CHAPTER 138a

RENTAL AND OTHER ASSISTANCE

Table of Contents

Sec. 8-345. (Formerly Sec. 17b-812). Rental assistance for low-income families living in privately-owned rental housing. Regulations. Hearing.

Sec. 8-345a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-813). Emergency rental assistance for families eligible to participate in the temporary family assistance program.

Sec. 8-345b. (Formerly Sec. 17b-812a). Modification of the rental assistance program subsidy.

Sec. 8-345c. (Formerly Sec. 17b-815). Federal Housing Choice Voucher Program. Internet publication requirements when accepting new applications.

Sec. 8-346. (Formerly Sec. 17b-814). Rental assistance for low-income families living in newly created rental housing. Pilot program. Regulations.

Sec. 8-346a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-811a). Transitionary rental assistance for private housing. Regulations. Hearing.

Sec. 8-347. (Formerly Sec. 17b-804). Rent bank program.

Sec. 8-347a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-805). Assessment and mediation program.

Secs. 8-348 to 8-354. Reserved


Sec. 8-345. (Formerly Sec. 17b-812). Rental assistance for low-income families living in privately-owned rental housing. Regulations. Hearing. (a) The Commissioner of Housing shall implement and administer a program of rental assistance for low-income families living in privately-owned rental housing. For the purposes of this section, a low-income family is one whose income does not exceed fifty per cent of the median family income for the area of the state in which such family lives, as determined by the commissioner.

(b) Housing eligible for participation in the program shall comply with applicable state and local health, housing, building and safety codes.

(c) In addition to an element in which rental assistance certificates are made available to qualified tenants, to be used in eligible housing which such tenants are able to locate, the program may include a housing support element in which rental assistance for tenants is linked to participation by the property owner in other municipal, state or federal housing repair, rehabilitation or financing programs. The commissioner shall use rental assistance under this section so as to encourage the preservation of existing housing and the revitalization of neighborhoods or the creation of additional rental housing.

(d) The commissioner may designate a portion of the rental assistance available under the program for tenant-based and project-based supportive housing units. To the extent practicable rental assistance for supportive housing shall adhere to the requirements of the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program, 42 USC 1437f(o), relative to calculating the tenant’s share of the rent to be paid.

(e) The commissioner shall administer the program under this section to promote housing choice for certificate holders and encourage racial and economic integration. The commissioner shall establish maximum rent levels for each municipality in a manner that promotes the use of the program in all municipalities. Any certificate issued pursuant to this section may be used for housing in any municipality in the state. The commissioner shall inform certificate holders that a certificate may be used in any municipality and, to the extent practicable, the commissioner shall assist certificate holders in finding housing in the municipality of their choice.

(f) Nothing in this section shall give any person a right to continued receipt of rental assistance at any time that the program is not funded.

(g) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to carry out the purposes of this section. The regulations shall establish maximum income eligibility guidelines for such rental assistance and criteria for determining the amount of rental assistance which shall be provided to eligible families.

