Administrative Plan


The admin plan uses a lot of terms that are specific to housing authorities.  Understanding them will help in understanding the following sections of the admin plan.

Download the glossary.

Administrative Plan Overview

The PHA receives its funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The PHA is not a federal department or agency. A public housing agency (PHA) is a governmental or public body, created and authorized by state law to develop and operate housing and housing programs for low-income families. The PHA enters into an Annual Contributions Contract with HUD to administer the program requirements on behalf of HUD. The PHA must ensure compliance with federal laws, regulations and notices and must establish policy and procedures to clarify federal requirements and to ensure consistency in program operation.

Download chapter 1 to get more information about your local PHA and its programs with emphasis on the HCV program. It also contains information about the purpose, intent and use of the plan and guide.

Fair Houing & Equal Opportunity

Federal laws require PHAs to treat all applicants and participants equally, providing the same opportunity to access services, regardless of family characteristics and background. Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, and disability. In addition, HUD regulations provide for additional protections regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status. The PHA will comply fully with all federal, state, and local nondiscrimination laws, and with rules and regulations governing fair housing and equal opportunity in housing and employment.

Download chapter 2 to learn about HUD regulations and PHA policies related to general non-discrimination including persons with disabilities and limited English proficiency persons.

Program Eligibility

The PHA is responsible for ensuring that every individual and family admitted to the HCV program meets all program eligibility requirements. This includes any individual approved to join the family after the family has been admitted to the program. The family must provide any information needed by the PHA to confirm eligibility and determine the level of the family’s assistance.

Some eligibility criteria and program rules vary depending upon the composition of the family requesting assistance. In addition, some requirements apply to the family as a whole and others apply to individual persons who will live in the assisted unit. This part provides information that is needed to correctly identify family and household members, and to apply HUD’s eligibility rules.

Download chapter 3 to learn more about program eligibility requirements.

Applications, Waiting List & Tenant Selection

When a family wishes to receive assistance under the HCV program, the family must submit an application that provides the PHA with the information needed to determine the family’s eligibility. HUD requires the PHA to place all families that apply for assistance on a waiting list. When HCV assistance becomes available, the PHA must select families from the waiting list in accordance with HUD requirements and PHA policies as stated in the administrative plan and the annual plan.

The PHA is required to adopt clear policies and procedures for accepting applications, placing families on the waiting list, and selecting families from the waiting list, and must follow these policies and procedures consistently. The actual order in which families are selected from the waiting list can be affected if a family has certain characteristics designated by HUD or the PHA that justify their selection. Examples of this are the selection of families for income targeting and the selection of families that qualify for targeted funding.

HUD regulations require that all families have an equal opportunity to apply for and receive housing assistance, and that the PHA affirmatively further fair housing goals in the administration of the program [24 CFR 982.53, HCV GB p. 4-1]. Adherence to the selection policies described in this chapter ensures that the PHA will be in compliance with all relevant fair housing requirements, as described in Chapter 2.

Download chapter 4 to learn more about HUD and PHA policies for taking applications, managing the waiting list and selecting families for HCV assistance.

Plan Briefings & Voucher Assistance

HUD regulations require the PHA to conduct mandatory briefings for applicant families who qualify for a voucher. The briefing provides a broad description of owner and family responsibilities, explains the PHA’s procedures, and includes instructions on how to lease a unit. This part describes how oral briefings will be conducted, specifies what written information will be provided to families, and lists the family’s obligations under the program.

This chapter explains the briefing and voucher issuance process. When a family is determined to be eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, the PHA must ensure that the family fully understands the way the program operates and the family’s obligations under the program. This is accomplished through both an oral briefing and provision of a briefing packet containing the HUD-required documents and other information the family needs to know in order to lease a unit under the program. Once the family is fully informed of the program’s requirements, the PHA issues the family a voucher. The voucher includes the unit size for which the family qualifies based on the PHA’s subsidy standards, as well as the issue and expiration date of the voucher. The voucher is the document that authorizes the family to begin its search for a unit, and limits the amount of time the family has to successfully locate an acceptable unit.

Download chapter 5 to learn more about what oral and written briefing must be provided to applicants as well as determining what composition of bedrooms an applicant family is eligible.

Income & Subsidy Determination

A family’s income determines eligibility for assistance and is also used to calculate the family’s payment and the PHA’s subsidy. The PHA will use the policies and methods described in this chapter to ensure that only eligible families receive assistance and that no family pays more or less than its obligation under the regulations.

Download chapter 6 to learn more about how a family’s subsidy is calculated.


The PHA must verify all information that is used to establish the family’s eligibility and level of assistance and is required to obtain written authorization from the family in order to collect the information. Applicants and program participants must cooperate with the verification process as a condition of receiving assistance. The PHA must not pass on the cost of verification to the family.

The PHA will follow the verification guidance provided by HUD in Notice PIH 2010-19 and any subsequent guidance issued by HUD. This chapter summarizes those requirements and provides supplementary PHA policies.

Part I describes the general verification process. Part II provides more detailed requirements related to family information. Part III provides information on income and assets, and Part IV covers mandatory deductions.

Verification policies, rules and procedures will be modified as needed to accommodate persons with disabilities. All information obtained through the verification process will be handled in accordance with the records management policies of the PHA.

Download chapter 7 to learn more about verification processes.

Housing Quality Standards & Rent Reasonableness Determinations

HUD requires that all units occupied by families receiving Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance meet HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and permits the PHA to establish additional requirements. The use of the term “HQS” in this plan refers to the combination of both HUD and PHA-established requirements.

