The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) identifies low-vacancy areas for purposes of funding the Tenant-Protection Vouchers (TPVs) set-aside for certain at-risk households in low-vacancy areas. The Department has set low-vacancy areas at the county level as described in the “Definitions and Methodology” section below.
HUD will publish updated low-vacancy areas annually. Low-vacancy lists will be effective for one year, from July 1-June 30. The county where the project is located must be listed in the low-vacancy list in effect as of the date of application submission to be eligible for TPV set-aside funding. Note that if an application was submitted between July 1, 2018 and February 15, 2019, the project will be considered low-vacancy as long as the project is in either the FY 2017 or the FY 2018 low-vacancy list. Applicants may find more information about the TPV set-aside process and requirements at Notice PIH 2019-01/H 2019-02.
Definitions and Methodology
Low-vacancy areas are set at the county level using occupancy rates for public housing and multifamily assisted properties. Occupancy data at the project level are obtained from the most recent Picture of Subsidized Households Report (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/assthsg.html). To ensure that vacancy rates are only counted for high quality units, the occupancy data is matched to the most recent Physical Inspection Scores data (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/pis.html) for both public housing and multifamily assisted properties. Properties with inspection scores below 60 are removed from the sample, as are properties that are missing inspection scores or occupancy rates.
Project-level data is aggregated to the county level, and the total occupancy rate for each county is calculated. County-level occupancy rates are used for the determination of eligibility for TPV set-aside funding as long as at least ten units of public housing and multifamily assisted housing are included in the dataset. If a county within a Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) has less than ten units, the CBSA-level occupancy rate is used. For counties outside of CBSAs with less than ten units, state non-CBSA totals are used to calculate occupancy rates, while the national non-CBSA occupancy rate is used for counties in states with only CBSA counties or a state non-CBSA unit count below ten.
For the purposes of the TPV set-aside, a low-vacancy area is defined to be an area with an occupancy rate for public housing and multifamily assisted properties greater than or equal to 90 percent.