Public Housing Authority Local Policies

Overseen by a locally appointed board of commissioners, PHAs have discretion to adopt local policies and procedures that do not conflict with federal laws and regulations. These policies and procedures are incorporated into the PHA Plan, Administrative Plan, and the Admission and Continued Occupancy Plan (ACOP).

What is the PHA Plan?

The Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA) devolved responsibility for administering public housing and voucher programs to local PHAs. In exchange for the increased authority given to PHAs, QHWRA required that PHAs develop a PHA Plan that must be approved by HUD. The PHA Plan includes certain limited information and policies for the PHA’s administration of its public housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation, project-based voucher, and other PHA- administered programs.

There are two parts to the PHA Plan: the Five-Year Plan, which each PHA submits to HUD once every five years, and the Annual Plan, which certain PHAs submit to HUD every year. The Five-Year Plan includes the PHA’s mission, goals and objectives. Every five years, all PHAs must include a statement evaluating the PHA’s progress in meeting its mission and goals. The Annual Plan summarizes some of the PHA’s policies regarding the public housing and Section 8 programs for the coming fiscal year, such as: housing needs; financial resources; eligibility, selection, and admissions policies (including waitlist procedures); rent determination policies; grievance procedures; activities, services or programs offered to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking; and many other important issues. PHAs must consult with a local Resident Advisory Board (RAB) and hold at least one public hearing regarding their Annual Plan. Both the Annual and Five-Year Plans consist of certain required HUD templates, certifications, and other submissions.

What is the Administrative Plan and ACOP?

More detailed information regarding the implementation of the PHA Plan is available in other PHA documents, such as the Administrative Plan for PHA-administered voucher programs and the Admission and Continued Occupancy Plan (ACOP) for public housing. The Administrative Plan and ACOP generally contain both those policies that a PHA is required to follow as well as those policies which the PHA has discretion to adopt. Because these plans are generally reviewed and updated as part of the PHA Plan process, advocates and residents often submit comments to local PHAs’ Section 8 Administrative Plan and ACOP.


Statutory and Regulatory Authority

  • 42 U.S.C. § 1437c—1 and 24 C.F.R. Part 903 set forth the PHA’s and HUD’s obligations, and the rights of the RAB and public to a hearing and access to information regarding the PHA Plan.