Large Families Face Higher Rent Burdens And Fewer Housing Opportunities Under New HUD Rent Rules

Publication Date: October 2004

Publisher: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Barbara Sard; Will Fischer

Research Area: Social conditions

Keywords: Economic projections; Income diversity; Economic inequality; Housing assistance

Type: Report


On October 1, 2004, HUD put into effect new rent standards — known as Fair Market Rents or FMRs — that will be used to set maximum rent levels for the “Section 8” housing voucher program and other low-income housing assistance programs during fiscal year 2005. In many local areas, the Fair Market Rents for 2005 for apartments with three and four bedrooms contain sharp reductions compared to the levels used during fiscal year 2004.

These cuts will result in higher rent burdens and other adverse consequences for low-income families with children, who make up virtually all of the assisted households that live in larger housing units. Low-income families with three or more children are particularly vulnerable to such cuts. The cuts are likely to affect Hispanic families disproportionately, since they tend to have more children.