United States Housing Act of 1937
* * * * * * *
Sec. 3. [42 U.S.C. 1437a]
* * * * * * *
(b) When used in this Act:
(1) The term “low-income housing” means decent, safe, and sanitary dwellings assisted under this chapter. The term “public housing” means low-income housing, and all necessary appurtenances thereto, assisted under this chapter other than under section 1437f of this title. The term “public housing” includes dwelling units in a mixed finance project that are assisted by a public housing agency with capital or operating assistance. When used in reference to public housing, the term “low-income housing project” or “project” means (A) housing developed, acquired, or assisted by a public housing agency under this chapter, and (B) the improvement of any such housing.
(2) The term “low-income families” means those families whose incomes do not exceed 80 per centum of the median income for the area, as determined by the Secretary with adjustments for smaller and larger families, except that the Secretary may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 80 per centum of the median for the area on the basis of the Secretary’s findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs or unusually high or low family incomes. The term “very low-income families” means low-income families whose incomes do not exceed 50 per centum of the median family income for the area, as determined by the Secretary with adjustments for smaller and larger families, except that the Secretary may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 50 per centum of the median for the area on the basis of the Secretary’s findings that such variations are necessary because of unusually high or low family incomes. Such ceilings shall be established in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture for any rural area, as defined in section 1490 of this title, taking into account the subsidy characteristics and types of programs to which such ceilings apply. In determining median incomes (of persons, families, or households) for an area or establishing any ceilings or limits based on income under this chapter, the Secretary shall determine or establish area median incomes and income ceilings and limits for Westchester and Rockland Counties, in the State of New York, as if each such county were an area not contained within the metropolitan statistical area in which it is located. In determining such area median incomes or establishing such income ceilings or limits for the portion of such metropolitan statistical area that does not include Westchester or Rockland Counties, the Secretary shall determine or establish area median incomes and income ceilings and limits as if such portion included Westchester and Rockland Counties. In determining areas that are designated as difficult development areas for purposes of the low-income housing tax credit, the Secretary shall include Westchester and Rockland Counties, New York, in the New York City metropolitan area.
(3) Persons and families.—
(A) Single persons.—The term “families” includes families consisting of a single person in the case of (i) an elderly person, (ii) a disabled person, (iii) a displaced person, (iv) the remaining member of a tenant family, and (v) any other single persons. In no event may any single person under clause (v) of the first sentence be provided a housing unit assisted under this chapter of 2 or more bedrooms.
(B) Families.—The term “families” includes families with children and, in the cases of elderly families, near-elderly families, and disabled families, means families whose heads (or their spouses), or whose sole members, are elderly, near-elderly, or persons with disabilities, respectively. The term includes, in the cases of elderly families, near-elderly families, and disabled families, 2 or more elderly persons, near-elderly persons, or persons with disabilities living together, and 1 or more such persons living with 1 or more persons determined under the public housing agency plan to be essential to their care or well-being.
(C) Absence of children.—The temporary absence of a child from the home due to placement in foster care shall not be considered in determining family composition and family size.
(D) Elderly person.—The term “elderly person” means a person who is at least 62 years of age.
(E) Person with disabilities.—The term “person with disabilities” means a person who—
(i) has a disability as defined in section 223 of the Social Security Act,
(ii) is determined, pursuant to regulations issued by the Secretary, to have a physical, mental, or emotional impairment which (I) is expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration, (II) substantially impedes his or her ability to live independently, and (III) is of such a nature that such ability could be improved by more suitable housing conditions, or
(iii) has a developmental disability.
Such term shall not exclude persons who have the disease of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or any conditions arising from the etiologic agent for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no individual shall be considered a person with disabilities, for purposes of eligibility for low-income housing under this subchapter, solely on the basis of any drug or alcohol dependence. The Secretary shall consult with other appropriate Federal agencies to implement the preceding sentence.
(F) Displaced person.—The term “displaced person” means a person displaced by governmental action, or a person whose dwelling has been extensively damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster declared or otherwise formally recognized pursuant to Federal disaster relief laws.
(G) Near-elderly person.—The term “nearly-elderly person” means a person who is at least 50 years of age but below the age of 62.
(4) The term “income” means income from all sources of each member of the household, as determined in accordance with criteria prescribed by the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, except that any amounts not actually received by the family and any amounts which would be eligible for exclusion under section 1382b(a)(7) of this title may not be considered as income under this paragraph.
(5) The term “adjusted income” means income with respect to a family, the amount (as determined by the public housing agency) of the income of the members of the family residing in a dwelling unit or the persons on a lease, after any income exclusions as follows:
(A) Mandatory exclusions.—In determining adjusted income, a public housing agency shall exclude from the annual income of a family the following amounts:
(i) Elderly and disabled families.—$400 for any elderly or disabled family.
(ii) Medical expenses.—The amount by which 3 percent of the annual family income is exceeded by the sum of—
(I) unreimbursed medical expenses of any elderly family or disabled family;
(II) unreimbursed medical expenses of any family that is not covered under subclause (I), except that this subclause shall apply only to the extent approved in appropriation Acts; and
(III) unreimbursed reasonable attendant care and auxiliary apparatus expenses for each handicapped member of the family, to the extent necessary to enable any member of such family (including such handicapped member) to be employed.
(iii) Child care expenses.—Any reasonable child care expenses necessary to enable a member of the family to be employed or to further his or her education.
