Affordable Housing Online is monitoring the federal government's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. As of March 13, 2020, Public Housing Agencies across the nation are closing their doors to the public. Most offices are still running and will communicate by phone, email, or mail. Some offices have drop boxes installed outside, so documents can still be hand-delivered. Visit the housing authority's website for the latest on its current operations, if one is available. If there is no information online, contact the housing authority directly. Due to a high volume of calls and modified office hours in most areas, expect a long wait time (days or weeks) for a response. To find your local PHA's contact info, browse by state here.

An extensive list of coronavirus resources for low-income households can be found here.

Do unemployment benefits affect Section 8 and Public Housing income requirements during coronavirus?

Answer

o, the temporary federal enhancement to unemployment ($600 weekly) provided by the CARES Act is not included as annual income for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing tenants. However, regular unemployment payments issued by the state that are not part of the CARES Act stimulus package are counted as income and should be reported to the housing authority.

State paid unemployment benefits have always been considered as annual income for the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing Programs. Temporary, non-recurring payments are not counted as annual income for those housing programs.

The Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing federal regulation addressing excluded income can be found here. Also see page 10, Question 5 in HUD’s Questions and Answers for Multi-Family Housing Stakeholders, found here.

For information on similar questions, read: Are Section 8 tenants required to report their income from the government stimulus check?

More FAQs from Low Income Households

  • Do I have to do anything if I’m on a rental subsidy program and become unemployed or lose hours from coronavirus?
  • Are housing authorities still open during the coronavirus outbreak?
  • Can I be evicted if I can't pay rent because of coronavirus?
  • What is the government stimulus payment?
  • Who qualifies for the government stimulus payment?