(h) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner or the commissioner’s agent pursuant to the program under this section shall have the right to a hearing in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(P.A. 85-452, S. 1, 3; P.A. 86-384, S. 1, 2; P.A. 87-517, S. 1, 2; P.A. 91-362, S. 5; P.A. 93-262, S. 8, 87; P.A. 96-268, S. 16, 17, 34; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 116, 165; P.A. 05-280, S. 34; P.A. 06-7, S. 1; P.A. 09-118, S. 1; P.A. 13-234, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 86-384 extended program for one year, allowed commissioner to conduct program in more than three towns and replaced term “rent subsidies” with “rental assistance”; P.A. 87-517 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting reference to three-year pilot program, adding provisions making program applicable to elderly persons residing in state-assisted rental housing for the elderly and changing income percentage from 50% to 60%, amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provisions re towns in which pilot program is conducted, amended Subsec. (c) by deleting reference to pilot program, amended Subsec. (d) by deleting reference to pilot period, amended Subsec. (e) by adding provisions requiring regulations establishing maximum income eligibility guidelines and criteria for determining amount of assistance, and amended Subsec. (f) by deleting reference to pilot program; P.A. 91-362 inserted new Subsec. (d) to require the commissioner to administer the program to promote housing choice and encourage racial and economic integration and added new Subsec. (h) to require the commissioner to submit to the legislative committee on housing a report on the program, relettering previously existing Subsecs. as necessary; P.A. 93-262 replaced commissioner of housing with commissioner of social services and deleted Subsecs. (g) and (h) re reports to general assembly, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 8-345 transferred to Sec. 17b-812 in 1995; P.A. 96-268 amended Subsec. (a) to change the income level threshold for a low-income family from 60% to 50% of the median family income for the area of the state in which such family lives and amended Subsec. (f) to provide that “effective November 1, 1995, the amount of assistance for elderly persons who are certificate holders shall be the difference between thirty per cent of their adjusted gross income, less a utility allowance and the base rent”, effective July 1, 1996; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 eliminated references to elderly persons in the program of rental assistance, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 05-280 added new Subsec. (d) re designating a portion of available rental assistance certificates for supportive housing units and requiring that rental assistance certificates issued for such purpose adhere to requirements of federal Housing Choice Voucher program and redesignated existing Subsecs. (d) to (f), inclusive, as new Subsecs. (e) to (g), inclusive, effective July 1, 2005; P.A. 06-7 amended Subsec. (d) by deleting references to “certificates”, effective April 21, 2006; P.A. 09-118 added Subsec. (h) re right to a hearing; pursuant to P.A. 13-234, reference to Commissioner of Social Services was changed editorially by the Revisors to reference to Commissioner of Housing in Subsec. (a), effective June 19, 2013; Sec. 17b-812 transferred to Sec. 8-345 in 2015.

Cited. 214 C. 256.

Sec. 8-345a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-813). Emergency rental assistance for families eligible to participate in the temporary family assistance program. The Commissioner of Housing, in consultation with the Commissioner of Social Services, shall provide emergency rental assistance for families eligible for assistance under the temporary family assistance program living in hotels and motels as a component of the program for rental assistance established under section 8-345.

(P.A. 87-455, S. 1, 6; P.A. 93-262, S. 9, 87; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 89, 165; P.A. 13-234, S. 50.)

History: P.A. 93-262 replaced commissioner of housing with commissioner of social services, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 8-345a transferred to Sec. 17b-813 in 1995; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 replaced a reference to aid to families with dependent children with temporary family assistance and made conforming changes, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 13-234 substituted reference to Commissioner of Housing for reference to Commissioner of Social Services and added “in consultation with the Commissioner of Social Services”, effective July 1, 2013; Sec. 17b-813 transferred to Sec. 8-345a in 2015.

Cited. 214 C. 256.

Sec. 8-345b. (Formerly Sec. 17b-812a). Modification of the rental assistance program subsidy. The Commissioner of Housing shall modify the rental assistance program subsidy for eligible recipients with earned income in order to operate the program within available appropriations. The Commissioner of Housing shall have the authority to adopt policies or procedures to implement the provisions of this section pending the adoption of the policy or procedure in regulations, provided notice of intent to adopt regulations is published in the Connecticut Law Journal within twenty days of implementation of the policy or procedure.

(P.A. 95-351, S. 17, 30; P.A. 13-234, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 95-351, S. 17 effective July 1, 1995; pursuant to P.A. 13-234, references to Commissioner of Social Services were changed editorially by the Revisors to references to Commissioner of Housing, effective June 19, 2013; Sec. 17b-812a transferred to Sec. 8-345b in 2015.

