HUD PIH, HOPWA Don’t Count $400 Extra Unemployment Benefit as Income
HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) recently clarified that public housing agencies (PHAs) and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program will exclude the $400 per week unemployment benefit enabled by the presidential memorandum signed by President Trump in early August. In a clarification emailed to a PIH listserv, HUD’s PIH has stated that FEMA assistance doesn’t usually count as income. CPD announced this through a HUD Exchange email on Oct. 26. HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs has yet to issue similar guidance.
The presidential memorandum extended the lapsed supplemental federal unemployment benefits from the CARES Act at a reduced level of $400 per week. The plan would reallocate $44 billion for unemployment benefits from the Department of Homeland Security’s Disaster Relief Fund under the Stafford Act. Then, state governors could set up a program to provide an extra $400 per week in unemployment benefits, retroactive to the first week of August, right after the CARES Act payments expired, with 25 percent of that payment or $100 per week provided by the states.
Some states have opted to pay only the federal portion of $300 per week, while other states have opted to pay the federal portion plus the state portion that results in $400 per week.