Part VII: Homeownership

[24 CFR 982.625 through 982.643]

15-VII.A. Overview

[24 CFR 982.625]

The homeownership option is used to assist a family residing in a home purchased and owned by one or more members of the family. A family assisted under this option may be newly admitted or an existing participant in the HCV program. HACCC must have the capacity to operate a successful HCV homeownership program as defined by the regulations.

There are two forms of homeownership assistance a HACCC may offer under this option: monthly homeownership assistance payments, or a single down payment assistance grant. Housing Authorities may choose to offer either or both forms of homeownership assistance, or choose not to offer either.  If a Housing Authority offers both forms of assistance, a family must choose which form of assistance to receive.

HACCC must offer either form of homeownership assistance if needed as a reasonable accommodation, so that the program is readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.  It is the sole responsibility of HACCC to determine whether it is reasonable to implement a homeownership program as a reasonable accommodation.  HACCC must determine what is reasonable based on the specific circumstances and individual needs of the person with a disability.  HACCC may determine that it is not reasonable to offer homeownership assistance as a reasonable accommodation in cases where HACCC has otherwise opted not to implement a homeownership program.

HACCC must approve a live-in aide if needed as a reasonable accommodation so that the program is readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

15-VII.B. Family Eligibility

[24 CFR 982.627]

The family must meet all of the requirements listed below before the commencement of homeownership assistance. HACCC may also establish additional initial requirements as long as they are described in HACCC administrative plan.

15-VII.C. Selection Of Families

[24 CFR 982.626]

Unless otherwise provided (under the homeownership option), HACCC may limit homeownership assistance to families or purposes defined by HACCC, and may prescribe additional requirements for commencement of homeownership assistance for a family. Any such limits or additional requirements must be described in HACCC administrative plan.

If HACCC limits the number of families that may participate in the homeownership option, HACCC must establish a system by which to select families to participate.

15-VII.D. Eligible Units

[24 CFR 982.628]

In order for a unit to be eligible, HACCC must determine that the unit satisfies all of the following requirements:

HACCC must not approve the unit if HACCC has been informed that the seller is debarred, suspended, or subject to a limited denial of participation.

15-VII.E. Additional HACCC Requirements For Search And Purchase

[24 CFR 982.629]

It is the family’s responsibility to find a home that meets the criteria for voucher homeownership assistance. HACCC may establish the maximum time that will be allowed for a family to locate and purchase a home, and may require the family to report on their progress in finding and purchasing a home. If the family is unable to purchase a home within the maximum time established by HACCC, HACCC may issue the family a voucher to lease a unit or place the family’s name on the waiting list for a voucher.

15-VII.F. Homeownership Counseling

[24 CFR 982.630]

Before commencement of homeownership assistance for a family, the family must attend and satisfactorily complete the pre-assistance homeownership and housing counseling program required by HACCC. HUD suggests the following topics for HACCC-required pre-assistance counseling:

HACCC may adapt the subjects covered in pre-assistance counseling (as listed) to local circumstances and the needs of individual families.

HACCC may also offer additional counseling after commencement of homeownership assistance (ongoing counseling). If HACCC offers a program of ongoing counseling for participants in the homeownership option, HACCC shall have discretion to determine whether the family is required to participate in the ongoing counseling.

If HACCC does not use a HUD-approved housing counseling agency to provide the counseling, HACCC should ensure that its counseling program is consistent with the counseling provided under HUD’s Housing Counseling program.

15-VII.G. Home Inspections, Contract Of Sale, And HACCC Disapproval Of Seller

[24 CFR 982.631]

Home Inspections

HACCC may not commence monthly homeownership assistance payments or provide down payment assistance grants for a family until HACCC has inspected the unit and has determined that the unit passes HQS.

An independent professional inspector selected by and paid for by the family must also inspect the unit. The independent inspection must cover major building systems and components, including foundation and structure, housing interior and exterior, and the roofing, plumbing, electrical, and heating systems. The independent inspector must be qualified to report on property conditions, including major building systems and components.

HACCC may not require the family to use an independent inspector selected by HACCC. The independent inspector may not be a HACCC employee or contractor, or other person under control of HACCC. However, HACCC may establish standards for qualification of inspectors selected by families under the homeownership option.

HACCC may disapprove a unit for assistance based on information in the independent inspector’s report, even if the unit was found to comply with HQS.

Contract Of Sale

Before commencement of monthly homeownership assistance payments or receipt of a down payment assistance grant, a member or members of the family must enter into a contract of sale with the seller of the unit to be acquired by the family. The family must give HACCC a copy of the contract of sale. The contract of sale must:

Disapproval Of A Seller

In its administrative discretion, HACCC may deny approval of a seller for the same reasons a HACCC may disapprove an owner under the regular HCV program [see 24 CFR 982.306(C)].