Sec. 8-345c. (Formerly Sec. 17b-815). Federal Housing Choice Voucher Program. Internet publication requirements when accepting new applications. At least two weeks before any entity in the state that administers vouchers under the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program, 42 USC 1437f(o), opens its waiting list for the acceptance of new applications for such vouchers, such entity shall notify, in writing or by electronic mail, the operator of an Internet web site designated by the Department of Housing, of (1) the date of the opening of such waiting list, (2) the manner in which applicants may apply, and (3) the date, if any, on which the waiting list will be closed. The operator of said web site shall make such information available, by electronic means or otherwise, to Infoline of Connecticut, other organizations and the public.

(P.A. 04-258, S. 14; P.A. 13-234, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 04-258 effective July 1, 2004; pursuant to P.A. 13-234, reference to Department of Social Services was changed editorially by the Revisors to reference to Department of Housing, effective June 19, 2013; Sec. 17b-815 transferred to Sec. 8-345c in 2015.

Sec. 8-346. (Formerly Sec. 17b-814). Rental assistance for low-income families living in newly created rental housing. Pilot program. Regulations. (a) The Commissioner of Housing shall establish and implement a five-year pilot program of rental assistance for low-income families living in newly created privately-owned rental housing. For the purposes of this section, a low-income family is one whose income does not exceed sixty per cent of the area median income adjusted for family size in which such family lives, as determined by the commissioner. The commissioner shall provide such rental assistance in order to encourage the creation of additional rental housing.

(b) The state, acting by and in the discretion of the Commissioner of Housing, may enter into a contract with the owner or developer of new rental housing to provide rental assistance linked to a specific number of units in such housing which shall be set aside for low-income families. Each contract to provide rental assistance for units set aside for occupancy by low-income families under this section shall be for a period not to exceed fifteen years and may provide that the state shall receive an equity interest in such rental housing. The commissioner shall not provide rental assistance for more than five hundred new rental housing units under the pilot program.

(c) The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the purposes of this section. Such regulations shall establish maximum income eligibility guidelines for such rental assistance and criteria for determining the amount of rental assistance which shall be provided.

(P.A. 88-187; P.A. 93-262, S. 10, 87; P.A. 13-234, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 93-262 replaced commissioner of housing with commissioner of social services and deleted Subsec. (d) re report to general assembly, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 8-346 transferred to Sec. 17b-814 in 1995; pursuant to P.A. 13-234, references to Commissioner of Social Services were changed editorially by the Revisors to references to Commissioner of Housing, effective June 19, 2013; Sec. 17b-814 transferred to Sec. 8-346 in 2015.

Sec. 8-346a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-811a). Transitionary rental assistance for private housing. Regulations. Hearing. (a) The Commissioner of Housing shall implement and administer, within available appropriations, a program of transitionary rental assistance for private housing for persons who are employed at the time they leave the temporary family assistance program and who: (1) Have income which exceeds the payment standard under said program, or (2) are employed a minimum of twelve hours per week. The commissioner may establish a durational limit for the receipt of such assistance which shall not exceed a period of twelve months. The commissioner may establish priorities for allocating transitionary rental assistance based on whether a person is eligible pursuant to subdivision (1) or subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(b) The Commissioner of Housing shall establish a simplified eligibility determination and application process for transitionary rental assistance. The program shall be designed to allow the provision of such assistance to commence with the first month in which the applicant is no longer receiving benefits under the temporary family assistance program.

(c) The Commissioner of Housing shall implement policies and procedures necessary to carry out the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section while in the process of adopting such policies and procedures in regulation form, provided notice of intent to adopt the regulations is published in the Connecticut Law Journal not later than twenty days after implementation. Such policies and procedures shall be valid until the time final regulations are effective.

