HUD Notice Explains Requirements for Encumbering Public Housing Property

HUD recently issued Notice PIH 2017-24, “Guidance on Third-Party Agreements Encumbering Public Housing Property.” The notice discusses the HUD approval process for specific types of agreements that encumber a PHA’s use or interest in public housing property.

According to the notice, HUD provides responsibility and flexibility to PHAs regarding third-party agreements. HUD encourages PHAs to employ innovative approaches to achieve optimal program operations and revenue. However, HUD needs to balance PHA flexibility with public operational and financial stability. HUD is concerned with any third-party agreement that interferes with the use of the public housing property or puts the PHA’s finances at risk.

As explained in the notice, HUD approval is generally not required for third-party agreements for normal uses associated with the operation of public housing. These may include agreements related to standard resident amenities (e.g., laundry rooms), resident supportive services, police sub-stations (to the extent they are necessary for crime prevention or to serve public housing residents), utilities, and cable service.

PHAs may need to seek HUD approval for other agreements unrelated to normal uses associated with the operation of public housing, including telecommunication and cell tower agreements, solar panel agreements, and dedication of public housing property for use as streets, alleys, or other public rights-of-way.

PHAs are responsible for determining if a third-party agreement is subject to HUD review and, if so, whether such review must be done by HUD’s Special Applications Center (SAC) or the local HUD Office of Public Housing (field office). Instructions for making the determination and for requesting HUD approval are included in the notice. Technical assistance may be requested by email to or by contacting the HUD field office.