Don't Automatically Treat Minors as Dependents
When certifying households, don't assume you can always treat minors as dependents, says assisted housing consultant A. J. Johnson, an expert in HUD rules. Although most household members who are minors (that is, under 18 years old) should be treated as dependents, an “emancipated minor—a person under 18 years old who enters into a lease under state law—who is also the head of the household, co-head, or spouse of the head of the household must be treated as an adult [HUD Handbook 4350.3, par. 5-6(A)(2),(3)].
“Failure to treat an emancipated minor as an adult for housing purposes could result in the collection of excess subsidy for a site, as income of the ‘adult’ would not have been calculated properly,” Johnson says. “In such cases, the owner is responsible for refunding any excess subsidy to HUD,” he warns.
A.J. Johnson: A.J. Johnson Consulting Services, Inc., 3521 Frances Berkeley, Williamsburg, VA 23188; (757) 259-9920; firstname.lastname@example.org.