Crunch the Numbers: Who Pays What in a Request for Higher Payment Standard?


If my request for a higher payment standard is approved, who will pay the extra rent? Me or the Housing Authority?

Answer If You Have No Income:

The Housing Authority will pay more.

Answer If You Have Income:

Both. You will pay more and the Housing Authority will pay more. How does this work?

Short Explanation

You will pay 40% of your income (instead of 30% like usual).

The Housing Authority will pay the rest.

Long Explanation

Everything that happens when you find a place you want to rent:

Step One:

You bring the landlord the Request for Tenancy Approval papers to sign. These are the standard papers that everyone with a housing voucher uses. You don’t need to do anything special or different on these papers.

Step Two:

You deliver these papers to your Housing Authority (or let your landlord send them, but it’s better to do it yourself). At this point, you don’t need to put in an accommodation request or do anything special. However, if you are certain you are going to need an accommodation, you might as well submit it now to speed things up.

Step Three:

The Housing Authority looks at the rent amount and adjusts for utilities to figure out what the final payment standard will be. How Payment Standards Work

Step Four:

The Housing Authority figures out your tenant portion of the rent. Your portion is roughly 30% of your income.

Step Five:

If the rent is over payment standard, at this point, they automatically increase your tenant portion of the rent. The amount it increases will be equal to an extra 10% of your income. This is called going from 30% of income to 40% of income.

(Tip: If you have no income, skip this step)

Step Six:

The 10% extra that you pay gets added to the amount the landlord receives.

Step Seven:

The Housing Authority will check the new numbers and see if it is high enough. If it is, you’re done! No need to submit an accommodation request, get a doctor’s letter or do any extra paperwork!

Step Eight:

If the full amount of rent is still not covered, the Housing Authority will consider your request for a higher payment standard. If you already submitted your request, they will immediately start looking at it. If not, they will send you a denial, and then you can submit your request.

Step Nine:

If your request is approved, you’ll pay 40% of your income. Everything over that, the Housing Authority will pay.


You will pay extra. The Housing Authority will also pay extra.

Example: Jane Goes Over Payment Standard

Meet Jane

Jane just got a new housing voucher.

Jane’s income from her disability check is $1,000.

Payment Standard is $900.

To make things simple, let’s say that all the apartments in Jane’s town include all utilities in the rent.

Starting Rent

Under normal conditions, Jane would pay roughly 30% of her income.

30% of $1,000 = $300

Jane would pay $300. The Housing Authority would pay up to $600. She can rent a place for $900.

But wait!

Jane calls every place in town. There is only ONE apartment available that will take her voucher and can accommodate her wheelchair. The rent is $1,050.

Adjusting For 40% of Income

When Jane submits the landlord paperwork, the Housing Authority will adjust her payment, adding another 10% of her income.

10% of $1,000 = $100.

Now Jane’s portion would be $300 + $100 = $400

The Housing Authority portion would still be up to $600

$600 + $400 = $1,000. Still not enough!

Jane Requests an Accommodation

Jane’s rent is $1050, but the Housing Authority will only approve $1,000.

Jane requests an accommodation for higher payment standard. Her request is approved.

New Rent After Accommodation

Now Jane’s pays her normal portion plus the added income. $300 + $100 = $400

Housing Authority pays its normal portion, plus whatever else is due. $600 + $50 = $650


Jane pays $400 + Housing pays $650 = Landlord gets $1,050. Jane can move in.