Payment Standards

Payment standards are used to calculate the housing assistance payment (HAP) that the PHA pays to the owner on behalf of the family leasing the unit. Each PHA has latitude in establishing its schedule of payment standard amounts by bedroom size. The range of possible payment standard amounts is based on HUD’s published fair market rent (FMR) schedule for the FMR area in which the PHA has jurisdiction. FMRs are based on either the 40th or 50th percentile of rents charged for standard rental housing in the FMR area. A PHA may set its payment standard amounts from 90 percent to 110 percent of the published FMRs, and may set them higher or lower with HUD approval. The level at which the payment standard amount is set directly affects the amount of subsidy a family will receive, and the amount of rent paid by program participants.