[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 39 (Wednesday, February 27, 2008)]
[Pages 10460-10461]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-3632]



[Docket No. FR-5194-N-06]

Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Comment Request Study 
of Rents and Rent Flexibility

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian 
Housing, HUD.

ACTION: Notice of proposed information collection.


SUMMARY: The proposed information collection requirement described 
below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Department 
is soliciting public comments on the subject proposal.

DATES: Comments Due Date: April 28, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding 
this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name/or OMB 
Control number and should be sent to: Lillian L. Deitzer, Departmental 
Reports Management Officer, ODAM, Department of Housing and Urban 
Development, 451 7th Street, SW., Room 4178, Washington, DC 20410-5000; 
telephone 202-402-8048, (this is not a toll-free number) or e-mail Ms. 
Deitzer at: [email protected] for a copy of the proposed 
interview guide, phone survey instrument, or other available 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Schulhof, Office of Policy, 
Programs and Legislative Initiatives, PIH, Department of Housing and 
Urban Development, 451 7th Street, SW., Room 4116, Washington, DC 
20410; telephone 202-708-0713, (this is not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department will submit the proposed 
information collection to OMB for review, as required by the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended). This Notice 
is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected agencies 
concerning the proposed collection of information to: (1) Evaluate 
whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the 
proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether 
the information will have practical utility; (2) evaluate the accuracy 
of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of 
information; (3) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and (4) minimize the burden of the 
collection of information on those who are to respond, including 
through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other 
forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic submission 
of responses.
    This Notice also lists the following information:
    Title of Proposal: Study of Rents and Rent Flexibility.
    OMB Control Number: 2577-pending.
    Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use: The 
Department is conducting, under contract with Abt Associates and its 
partners, Applied Real Estate Analysis Inc. (AREA) and the Urban 
Institute, an exploration into alternative rent structures to the 
current income-based system used in the Public Housing and Housing 
Choice Voucher programs. These two programs serve over 3 million low-
income and extremely low-income families. They are programs that have 
steadily increased in complexity and costs. Because these programs 
shape who is assisted (and who is not), what they pay, what they earn, 
and how long they stay, it is important to understand three important 
elements of program administration. Those components are eligibility 
preferences based on extremely low-income standards, tenant 
contributions based primarily on 30 percent of adjusted reported 
incomes, and (in the voucher program) the payment standard that caps 
the gross rent and helps determine how much of the gross rent is the 
tenant's responsibility and how much is the Housing Authority's. This 
study will review possible reforms and alternative rent structures to 
the current income-based approach for calculating rental subsidies in 
these two programs.
    Through a combination of on-site and phone interviews the 
contractors will research the current components of income used for 
determining eligibility and income-based tenant rents, alternative 
subsidy structures, possible effects of reform regarding level of 
subsidy, availability of possible additional subsidies to needy, but 
unassisted populations. The data collected through the interviews will 
describe the current system and key issues including, administration, 
tenant income/data collection accuracy and if the current distribution 
of assistance is equitable. Interviews will also yield important 
information regarding thoughts on proposed alternative systems and how 
they may be advantageous or detrimental to the success of the PHA. In 
summary, the data collected via interviews will be used in determining 
the impacts of alternative rent structures if implemented in the public 
housing and housing choice voucher program in comparison with the 
current income-based system.
    Agency form number, if applicable: Not applicable.
    Members of affected public: Staff from Public Housing Authorities 
included in the sample and waiting list and recent admission households 
into either the Public Housing or Housing Choice Voucher program.
    Estimation of the total number of hours needed to prepare the 
information collection including number of

[[Page 10461]]

respondents: The study contains four pieces where data collection will 
occur. First, the researchers will administer twenty five on-site 
interviews over two day periods, conducting an average of six 
interviews at each site visit with Executive Directors, public housing 
directors, Housing Choice Voucher directors, staff that determine 
eligibility and tenant rents, and two local housing market experts. 
Each interview performed is expected to last up to one hour. An 
additional 180 phone surveys will be conducted with a nationally 
representative sample of PHA staff across the country. Each phone 
survey is expected to last 60 minutes. Interviews with PHA staff will 
provide information on their waiting lists, experience with the current 
system, experience with rent flexibility and related efforts, and views 
on alternative rent structures. Additionally, up to 1,500 interviews 
with eligible participants on the waiting list and/or those recently 
admitted into the program will be completed. These interviews are 
expected to last approximately three-quarters of an hour and will 
provide insight into how they are or would be affected by the current 
system and the proposed alternatives. Lastly, up to 470 follow-up 
interviews with PHA staff and households may be completed with each 
interview lasting from three-quarters of an hour to one hour each. 
Total respondents inclusive of all data collection processes are 2,300 
and the total reporting burden is 1,863 hours.
    Status of the proposed information collection: New collection.

    Authority: Section 3506 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 
44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: February 21, 2008.
Bessy Kong,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Programs, and Legislative 
[FR Doc. E8-3632 Filed 2-26-08; 8:45 am]