PHA is bound by the court’s determination of which family member receives assistance.

Page 3-12: Live-in Aide – Request may be either orally or in writing.

Page 3-12: Extremely Low-Income Family – Income does not exceed the federal poverty level on 30% of the median area income.

Page 3-12: Area Median Income – Determined by HUD.

Page 3-16/17: Mixed Ineligible Family – Entitled to grievance if denied and not an informal hearing.

Page 3-17: Social Security numbers (Streamline). If a child under the age of six has been added to an application, the family within six months prior to admission an otherwise eligible family may be admitted. Must disclose child’s SSN within 90 days of admission.

Page 3-20: Criminal Activity

A record of arrest will not be used as the basis for denial or proof that an applicant engaged in disqualifying criminal activity. Facts and circumstances will be considered before a decision is made.

3. III.F.

Notification VAWA 2013 expanded notification requirements to include obligation for PHA to provide applicant who are denied assistance with a notice of VAWA rights and the HUD form 50066. An applicant wishing to claim this protection must do so in writing within 10 business days.

Chapter 4

Extremely low-income family defines families as very low-income families whose income does not exceed the highest of 30% of area median income of the poverty level.

Page 4-17: Income-Targeting – ELI families are those with annual incomes at or below the federal poverty levels or 30% of the area median income.

Page 4-24: HUD citation changed 24CFR960.208

Chapter 6

Page 6-13: Earned Income Disallowance. Streamline Final Rule – Eligibility Criteria

Page 6-14: Calculation of disallowance

EID has two year lifetime maximum. The new regulatory provision limits to a 24 straight months’ time period a family member is eligible to receive EID streamlining and not track employment over a four year period.

Page 6-33: Additional Excluded Income

A lump sum or periodic payment received by individual pursuant to a class action settlement agreement in the United States District Court for a period of one year from the time of receipt that payment as provided in Claims Resolution Act of 2010.

  • Payment received under 38 USC 1833© to children of Vietnam veterans born with spinal bifida, children of Vietnam women and Veteran born with certain birth defects. Children of certain Korean service veteran born with spinal bifida. 
  • Deferred periodic amounts from SSI and SS benefits received in lump sum or any deferred Department of Veterans Affairs received in lump sum or prospective monthly amounts. 
  • Any amount in an individual development account as provided by assets for Independence Act Amended 2002.
  • Payment made from the proceeds of the Indian Tribal Trust cases as described in PIH Notice 2013-30. “Exclusions from Income Payment under recent Tribal Trust settlement,

6. III.D. Page 6-57: Prorated rents for mixed families use the flat rent calculation.

Page 6-58: Flat rent – Delete. “There’s utility allowance or reimbursement with flat rent.”

Phase in flat rent – must restrict increase to no more than 35%.

Flat Rent and Earned Income Disallowance offers guidance.

Chapter 7

Page 7-10: Value of an Asset and Asset Income Streamline

Families with net assets totaling $5,000 or less may accept the families’ declaration of assets. 3rd part verification required during intake process and at least every 3 years thereafter. This requirement is time consuming for both PHA and family. In addition, assets of $5000 or less have little effect on family rental payment.

Chapter 8 - Annual Inspection

US Housing Act requires that PHAs inspect each PH annually. PHA shall continue to use Uniform Physical Condition Standard (UPCS).

Chapter 9 - Streamline Annual reexamination 960.257

HUD permits streamlining the income determination process for families with fixed income. During intake, 3rd party verification must be obtained and every 3 years thereafter in the intervening years may determine income via COLA or interest rate. If both COLA and interest rate are not available, 3rd party verification will be obtained.

Page 9-6: Criminal Background Check

At annual reexamination, PHA will ask the tenant or any member of the household is subject to a lifetime sex offender registration requirement in any state. National Sex Offender database will be used to verify.

Chapter 10

Approval of Service Animals Excluded for Pet Policy – Consideration for service animals is given if animal is trained (dog) to assist person with disabilities.

Chapter 11 – Community Service and Self Sufficiency Requirement

Responsibility Act of 1998 contained a CSSR that every adult resident of public housing contribute 8 hours and community service or participate in an economic self-sufficiency program for 8 hours per month. Certain individuals are excluded if employed or person with disability.

The rule amended a provision in Subpart F 960.605 to permit but not require a PHA to accept resident self-certification of compliance with CSSR.

Chapter 13 - Termination Related to Domestic Violence

VAWA provides no person may deny assistance, tenancy or occupancy to public housing tenant solely on the basis of criminal activity directly related to domestic violence, date violence, sexual assault or stalking engaged by a member of a household.

Chapter 14 - Grievances and Appeals

Changes addressed in a stand alone policy

Chapter 16 – Establishing Flat Rent

Must be set at no less than 80% of the FMR.

For more information CONTACT:

A message from our President/Chief Executive Officer:

The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston was born of action on December 18, 1934 by a vote of the Charleston City Council. However, the actual permission for such a "creation" came via statute in the South Carolina General Assembly in March of 1934.

We have come a long way in our society, our City and our personal relationships. Nevertheless, the need for Public housing still exists today. We have so much more to do before we can truly say, the job is done.

Donald J. Cameron
President/Chief Executive Officer
Housing Authority of the City of Charleston