Payment Standards

How Much Will I Pay

Total Tenant Payment (TTP)

  • PHA calculates your TTP based on your income.
  • Your Total Tenant Payment is the minimum amount you will pay for rent and utilities such as cooking gas, heating gas and electricity. The Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form and lease will identify the utility bills you need to pay.
  • The below table provides the guidelines for TTP; however, your TTP will never be less than PHA’s $50 minimum rent.

Your TTP is a percentage of your monthly adjusted income based on your family size:

Household SizeTotal Tenant Payment
1-2 persons28% of adjusted monthly income
3-5 persons27% of adjusted monthly income
6+ persons26% of adjusted monthly income

If you are in the following programs, you will pay 30% of monthly adjusted income:

  • VASH
  • Mainstream
  • Mod Rehab

Minimum Rent

  • The minimum amount of rent you will pay is $50 a month. If you do not have a rental portion based on your income the $50 will be deducted from your utility allowance.
  • If you cannot afford the $50 a month rent, you can request a hardship exemption. PHA may consider a hardship exemption for the following situations:
    • You lost your federal, state or local assistance
    • You are waiting for a decision about receiving federal, state or local assistance
    • You would be evicted because you cannot pay the minimum rent
    • You have lost some of your income because of the loss of a job or a death in the family

How Do I Know How Much Rent I Can Pay For a Unit?

  • You will need to have an idea of how much of your rent will be paid by PHA and how much will be paid by you to know what units you can afford.
  • The total cost of your housing each month takes into account your income and the maximum amount of rent PHA will pay towards rent and utilities which is the Payment Standard.

Payment Standard– The maximum amount of subsidy PHA can provide a family. The payment standard is based on Fair Market Rents (FMR) for the city of Philadelphia, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The applicable payment standard is based on the lower of:

  1. The payment standard amount for your voucher size; or
  2. The payment standard amount for the unit size rented by your family.

Payment Standard Change Effective October 1, 2023

On December 23, 2017, HUD was ordered to implement the published final rule for Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMR), requiring 24 metropolitan areas nationwide, including Philadelphia, to implement Payment Standards utilizing Zip-Code based SAFMRs.

Historically, HUD publishes Fair Market Rents (FMR) annually for the entire city of Philadelphia, which is used to set the payment standards for each unit size. The established payment standard determines the maximum allowable subsidy levels for HCV-assisted units.

By utilizing zip codes as the basis for fair market rents, HUD hopes to provide tenants with greater ability to move into higher opportunity neighborhoods with jobs, public transportation, and good schools by offering higher rents. Additionally, HUD hopes to reduce overpayment in lower-rent areas and address high levels of voucher concentration in certain areas.

As a result, effective October 1, 2023, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) is implementing changes to the method of establishing PHA’s payment standard and introducing PHA’s new payment standard schedule.

The rule allows grouping of zip codes into a one payment standard as long as the payment standard is within a basic range of 90 to 110% of the zip codes’ SAFMR.

PHA has established three payment standard groups:

Group 1 – Basic Rents

Group 2 – Traditional Range Rents

Group 3 – Mid Range Rents

Group 4 – Opportunity Rents

Group 5 – High Opportunity Rents

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