(d) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner or the commissioner’s agent pursuant to the program under this section shall have a right to a hearing in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(P.A. 99-279, S. 1, 45; P.A. 04-73, S. 1; P.A. 07-16, S. 1; P.A. 09-118, S. 2; P.A. 13-234, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 99-279 effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 04-73 amended Subsec. (a) to replace requirement that person be “employed at the time they exhaust time-limited benefits under the temporary family assistance program” with the requirement that person be “employed at the time they leave the temporary family assistance program”, to designate provision re income which exceeds payment standard as Subdiv. (1) and to add Subdiv. (2) requiring employment of “a minimum of twelve hours per week”, and made technical changes in Subsec. (c), effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 07-16 amended Subsec. (a) to permit commissioner to establish priorities in the allocation of transitionary rental assistance, effective May 7, 2007; P.A. 09-118 added Subsec. (d) re right to a hearing; pursuant to P.A. 13-234, references to Commissioner of Social Services were changed editorially by the Revisors to references to Commissioner of Housing, effective June 19, 2013; Sec. 17b-811a transferred to Sec. 8-346a in 2015.

Sec. 8-347. (Formerly Sec. 17b-804). Rent bank program. (a) The Commissioner of Housing shall establish and administer a rent bank program of grants to ensure housing for families whose income does not exceed sixty per cent of the median income in the state, including those receiving temporary family assistance, who are either at risk of becoming homeless or in imminent danger of eviction or foreclosure.

(b) To be eligible for assistance under this section, a family shall (1) document, as appropriate, loss of income or increase in expenses including, but not limited to, loss of employment, medical disability or emergency, loss or delay in receipt of other benefits, natural or man-made disaster, substantial and permanent change in household composition and any other condition which the commissioner determines constitutes a severe hardship and is not likely to recur and (2) participate in the assessment and mediation program established under section 8-347a.

(c) No family shall receive financial assistance under this section in excess of one thousand two hundred dollars during any eighteen consecutive months.

(d) The commissioner may adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to determine eligibility standards for grants under this section and to carry out the purposes of this section.

(P.A. 90-257, S. 4, 17; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 84, 165; P.A. 03-25, S. 1; P.A. 13-234, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-619 transferred to Sec. 17b-804 in 1995; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 replaced references to aid to families with dependent children with temporary family assistance and made technical changes, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 03-25 eliminated references to “loans” and “repayment”, deleted former Subsec. (c) re repayment terms for financial assistance under program and redesignated existing Subsecs. (d) and (e) as Subsecs. (c) and (d); pursuant to P.A. 13-234, reference to Commissioner of Social Services was changed editorially by the Revisors to reference to Commissioner of Housing in Subsec. (a), effective June 19, 2013; Sec. 17b-804 transferred to Sec. 8-347 in 2015.

Sec. 8-347a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-805). Assessment and mediation program. (a) The Commissioner of Housing shall establish and administer an assessment and mediation program for families at risk of becoming homeless or in imminent danger of eviction or foreclosure whose income does not exceed sixty per cent of the median income in the state.

(b) After evaluation of the causes of the risk of becoming homeless or the imminent danger of eviction or foreclosure and after attempting mediation, the commissioner shall assist eligible participants with application to appropriate resources.

(c) No family shall be eligible for grants under the rent bank program established under section 8-347 without prior referral to the assessment and mediation program.

(d) The commissioner may enter into regional contracts with local or regional nonprofit corporations or social service organizations having expertise in landlord-tenant mediation to implement the program established under this section.

(e) The Commissioner of Housing may adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to carry out the purposes of this section.

(P.A. 90-257, S. 3, 17; P.A. 93-262, S. 48, 87; P.A. 03-25, S. 2; P.A. 13-234, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 93-262 replaced references to commissioners of income maintenance and human resources with commissioner of social services, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-620 transferred to Sec. 17b-805 in 1995; P.A. 03-25 amended Subsec. (c) to eliminate reference to “loans”; pursuant to P.A. 13-234, references to Commissioner of Social Services were changed editorially by the Revisors to references to Commissioner of Housing in Subsecs. (a) and (e), effective June 19, 2013; Sec. 17b-805 transferred to Sec. 8-347a in 2015.

Secs. 8-348 to 8-354. Reserved for future use.