All units must pass an HQS inspection prior to the approval of a lease and at least once every 24 months during the term of the contract, and at other times as needed, to determine that the unit meets HQS. HUD also requires PHAs to determine that rents for units under the program are reasonable when compared to comparable unassisted units in the market area.

Download chapter 8 to learn more about physical standards, inspection process and reasonableness determination.

General Leasing Policies

Chapter 9 covers the lease-up process from the family’s submission of a Request for Tenancy Approval to execution of the HAP contract.

In order for the PHA to assist a family in a particular dwelling unit, or execute a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract with the owner of a dwelling unit, the PHA must determine that all the program requirements are met.

Download chapter 9 to learn more about those policies and general leasing policies.

Moving With Continued Assistance & Portability

Freedom of housing choice is a hallmark of the housing choice voucher (HCV) program. In general, HUD regulations impose few restrictions on where families may live or move with HCV assistance.

Download chapter 10 to learn more about moving with continued assistance and portability.


The PHA is required to reexamine each family’s income and composition at least annually, and to adjust the family’s level of assistance accordingly. Interim reexaminations are also needed in certain situations.

Download chapter 11 to learn more about annual and interim reexaminations as well as subsidy recalculations.

Termination Of Assistance And Tenancy

HUD regulations specify mandatory and optional grounds for which a PHA can terminate a family’s assistance. They also specify the circumstances under which an owner may terminate the tenancy of an assisted family. This chapter describes the policies that govern mandatory and optional terminations of assistance, and termination of tenancy by the owner.

Download chapter 12 to learn more about grounds for termination of assistance, approach to termination of assistance and termination of tenancy by owner.

Owners (Landlords)

Owners play a major role in the HCV program by supplying decent, safe, and sanitary housing for participating families.

The term “owner” refers to any person or entity with the legal right to lease or sublease a unit to a participant in the HCV program [24 CFR 982.4(b)]. The term “owner” includes a principal or other interested party [24 CFR 982.453; 24 CFR 982.306(f)], such as a designated agent of the owner.

Owners have numerous responsibilities under the program, including screening and leasing to families, maintaining the dwelling unit, enforcing the lease, and complying with various contractual obligations.

Download chapter 13 to learn more about owner roles and contract provisions.

Program Integrity

The PHA is committed to ensuring that subsidy funds made available to the PHA are spent in accordance with HUD requirements.

Download  chapter 14 to learn more about HUD and PHA policies designed to prevent, detect, investigate, and resolve instances of program abuse or fraud. It also describes the actions that will be taken in the case of unintentional errors and omissions.

Special Housing Types

The PHA may permit a family to use any of the special housing types discussed in this chapter. However, the PHA is not required to permit families receiving assistance in its jurisdiction to use these housing types, except that PHAs must permit use of any special housing type if needed as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability. The PHA also may limit the number of families who receive HCV assistance in these housing types and cannot require families to use a particular housing type. No special funding is provided for special housing types.

PHA Policy

Families will not be permitted to use any special housing types, unless use is needed as a reasonable accommodation so that the program is readily accessible to a person with disabilities.

Download chapter 15 to learn more about special housing types include single room occupancy (SRO), congregate housing, group homes, shared housing, cooperative housing, manufactured homes where the family owns the home and leases the space, and homeownership.

Program Administration

This chapter discusses administrative policies and practices that are relevant to the activities covered in this plan. The policies are discussed in seven parts as described below:

  • Part I: Administrative Fee Reserve. This part describes the PHA’s policies with regard to oversight of expenditures from its administrative fee reserve.
  • Part II: Setting Program Standards and Schedules. This part describes what payment standards are, and how they are updated, as well as how utility allowances are established and revised.
  • Part III: Informal Reviews and Hearings. This part outlines the requirements and procedures for informal reviews and hearings, and for informal hearings regarding citizenship status.
  • Part IV: Owner or Family Debts to the PHA. This part describes policies for recovery of monies that the PHA has overpaid on behalf of families, or to owners, and describes the circumstances under which the PHA will offer repayment agreements to owners and families. Also discussed are the consequences for failure to make payments in accordance with a repayment agreement.
  • Part V: Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP). This part describes what the SEMAP scores represent, how they are established, and how those scores affect a PHA.
  • Part VI: Record-Keeping. All aspects of the program involve certain types of record-keeping. This part outlines the privacy rights of applicants and participants and record retention policies the PHA will follow.
  • Part VII: Reporting and Record Keeping for Children with Elevated Blood Lead Level. This part describes the PHA’s responsibilities for reporting, data collection, and record keeping relative to children with elevated blood lead levels that are less than six years of age, and are receiving HCV assistance.
  • Part VIII: Determination of Insufficient Funding. This part describes the PHA’s policies for determining if there is sufficient funding to issue vouchers, to approve moves to higher cost units or areas, and to continue assistance for all participant families.
  • Part IX: Violence against Women Act (VAWA): Notification, Documentation, Confidentiality. This part contains key terms used in VAWA and describes requirements related to notifying families and owners about their rights and responsibilities under VAWA; requesting documentation from victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and maintaining the confidentiality of information obtained from victims.

Download chapter 16 to learn more about program administration.

Project-Based Vouchers (PBV)

This chapter describes HUD regulations and PHA policies related to the project-based voucher (PBV)

Download chapter 17 to learn more about project-based vouchers and related program administration.