Department of Housing and Urban Development FAQs

  1. Do I need to pay a Mortgage Insurance Premium for the life of my FHA loan?

If the loan-to-value ratio is greater than 90 percent, then a Mortgage Insurance Premium is collected until the end of the loan term or 30 years, whichever happens first.

If the loan-to-value ratio is less than or equal to 90 percent, then a Mortgage Insurance Premium is paid until the end of the loan term or 11 years, whichever happens first.

  1. I was charged by a housing counseling agency after talking to a counselor about refinancing. Is that right?

Housing counselors may charge reasonable fees for services unless the resident is obviously unable to pay these fees.

The agency must discuss the fees with the resident in advance and the fees must be in line with other service charges.

If you do not agree with the business practices of a housing counseling agency, then contact HUD directly.

  1. I feel I was discriminated against by a landlord because I have HIV/AIDS. Should I file a complaint?

Yes. The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 protects people living with AIDS or HIV from discrimination when renting homes.

HUD upholds the act to institute disability rights in housing and to make that type of discrimination illegal.

You should file a discrimination complaint against the housing provider with HUD to pursue legal action and prevent the provider from discriminating against potential tenants in the future.

  1. Why did HUD refer my discrimination complaint to a local agency?

If the discrimination issue is something covered under state law and can be handled by a state or local agency, then HUD will refer the complaint to the corresponding department.

The agency must respond to the complaint within 30 days or HUD may take the case back and begin investigating.

  1. I found a home I want to buy on the HUDHomestore website. Can I submit an offer?

While information about HUD homes is available online, you must consult with a professional licensed real estate agent or broker to make an offer on an HUD home.

The professional will submit the offer for you and consult with you on negotiations.

  1. Can I finance the HUD home I purchase directly through HUD?

HUD does not offer financing options to homebuyers directly.

However, you can find HUD-approved FHA lenders in your area that will assist you in obtaining financing.

  1. If I receive vouchers through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, then does HUD choose a subsidized home for me to rent?

You are free to choose any home that is available to rent within your budget.

However, it must pass an HUD inspection and provide sanitary, safe and suitable conditions for you and your family.

HUD will continue to re-inspect the property to ensure sanitary conditions are maintained.

  1. My local Public Housing Authority (PHA) has a long waiting list for the HCV program. What are my other options?

If you meet the Section 8 eligibility requirements, then you may complete the application process at multiple PHA office locations.

You may apply to different locations with shorter waiting lists.

You should also review the PHA’s local preferences to see if you qualify to move up higher on the waiting list.

  1. I currently receive HCV program vouchers for my rent and recently got a raise. Do I need to notify HUD?

Yes. Any changes to household characteristics, including income changes and family members living in the home, need to be reported to the PHA immediately.

These changes may affect the sum of benefits you receive each month or your eligibility with the HCV program.

  1. My family outgrew the home we are currently renting and using HCV vouchers to pay for. Can I move?

Yes. If your family’s housing needs change, then you may continue to receive benefits and move to a new home provided it continues to meet HUD’s criteria for approved housing.

However, you must inform the PHA about your move and break the existing lease on appropriate terms according to the contract.

The PHA will inspect the new home to ensure it meets sanitary and security standards.

  1. How much money will I receive for monthly rent through the HCV program?

Generally, the maximum monthly subsidy available to an eligible beneficiary is the lesser of the payment standard minus 30 percent of the household’s adjusted monthly income or the gross rent for the unit minus 30 percent of the household’s adjusted monthly income.

  1. I worked a temporary job for a week. Do I need to report that income to the PHA when I am receiving HCV program benefits?

No. If you received income from a temporary job that lasted less than 180 days, then you do not need to report this income to the PHA.

However, if you have a recurring source of income such as a new part-time job, then you must report the income immediately.

  1. Can I sublet my property to another family and still receive HCV program vouchers?

No. If you claim to the PHA that you and your family are living in a unit, then the vouchers are issued based on this information.

If you move to a different property, then you must inform the PHA or risk the penalties of committing public assistance fraud.

Download our free guide for details on what types of earnings you must report when part of the Section 8 program .

  1. Do I have to rent an apartment to use my HCV program vouchers?

No. You can rent a single-family home, townhouse or apartment.

However, the rent should be within your budget and the property must pass a PHA inspection to prove it meets the department’s health and safety standards.

  1. I need a wheelchair ramp to get to my front door. Does the housing provider have to pay for the construction?

Private-housing providers are usually not obligated to pay for reasonable modifications requested by disabled tenants.

Public-housing providers may be obligated to pay for the modification as long as it does not cause a financial burden.

  1. I am hearing impaired but want to file a disability discrimination complaint against a housing provider. How can I file?

You can all the toll-free TTY phone number at 1-800-927-9275 for assistance in filing a complaint.

The HUD representative can assist with an interpreter, braille materials and tapes and assistance in reading and completing all necessary forms.

  1. Does HUD help homeless people ?

HUD helps homeless residents by providing access to local resources that can assist in obtaining self-sufficiency.

Residents can learn about housing programs that help the homeless, elderly and veterans .

Each year, HUD serves over one million people throughout the country by providing emergency, transitional or permanent housing assistance.

  1. Are there other resources to assist homeless veterans besides HUD?

There are many homeless assistance programs designed to assist veterans and their families.

The local Veterans Affairs Medical Center or Community Resource and Referral Center can assist homeless veterans in obtaining housing assistance.

  1. Does a veteran need to be homeless to receive HUD-VASH benefits?

Yes. Since the HUD-VASH program is a combination of HUD and Veteran Affairs benefits, a veteran must show he or she is homeless and needs case management through the VA to receive program benefits.

However, there are programs specifically for those with impending homelessness or who are fleeing domestic assault.

  1. As a senior citizen , can I receive benefits from the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program through HUD?

No. This program offers financial assistance for the construction or rehabilitation of housing that will serve as low-income senior citizen housing.

As an elderly resident, you can apply to live in one of the communities upon completion, but you must meet the community’s low-income and eligibility guidelines.

For comprehensive information about housing assistance programs , download our free guide to discover eligibility requirements and details about receiving aid successfully.