(iv) Minors, students, and persons with disabilities.—$480 for each member of the family residing in the household (other than the head of the household or his or her spouse) who is less than 18 years of age or is attending school or vocational training on a full-time basis, or who is 18 years of age or older and is a person with disabilities.
(v) Child support payments.—Any payment made by a member of the family for the support and maintenance of any child who does not reside in the household, except that the amount excluded under this clause may not exceed $480 for each child for whom such payment is made; except that this clause shall apply only to the extent approved in appropriations Acts.
(vi) Spousal support expenses.—Any payment made by a member of the family for the support and maintenance of any spouse or former spouse who does not reside in the household, except that the amount excluded under this clause shall not exceed the lesser of (I) the amount that such family member has a legal obligation to pay, or (II) $550 for each individual for whom such payment is made; except that this clause shall apply only to the extent approved in appropriations Acts.
(vii) Earned income of minors.—The amount of any earned income of a member of the family who is not—
(I) 18 years of age or older; and
(II) the head of the household (or the spouse of the head of the household).
(B) Permissive exclusions for public housing.—In determining adjusted income, a public housing agency may, in the discretion of the agency, establish exclusions from the annual income of a family residing in a public housing dwelling unit. Such exclusions may include the following amounts:
(i) Excessive travel expenses.—Excessive travel expenses in an amount not to exceed $25 per family per week, for employment- or education-related travel.
(ii) Earned income.—An amount of any earned income of the family, established at the discretion of the public housing agency, which may be based on—
(I) all earned income of the family,
(II) the amount earned by particular members of the family;
(III) the amount earned by families having certain characteristics; or
(IV) the amount earned by families or members during certain periods or from certain sources.
(iii) Others.—Such other amounts for other purposes, as the public housing agency may establish.
(6) Public housing agency.—
(A) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term“public housing agency” means any State, county, municipality, or other governmental entity or public body (or agency or instrumentality thereof) which is authorized to engage in or assist in the development or operation of public housing.
(B) Section 1437f program.—For purposes of the program for tenant-based assistance under section 1437f of this title, such term includes—
(i) a consortia of public housing agencies that the Secretary determines has the capacity and capability to administer a program for assistance under such section in an efficient manner;
(ii) any other public or private nonprofit entity that, upon the effective date under section 503(a) of the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998, was administering any program for tenant-based assistance under section 1437f of this title (as in effect before the effective date of such Act), pursuant to a contract with the Secretary or a public housing agency; and
(iii) with respect to any area in which no public housing agency has been organized or where the Secretary determines that a public housing agency is unwilling or unable to implement a program for tenant-based assistance section 1437f of this title, or is not performing effectively—
(I) the Secretary or another public or private nonprofit entity that by contract agrees to receive assistance amounts under section 1437f of this title and enter into housing assistance payments contracts with owners and perform the other functions of public housing agency under section 1437f of this title; or
(II) notwithstanding any provision of State or local law, a public housing agency for another area that contracts with the Secretary to administer a program for housing assistance under section 1437f of this title, without regard to any otherwise applicable limitations on its area of operation.
(7) The term “State” includes the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territories and possessions of the United States, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
(9) Drug-related criminal activity.—The term “drug-related criminal activity” means the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution, use, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, distribute, or use, of a controlled substance (as such term is defined in section 802 of title 21).
(10) Mixed-finance project.—The term “mixed-finance project” means a public housing project that meets the requirements of section 1437z-7 of this title.
(11) Public housing agency plan.—The term “public housing agency plan” means the plan of a public housing agency prepared in accordance with section 1437c-1 of this title.
(12) Capital fund.—The term “Capital Fund” means the fund established under section 1437g(d) of this title.
(13) Operating fund.—The term “Operating Fund” means the fund established under section 1437g(e) of this title.
* * * * * * *
Sec. 9. [42 U.S.C. 1437g]
* * * * * * *
(b) Except as otherwise provided in the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998, any assistance made available for public housing under this section before October 1, 1999, shall be merged into the Operating Fund established under subsection (e) of this section.
* * * * * * *
(e)(1) In general The Secretary shall establish an Operating Fund for the purpose of making assistance available to public housing agencies for the operation and management of public housing, including—
(A) procedures and systems to maintain and ensure the efficient management and operation of public housing units (including amounts sufficient to pay for the reasonable costs of review by an independent auditor of the documentation or other information maintained pursuant to section 1437d(j)(6) of this title by a public housing agency or resident management corporation to substantiate the performance of that agency or corporation);
(B) activities to ensure a program of routine preventative maintenance;
(C) anticrime and antidrug activities, including the costs of providing adequate security for public housing residents, including above-baseline police service agreements;
(D) activities related to the provision of services, including servicecoordinators for elderly persons or persons with disabilities;
(E) activities to provide for management and participation in the management and policymaking of public housing by public housing residents;
(F) the costs of insurance;
(G) the energy costs associated with public housing units, with an emphasis on energy conservation;
(H) the costs of administering a public housing work program under section 1437j of this title, including the costs of any related insurance needs;
(I) the costs of repaying, together with rent contributions, debt incurred to finance the rehabilitation and development of public housing units, which shall be subject to such reasonable requirements as the Secretary may establish; and
(J) the costs associated with the operation and management of mixed finance projects, to the extent appropriate.
* * * * * * *
[Internal References.—SSAct §§303(i) and 1612(b) cite the United States Housing Act of 1937. SSAct §§1612(b) and 1613(a) headings have footnotes referring to Appendix K (this Volume) which provides a list of Federal law provisions, including P.L. 75-412, §§8 and 9, relating to income and resources.]