HUD Issues Notice on Handling the Death of a Sole Household Member

Notice PIH 2010-50 (HA), issued January 1, 2011, clarifies the procedures PHAs must follow to avoid housing subsidy overpayments when the sole household member dies, including the treatment of units with live-in-aides.

If the only remaining household member is a live-in-aide, the aide is not eligible for rental assistance or occupancy in a subsidized unit and cannot be designated as the new head of household. Subsidy payments terminate the month after the death of the sole household member.

However, HUD now no longer requires that a PHA notify the aide that they must vacate the unit at the end of the month. HUD now says that local landlord/tenant laws relative to gaining possession should be followed if the aide does not leave.

A related notice, PIH 2010-51, makes clear that a PHA may only approve one additional bedroom for a live-in aide. While the PHA may allow family members of the aide to live with the aide in the assisted unit, no additional bedrooms will be provided for those family members.

This notice only applies to the following programs: Public Housing, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation, Project-Based Voucher, Project-Based
Certificate; and Housing Choice Voucher programs. Other programs should continue to follow HUD guidance specific to that program.