The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all housing authorities to determine an appropriate rent amount for all properties leasing in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Landlord Meeting Prospective Tenants

Rent Affordability & Rent Reasonableness
When the Request for Tenancy Approval is submitted, CMHA will check to make sure the rent is affordable for the family and reasonable for the area and amenities.

The gross rent for your units (ie., the sum of rent and tenant paid utilities) must be reasonable. Rent reasonableness is defined as one that does not exceed gross rent charged for comparable unassisted units in the same market area. CMHA determines rent reasonableness by comparing the proposed unit to two comparable unassisted units in the area. CMHA takes many factors into consideration in determining rent reasonableness, including:

  • Location
  • Amenities
  • Size/Type 
  • Utilities 
In addition to being reasonable, the gross rent must be affordable for the family. Affordability is determined by several factors: voucher bedroom size, payment standard, utility that the family is responsible for, and family income. For an initial contract, the total tenant portion (the monthly rent paid directly to you by the family) can be no more than 40% of the family’s monthly income. If the rent is not affordable because the family share would be more than 40% of the family’s monthly adjusted income, HCVP will negotiate with the owner to reduce the rent for the family so it is in compliance with HUD guidelines.

Payment Standards

CMHA’s payment standards are based on Fair Market Rent (FMRs). CMHA has established payment standards between 90% and 110% of the FMRs established by HUD. 

Please note: The payment standard is NOT the maximum amount that the landlord can charge; it is the maximum amount of subsidy that the CMHA will pay toward each tenant’s rent portion.

Fair Market Rents and Payment Standards Fiscal Year 2024

CMHA established exception rent payment standards for well-resourced communities and for communities where HUD has identified by zip code the fair market rent as being greater than the fair market rents indicated in CMHA's "Primary Fair Market Rents and Payment Standards FY 2024" table. In 2024, CMHA will continue to offer exception payment standards based on 2024 FMRs and Small Area FMRs. CMHA has done this to offer greater and more competitive housing opportunities to its voucher holders and landlords.

Rent Affordability Calculator

HCVP Utility Allowance Chart

Complete the form below to use the Rent Affordability Calculator: 

The affordability calculator only applies to new contracts.

  • It views the landlord's requested rent from an affordability standpoint. HUD regulations stipulate that the rent be both reasonable and affordable. Therefore, even though the calculator shows that the requested rent is affordable, this does not mean that it is necessarily reasonable. Once the rent reasonableness test has been conducted, you could be presented with a final rent offer for less than your original request, because of this.
  • Income, family composition, payment standards are subject to change after the completion of the affordability test.
  • Unit bedroom size to be confirmed at the inspection.
This calculator is a guideline for rent costs only. This calculator does not necessarily represent your actual final rent costs.