Guide to Requesting Overlapping Assistance (Housing Vouchers)

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Art: Robin Mead

If you have a housing voucher, you may find it difficult to find a new landlord who can start the lease on the exact day the old landlord ends the lease. You may also find it hard to move all your belongings in one day! Doubly or triply hard if someone in the house is disabled.

In this situation, you may be able to request “overlapping assistance.” This means your new contract starts before your old contract ends, so you have some time where you are renting both places.

Example

Jane’s new lease starts on Monday. Her old lease ends on Wednesday. If her voucher fully covers both leases, she has three days of overlapping assistance.

Can I Get Overlapping Assistance? 

Some Housing Authorities allow overlapping assistance for everyone, so you can just ask. If your Housing Authority does not allow this, you can request an accommodation if needed for your disabilities (or for another disabled household member)

Overlapping assistance is only available for vouchers. In most cases, overlapping assistance is not available for public housing and other types of subsidized apartments. You can still try requesting an accommodation, but it might not be granted because of federal regulations.

Sample Letter

Sample Letter Requesting Overlapping Assistance

Dates of Overlap

Date of overlap need to be within the same month.

Yes – Jane’s move in date is March 1. Her move out date is March 10

No – Jane’s move in date is February 20. Her move out date is March 1

Will I Need to Pay Rent Both Places?

If you have overlapping assistance, you will need to pay assisted rent in both places for any days that overlap. 

If you don’t have overlapping assistance, you will need to pay full-price rent in one apartment and assisted rent in the other. You should also notify your housing worker that you will be in both places during the move transition. 

Policy

24 CFR § 982.311, which states “If a participant family moves from an assisted unit with continued tenant-based assistance, the term of the assisted lease for the new assisted unit may begin during the month the family moves out of the first assisted unit. Overlap of the last housing assistance payment (for the month when the family moves out of the old unit) and the first assistance payment for the new unit, is not considered to constitute a duplicative housing subsidy.”

 

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