15-VII.H. Financing

[24 CFR 982.632]

HACCC may establish requirements for financing purchase of a home under the homeownership option. This may include requirements concerning qualification of lenders, terms of financing, restrictions concerning debt secured by the home, lender qualifications, loan terms, and affordability of the debt. HACCC must establish policies describing these requirements in the administrative plan.

HACCC may not require that families acquire financing from one or more specified lenders, thereby restricting the family’s ability to secure favorable financing terms.

15-VII.I. Continued Assistance Requirements; Family Obligations

[24 CFR 982.633]

Homeownership assistance may only be paid while the family is residing in the home. If the family moves out of the home, HACCC may not continue homeownership assistance after the month when the family moves out. The family or lender is not required to refund to HACCC the homeownership assistance for the month when the family moves out.

Before commencement of homeownership assistance, the family must execute a statement in which the family agrees to comply with all family obligations under the homeownership option.

The family must comply with the following obligations:

15-VII.J.  Maximum Term Of Homeowner Assistance

[24 CFR 982.634]

Except in the case of a family that qualifies as an elderly or disabled family, other family members (described below) shall not receive homeownership assistance for more than:

The maximum term described above applies to any member of the family who:

In the case of an elderly family, the exception only applies if the family qualifies as an elderly family at the start of homeownership assistance. In the case of a disabled family, the exception applies if at any time during receipt of homeownership assistance the family qualifies as a disabled family.

If, during the course of homeownership assistance, the family ceases to qualify as a disabled or elderly family, the maximum term becomes applicable from the date homeownership assistance commenced. However, such a family must be provided at least 6 months of homeownership assistance after the maximum term becomes applicable (provided the family is otherwise eligible to receive homeownership assistance).

If the family has received such assistance for different homes, or from different HACCCs, the total of such assistance terms is subject to the maximum term described in this part.

15-VII.K.  Homeownership Assistance Payments And Homeownership Expenses

[24 CFR 982.635]

The monthly homeownership assistance payment is the lower of: the voucher payment standard minus the total tenant payment, or the monthly homeownership expenses minus the total tenant payment.

In determining the amount of the homeownership assistance payment, HACCC will use the same payment standard schedule, payment standard amounts, and subsidy standards as those described in elsewhere in this plan for the Housing Choice Voucher program.

HACCC may pay the homeownership assistance payments directly to the family, or at HACCC’s discretion, to a lender on behalf of the family.  If the assistance payment exceeds the amount due to the lender, HACCC must pay the excess directly to the family.

Homeownership assistance for a family terminates automatically 180 calendar days after the last homeownership assistance payment on behalf of the family.  However, a HACCC may grant relief from this requirement in those cases where automatic termination would result in extreme hardship for the family.

HACCC must adopt policies for determining the amount of homeownership expenses to be allowed by HACCC in accordance with HUD requirements.

Homeownership expenses (not including cooperatives) only include amounts allowed by HACCC to cover:

Homeownership expenses for a cooperative member may only include amounts allowed by HACCC to cover:

15-VII.L. Portability

[24 CFR 982.636, 982.637, 982.353(b) and (c), 982.552, 982.553]

Subject to the restrictions on portability included in HUD regulations and HACCC policies, a family may exercise portability if the receiving HACCC is administering a voucher homeownership program and accepting new homeownership families. The receiving HACCC may absorb the family into its voucher program, or bill the initial HACCC.

The family must attend the briefing and counseling sessions required by the receiving HACCC. The receiving HACCC will determine whether the financing for, and the physical condition of the unit, are acceptable. The receiving HACCC must promptly notify the initial HACCC if the family has purchased an eligible unit under the program, or if the family is unable to purchase a home within the maximum time established by HACCC.

15-VII.M. Moving With Continued Assistance

[24 CFR 982.637]

A family receiving homeownership assistance may move with continued tenant-based assistance. The family may move with voucher rental assistance or with voucher homeownership assistance. Continued tenant-based assistance for a new unit cannot begin so long as any family member holds title to the prior home.

HACCC may deny permission to move to a new unit with continued voucher assistance as follows:

HACCC must deny the family permission to move to a new unit with continued voucher rental assistance if:

15-VII.N. Denial Or Termination Of Assistance

[24 CFR 982.638]

At any time, HACCC may deny or terminate homeownership assistance in accordance with HCV program requirements in 24 CFR 982.552 (Grounds for denial or termination of assistance) or 24 CFR 982.553 (Crime by family members).

HACCC may also deny or terminate assistance for violation of participant obligations described in 24 CFR Parts 982.551 or 982.633.

HACCC must terminate voucher homeownership assistance for any member of family receiving homeownership assistance that is dispossessed from the home pursuant to a judgment or order of foreclosure on any mortgage (whether FHA insured or non-FHA) securing debt incurred to purchase the home, or any refinancing of such debt.