The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced its annual Fair Market Rents (FMRs), which are used to determine the eligibility of rental housing units for the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments program. Section 8 Rental Certificate program participants cannot rent units whose rents exceed the FMRs. FMRs are gross rent estimates, which include the shelter rent plus the cost of all utilities, except telephones. HUD sets FMRs to assure that a sufficient supply of rental housing is available to program participants. To accomplish this objective, FMRs must be both high enough to permit a selection of units and neighborhoods and low enough to serve as many low-income families as possible. The new FMRs, which reflect the latest 2000 Census data and recent local rental-market surveys, will appear in the Federal Register on Friday, Oct. 1, 2004, and will take effect immediately. FMRs also serve as the payment standard used to calculate subsidies under the Rental Vouc...
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