5 Important Documents to Include with Your Request for Exception to Payment Standard

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Art: Robin Mead

This page is for anyone who has a housing voucher and is making one of these two  disability accommodation requests:

  1. Request to rent from a relative or
  2. Request for a higher payment standard

If you need one of these accommodations, you may need to enclose some extra documents. Other types of requests don’t require as much documentation.

One: A Letter from You

Your letter should include a list of each of your special housing needs, how each need is related to your disability, and how the particular place you want to rent meets each of these needs. Sample Letters for Exception to Payment Standard

Two: A Letter or Form from Your Provider

A provider letter can come from a medical or non-medical professional. For example, a doctor, nurse, psychiatrist, therapist, social worker, or Caseworker who is familiar with you and your condition and can verify your needs.

You can ask your Housing Authority if they have a specific form to use for a reasonable accommodation request. Or you can send a letter from your provider. If you use a form and the form has very little space on it, your provider may need to attach an additional page.

The letter from your provider should confirm that you are disabled and include a list of each of your specific disability housing needs.

Three: Housing Search List

Before making this request, it is helpful if you do your best to try to find a place that is within the payment standard and meet your needs. If you are unable to find somewhere, when you make your request, you can attach a list of each place you have looked at or contacted or researched so far.

This is to show the Housing Authority that you have been trying to find an apartment with that is under payment standards and you have been unable to. Sample List of Unsuccessful Housing Search

Four: RFTA Form

These are the forms your new landlord needs to fill out to give to the Housing Authority. They are usually called RFTA or request for tenancy approval. If your landlord has already submitted this, you do not need to send it again.

If you do not yet have RFTA forms and a landlord picked out: Can I Submit a Request Before I Find a Place to Rent?

Five: HUD Policy

You don’t need to include this, but it may help things go more smoothly.

For higher payment standard:

HUD changed its policies on exceptions to payment standard several times. The original policy was based on 110% or fair market rent, then it raised to 120%, then fell back to 110%, and now it’s raised back to 120%. It is possible that the person reviewing your request may think it’s still 110. It does not hurt to print out an enclosed a copy of the latest policy, or to quote it in your letter. It is number 5.3 in the HUD policy on Payment Standards.

For rent from a relative:

If you wish to enclose a copy of the HUD policy on renting from relative, this can also be helpful. Sometimes HUD workers do not know all the policies. You can find this policy in section 9.1 of the HUD a policy on housing search and leasing


Learn More

Epic List of Disability Accommodation Letters