Payment Standards

What are they and how are they determined?

The Payment Standard for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV)/Section 8 Program is set by HACEP based on the Fair Market Rents (FMRs) published each year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  HACEP may set its payment standard amounts from 90 percent to 110 percent of the published rental market information, and may set them higher or lower with HUD’s approval.

A Payment Standard is HACEP’S maximum allowable monthly assistance toward an assisted family’s gross rent. Gross rent is the total of:

  • Contract Rent charged by the landlord, plus
  • the Utility Allowance, which is the credit from HACEP to the family for essential utilities for which the family is responsible to pay, including a stove or refrigerator that is provided by the family. 

Payment standards DO NOT determine or limit the rent a landlord may charge.  However, the maximum contract rent a landlord may charge is based on the reasonable rent and the family’s affordability of the unit.   Families may not pay more than 40 percent of their income at the initial term of leasing.


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